When it comes to improving ground cargo processing and achieving greater efficiency, road feeder operations play a frustrating role within this industry. Lack of information about the arrival of shipments, coupled with long queues waiting at airport warehouses, make efficiency a continuous challenge. A guest contribution provided by Michael Sales, Managing Director of IMC Creation, on Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM) and trucking.
The InHolland University of Applied Sciences has conducted in-depth research into the Trucking CDM platform which provides transparency, predictability, and a slot-allocation planning mechanism
between truckers and handlers.
Giovanni Douven, Project Manager and Research Fellow refers to students of the InHolland University who have analyzed the current situation regarding the flows of both information and goods in the air cargo sector. Cooperating with several parties involved with the Trucking CDM platform, they have compared the existing and the desired situation, and the differences between the two.
Based on this analysis, they provided insight into how these differences can be bridged: by implementing the Trucking CDM platform. It has proven to be a valuable tool for future research into a comprehensive Cross Chain Control Center (4C) project for air cargo. The complexity of connections between parties involved provides extensive research and education possibilities for InHolland.
The 4C project forms a ‘living laboratory’ or eco system, as it were, to further examine and educate. After all, the connection between parties goes beyond the mere pick-up and delivery of shipments. The air cargo industry is, despite many improvements, a fairly traditional sector involving many different parties. “At InHolland, we believe and recommend that everyone in the air cargo industry should be connected in the cloud, where each player should share relevant data with other parties involved,” states Mr. Douven.
This drive to streamline cargo processing is gaining acceptance by several Netherlands-based air cargo industry leaders who have recognized the advantages of the trucking CDM platform and joined as users. Dennis Smit, Manager at Wallenborn, Schiphol, a major trucking operator, expresses his hope that other cargo handlers at Schiphol will also join the platform, so that everyone can benefit. “Until now, it is a gamble whether or not cargo will be ready for pick-up at the handler. When we request information about the cargo’s status, we just receive an e-mail! Real-time information is non-existent,” Wallenborn manager, Smit says. But when the handling agent has insight into truck arrival times beforehand, he can accurately plan how many docks are needed and how much personnel. Moreover, far more targeted and precise truck planning can be realized. Congestion and waiting times will to a large extent be history, he predicts.
Upping punctuality and process transparency
Smit states that Wallenborn will add loading advice data to the system. Based on a flight’s ETA, advice is to be given on when a shipment could theoretically be ready for pick-up. When the planning has been completed, the trip list is uploaded. The list provides information on what cargo will be loaded at what time, as well as the identity of the truck driver and the truck’s license plate. The truck driver will receive advice from Wallenborn’s Transport Management System. The same information is simultaneously sent to the Trucking CDM platform. All data from Wallenborn’s own system can be directly synchronized with the platform.
Smit adds that the platform offers numerous opportunities for the next phase. “Connecting the truck’s GPS system to the system is just one example, which allows anyone working with the platform to see the location of the truck and correspondingly, the shipment. Approximately 99% of questions from customers and airlines concern the location of shipments. Just imagine the increase in efficiency when all parties concerned join the platform.”
Incorporating the research
Raoul Paul, managing director of Cargohub, is enthusiastic about the University research. “The cooperation with InHolland has accelerated the development of Trucking CDM. The objective was to provide optimal benefits for each chain party involved via a shared platform.”
He indicates that the next step will be exchanging information with forwarders between different systems, so they can provide automated supply chain visibility, hence improving their service to shippers. “It is fantastic to work on solutions together with so many different parties from the community with a joint focus. We are delighted to continue our cooperation with InHolland, as well as with various other companies,” Mr. Paul resumes.
We thank Michael Sales for this article, HS
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