In anticipation of a continued increase in cargo volumes into 2019, particularly of high-value and specialized goods, such as pharmaceuticals and e-commerce, industry providers are working to develop technologies optimizing security and efficiency in operations. Ground handling operations, however, tend to be a weak point in the supply chain and are often badly in need of investment and innovation.
To find out what stakeholders in ground handling are doing to strengthen their operations, Cargo Airport News spoke with industry leaders to identify the top five ground handling innovations currently available or development. In this two-part series, we consider which digital and physical innovations offer promising solutions to challenges facing ground handlers today.
Part I: Digital innovations
#5: Cloud platforms and applications – these digital technologies are popping up at airports, like Brussels (BRU) and Vienna (VIE), as stakeholders increasingly recognize the benefits of data sharing.
#4: Track & Trace tech for equipment – German ground handler AeroGround Munich GmbH at Munich Airport (MUC) conducted tests leveraging data to track cargo dollies with the goal of mitigating disruption to landside operations.
Part II: Physical innovations
#3: Autonomous transport and trailers – Fraport AG at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is designing a “smart air cargo trailer” research project supported by autonomous short-haul semitruck trailers to streamline operations and cut costs.
#2: Cargo terminal centers with specialized facilities – dnata Singapore has developed a specialized cool-chain with automated capabilities in its cargo terminals at Singapore International Airport (SIN).
#1: Leveraging drones for warehouse inventory management – dnata Dubai is testing drones to support warehouse inventory management at its facilities at Dubai World Central Airport (DWC).
Click here to read about digital innovations in part I or visit part II later this week to learn more about physical innovations in ground handling technology.