Cedric Millet, the President of CargoTech, is looking to capitalise on the growing demand for digitisation among airlines, as they look to boost investment in their cargo division.
Having recently welcomed CargoAI, ECS Group’s Cargo Digital Factory and Wiremind Cargo under its umbrella, CargoTech is working to provide a one-stop-shop to connect the cargo business with experts in the technology field to fast track the digitalisation of the industry.
With the industry emerging from Covid, Millet sees this as the time to push forward with embracing technology that can make the industry more efficient and resilient in the face of potential challenges.
“What the pandemic brought was the awareness, because digitisation started before the pandemic but at the very slow pace,” Millet told Air Cargo Week, highlighting how it became clear quickly over the past two years that the cargo sector was behind the curve on technology.
“Since the airlines stopped flying [during the pandemic] and then there was some redeployment of capacity according to the needs of the different trade lanes, nobody knew who was flying where and what capacity was available in each and every trade lane.”
“On top of awareness, the pandemic made the leadership teams of the airlines realise that air cargo was not just a side business…but actually cargo was useful as well to generate cash flow that keep airlines flying,” Millet stated, citing how that realisation has sparked a flurry of investment into the cargo sector.
With the move towards digitisation though, CargoTech understands that there is fear which has to be dispelled, as people believe the increased use of tech will lead to fewer jobs. But CargoTech doesn’t want to make that happen. On the contrary, it hopes digitisation will simply address areas where airlines might struggle and streamline their systems.
“A lot of people associate digitisation to productivity increase and cost reduction, and therefore people will be losing their job… People forget that digitisation is also there for revenue optimisation purposes,” Millet said, adding that it not only boosts the top line and efficiency but brings innovation and new services to the sector.
In Millet’s eyes, digitisation could even be the solution to the problem of labour shortages in some parts of the air cargo sector, as it can fill the roles where there are simply not enough people in the workforce available.
When pitching to potential clients, CargoTech has found those two factors, boosting efficiency and plugging labour gaps, paired with a more sustainable approach, has piqued interest in digitisation. Particularly in the wake of Covid, air lines want to generate more revenue from their cargo business without compromising on their commitment to green energy goals.
Looking forward, while many might think the future holds substantial changes, as technology is integrated into companies, it’s not as complex as that. CargoTech believes that for the majority of medium and small airlines it’s simply implementing existing solutions that are ready and waiting with the goal of making life simpler and more profitable for businesses.
“The future for cargo is bringing in technologies that are already existing on other kinds of businesses, related to more artificial intelligence and cognitive intelligence. It’s not a revolution. There are things that are existing outside the industry already that we want to bring into the industry,” Millet said.