Air Cargo is an industry involving different stakeholders, each interacting in their own way. The business game aircargo@airports offers a playful introduction to newcomers and trainees alike. The game was developed by Dutch Inholland University of Applied Sciences, sponsored by the top sector Logistics. Its aim is to enable young starters in the air cargo industry to acquire knowledge about the dynamics of air cargo at airports.
In essence, the game is a continuation of an earlier game named Smartgate, says Giovanni Douven (GD), Research Fellow, Lecturer, and Director CC-NL/Business gaming at Inholland. Assisted by the
developer of the game, Utrecht University student Florian Varkevisser (FV), he explains that the original game needed both updating and expansion.
“Florian and I decided to bring new life into a game that was no longer played,” says Mr Douven. “We ended up with a new name as well as a new game. Aircargo@airports is a game that allows you to gain insight into every aspect of air cargo. We thoroughly thought about both efficiency and effectiveness, and the involvement of all the stakeholders.”
CFG: How do you translate this process into a game?
FV: We started from the old game, where some of the aspects had already been translated into processes after each of these had been carefully examined.
GD: The game is currently being used within the framework of the Living Lab CDM@Airports recently launched at Inholland, in which CDM stands for ‘Collaborative Decision Making’.
This triple helix Living Lab brings together education, the air cargo industry, and the government-related authorities, to look into ways of streamlining air cargo movements at airports as efficiently as possible, to reduce the Co² footprint. In other words, how can 1 kilo of air cargo reach its destination in the most efficient and effective way? Students, teachers, researchers, and young starters wishing to participate in this program, are encouraged to play our game, which comes with an important tutorial.
CFG: Is the game restricted to your institution or is it open to everybody?
GD: Our intention is to make it available to everybody. It can be used everywhere. It can be used in education and by everybody who is working in the industry.
FV: It can be played by anyone who is interested, and it can be very addictive.
CFG: Can it be useful for training purposes of staff already working in the industry?
GD: I’m sure of that. Take digital pre-clearance, for example. Not everybody is already aware of that. And for new entrants, it can be a tool to get to know the industry. It includes the entire process, including screening at Customs.
CFG: How does it work?
FV: You start with a fictitious entrance fee of €10,000 for 24 minutes of playing time. You can make money - up to €50,000 (fictitious) for an experienced player - by forwarding freight from one party to the other. There is no feedback. If something goes wrong, you lose money. But, on the whole, it works most playfully.
GD: Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to include Co² measuring into the game. You could bring sustainability into the game, e.g., in buying a more fuel-efficient truck and finding out what effect it had at the end of the day. Please note that the game is not suited for mobile devices, it is best played on a PC.
The game can be accessed on https://aircargogame.com/
Marcel Schoeters in Amsterdam
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