Airline Cargo

DATA: The driving force fueling next-generation air freight


Data is ubiquitous. It permeates our personal and professional lives.It helps us understand situations to take decisions, understand past behaviors and predict future ones across as many parameters as you can conceive.

As the leading technology provider for air freight and cargo, we know that this industry is ripe for digital transformation. We are sitting on a wealth of information that has not been utilized in its full form yet. I'm talking about data, the raw operational data we have in our databases that can give us insights that we never thought existed. The good news is that technology is available today to do that and beyond

A lot of airtime is dedicated to discussions around data quality and mitigation strategies, which is fair enough. But the real question, for now, is: what have we done so far and achieved with the vast amounts of data we already have?

As new technologies are introduced and mature, the data deluge is growing exponentially. And data is every business´s best friend if it´s properly mined, processed, and utilized. There are decades of under-exploited operational data sitting across the air cargo industry. In my keynote at the recent IATA Digital Cargo Webinar, I laid out a simple and pragmatic three-step process for cargo airlines to leverage data to fuel their next-gen air freight strategy:

  1. Focus on what you can learn from the data you currently possess. Do not get distracted by technology fads
  2. Work with technology experts to apply your data within your infrastructure and extract business insights from it
  3. Start with simple, practical steps to implement changes based on your data insights and accelerate as you feel more confident.

In today's rapidly advancing technological world, data is the fuel that will drive progress. However raw data is just like crude oil that needs to be distilled to extract usable fuel. Cargo airlines and the whole of air cargo industry should capitalize on advances in data science to extract meaning out of it.Insights drawn from such analysis is ultimately going to be the driving force to remaining relevant and achieving sustained results.

Following my keynote, I joined a panel discussion with fellow experts from the air cargo industry where we discussed the importance of industry standards and new opportunities these provide for air freight businesses.

I invite you to listen to the recording of my keynote and the industry panel.

Author Info

Ashok Rajan is Senior Vice President & Head of Airline Cargo Services line of business at IBS. An accomplished specialist in the Travel & Transportation domain, he has a track record of 20+ years in conceptualizing and building products for the industry. Having played multiple roles in the organization from development to product management to running transition programs for customers, Ashok is involved with building and executing the strategy for the flag-ship iCargo product line of the company.


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