Oleg Sergeev: Digitalization has become paramount in the air cargo industry

Going digital during the pandemic will define and reshape the way the entire air cargo industry operates, TAICO said.

The International Association of Air Cargo Carriers came to this conclusion after analyzing the state of the cargo sector in aviation and comparing the world markets with each other. According to the results of a year and a half, it turned out that air carriers implementing digitalization are coping with the consequences of the coronavirus more successfully and faster than others. These airlines include ZetAvia, which operates charter flights to the Middle East, Europe and Africa on IL-76 cargo planes.

Oleg Sergeev: Digitalization has become paramount in the air cargo industry
Oleg Sergeev: Digitalization has become paramount in the air cargo industry

Based on official statistics, TAICO notes that air freight should be integrated with other delivery processes. I, as an aviation expert, absolutely agree with this. Only total digitalization will allow coordinating the actions of various stakeholders in order to avoid possible problems now and in the future.

TAICO believes that attempts to coordinate actions were too slow and did not bring significant changes due to disputes over who should bear the main investment costs or who will be the first in the transport chain. Short-term demand for maritime transport, combined with the rise of e-commerce, congestion and capacity constraints on other modes of transport, has led to a structural logistical challenge that individual air freight participants cannot currently deal with.

It is believed that even a small shift from air to sea transport will have a significant impact. Thus, a shift towards air cargo transportation by only 1% means an increase of 16%, which leads to serious problems, as well as an imbalance in the availability of containers for sea transport.

TAICO also notes that the African market is the only region where air cargo demand has grown by 1% since 2019 and throughput has decreased by 17%. Other markets recorded these figures at 1.1% and 15.9%, respectively. The pandemic is forcing the introduction of electronic air waybills to reduce the physical exchange of documents, reduce delays in delivery, and significantly improve tracking.

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