Airline Cargo

Four reasons why a strong air cargo community matters


Communities form the bedrock of civilization and have played a critical role in human evolution. Just as society benefits from the integration of different communities, so does the business world.

Communities are not new to the airline industry. Reflecting the success of alliances from the passenger business, various commercially-driven communities also exist in air cargo. But non-commercially focused communities also exist, such as the working groups led by various industry bodies.

As the scope of digitalization broadens and its pace accelerates, newer technology-driven communities have emerged and consolidated, paving the road to greater collaboration and value-based partnerships for airlines and ground-handlers. 

Benefits of an air cargo technology community

With the deployment of air cargo technology airlines and ground handlers have unlocked new business capabilities and dramatically improved operational performance across the shipment lifecycle. Yet, despite the growth, efficiency, and profitability air cargo players have witnessed, the need to support customers in the deployment and optimization of new technologies, and their business applications, has also increased. And this is where a strong and proven customer community is a game-changer to bridging technology, business, and industry needs.

Four benefits of a technology-driven customer community include:

1. Knowledge-sharing

While technology may be the overarching priority when selecting a cargo management solution, it's also worth exploring who a vendor's community members are, among other factors. An active community comprised of industry-leading airlines and ground-handlers that operate across different geographies, business models, and market conditions is a treasure trove of first-hand knowledge and experience, including:

  • Structuring implementation: Learning how others have optimized business and IT organizations and processes for success
  • Best-practices: Avoiding the tendency to replicate old and inefficient processes in the new system by gaining the confidence to look at things in new ways.
  • Training and change management: Learning how peers trained their teams and ran successful change management programs – and exploring what could work for you.
  • Optimization: Receiving guidance from fellow members on how to optimize a platform´s bells and whistles to maximize performance and outcomes.

2. Testbed for innovation

Collaborating and pooling resources with forward-looking peers and the solution provider increases the viability and scope of experimenting with innovative ways to unlock new business benefits. A diverse community of airlines and ground-handlers helps cover own and shared needs across broad use cases, increasing the chances of success through technology adoption. Community events are an excellent platform to learn about new solutions, their impact, and their different stages of development.

3. Common standards

Clout is an important element in developing and pushing for common standards that are critical enablers for the adoption of new processes and technologies. What better way to achieve this than being part of a community that represents a significant number of global air cargo service providers, with the cherry on top of already working with those standards?  

4. Product roadmap

While each airline and ground-handler will have its specific requirements, a solid and committed product roadmap that addresses common needs across members and influences adjacent industries is a clear advantage. And when community members can actively influence development roadmaps and benefit from them in single-instance platform updates, the opportunity is all the more exciting and strategic.

iCargo Community – transforming air cargo

iCargo is the industry-leading platform for end-to-end air cargo management. Comprised of the top 35 cargo airlines and ground-handlers worldwide, its members have been driving innovation and operational progress for decades. From optimizing sales and revenue to enabling real-time collaboration between airlines, ground-handlers, forwarders, and digital marketplaces across the shipment lifecycle, iCargo Community members are at the forefront of our industry´s transformation.

With full collaboration from IBS Software, various user groups work tirelessly throughout the year with industry bodies to push, develop, and adopt modern standards and processes for air cargo. Celebrated twice a year, the IBS Cargo Forum brings the customer community together to showcase its latest developments, achievements, and best-practices because even the fiercest of competitors can be friends – just ask Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal!

Author Info

Manu Raghavan is a Senior Business Consultant for IBS Software's iCargo product line. He has over 14 years of experience in marketing and managing large and complex bids in air cargo and ERP solutions. Presently, he is responsible for all outbound and inbound marketing efforts for IBS Software's air cargo product portfolio.

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