Airline industry has developed a lot from the days of buying tickets over the counter to various numbers of different websites now available with deals and offers for cheapest airfares. This online ticket booking is the only aspect of technology that can be seen by any naÃ¯ve person flying any airline.
Technology has evolved a lot and it is been used in all industries for wide number of applications. The one most important application is the use of Information Systems and its management which has the most widely applied and used in businesses. The days of managing information of customers, tickets, finance, employees, through books and manual work have gone long. Today the airlines industry uses information systems or other software systems for its use, be it finance, human resource management or the customer data and other logistics management.
In this report analysis we will focus on the huge Air Baggage and cargo industry which the airlines have to manage through its human resources or systems. The global cargo industry itself is just USD 55 worth businesses which the airlines industry cannot ignore. Now with that it also has to manage the passenger luggage.
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The management of cargo and baggage at airports is one of the most challenging problems faced by the airports and airlines. There are many times when either the cargo meant for a person does not reach the person is lost in transit or the passenger luggage goes to some other place instead of the right place. This usually happens due human errors in loading the cargo to the right aircraft. Today with the advancement of technology these kinds of human errors and this challenge to airlines is avoided with the use of information systems for management of the cargo and baggage. One of the latest cargo management system developed is "icargo" developed by IBS technologies and has been widely used by various airlines as well as airports.
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Challenges of airline cargo operations and management
The most important challenge in any industry is always optimal balance between efficient use of resource and higher profitability. Similarly in cargo operations and management with the same challenge we also have another challenges and issues:
Cargo terminal operations: Cargo terminal operations include the reception of cargo from the sender (customer) and processing it for further transmission towards the receiver's destination place via the proper airlines.
ULD management: ULD stands for a unit load device which contains all cargo. This ULD management is also a part of the cargo management as all cargo is loaded into the ULD for transport purposes to the required destination. All ULD's have unique identification number for ease management purposes.
Cargo revenue accounting: cargo revenue accounting includes the sales and finance of cargo i.e. the acceptance of cargo with the charges and its accounting. This it is a very wide subject in the cargo operations and management where many a times a different system is used but icargo provides solution to it also.
There were many other issues which were needed to be addressed by the system hence a group i.e. the core group of influence (CGI) was formed which comprised of five major cargo carriers South African Airways Cargo, Gulf Air, Air New Zealand Cargo, Qantas Freight and Australian Air Express.
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Jetair cargo operations
Jetair was always one of the frontrunners in the transportation and handling of general cargo business as well as special cargo business. Customers can send cargo or parcels from India to many places like New York daily. Jetair cargo provides service and reliability both with world class professionalism with the convenience of a flight running daily between the destinations.
Jetair cargo and parcel service include transportation of fresh flowers, house-hold pets, valuables, general goods and also lifesaving drugs. Jetair also provides a special service for human designed for support at times of need. Jetair also has to ensure the delivery of goods and cargo with utmost care to reach the customers delight.
Cargo operation in Jetair
Jetair itself is a general sales agent (GSA) for 17 different airlines for cargo operations and sales. On cargo sales Jetair receives a 5% commission. An additional commission percentage is received on achievement of target.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
The cargo operations of jetair take place by issue of airway bill and then collection of money from consignee. The cargo exporting and importing procedures and regulations are different.
Acceptance of cargo
From interline partners
Dispatch of cargo
Shipper's instructions for carriage are obtained to issue the airway bill.
Special care is taken and certificate is taken from shipper saying cargo/parcel does not contain hazardous goods and if it does certificate for description of goods is taken from the shipper.
The payment is collected from shipper and then labelling of cargo is done for better management of goods.
The all of the above operations of Jet airways have been implemented using the system ''icargo'' which we will see now.
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icargo is cargo operation management system which has been developed in collaboration with the CGI as mentioned earlier. The system has been developed by IBS technology which has 4 years and 400 man years of experience in the airlines industry. icargo is the most advanced cargo management system
The software comes in two models:
License-Software System's licensed copy (icargo)
SaaS - Software as Service (icargonet)
icargo integrates all kinds of requirements of the cargo management systems.
The software does not need in-depth knowledge by the salesmen or staff for using it, thus allowing the cargo agents to concentrate on the cargo operations than on the system.
Data input required is minimal. This reduces the human errors and makes the overall cargo management process more efficient in terms of time and money.
The software system itself calculates the pricing and routing of the cargo so human intervention in the pricing and routing is minimal thus again leading to uniform prices all over the companies branches.
The software system provides real time accounting data and other revenue information for reports and other strategy depending upon the dynamic conditions of the environment.
This module of the system stores all information related to the shipment of cargo.
The number of cargo packages
The weight and dimensions of the package
Features of booking system
Printing of cargo handling sheets
Quick updating of bookings
Enquiry if package movement
Air Way Bill Production
The printing of computerized airway bills on plain paper.
Lookup of prices automatically
Convenience of discounts and special rates for special customers.
Option of label making and printing
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Centralized Airway Bill File
The centralized storage of all information into a single database for enhanced data security. This convenience also helps in tracking of cargo shipped from some destination and tracking from other destination by just using the airway bill number.
Different details can be access for display to customer or for management purposes.
Then there are different provisions for the different kinds of cargo like speedy shipping, normal shipping, mail and etc. The option of accepting hazardous goods like chemicals, medicines and industrial goods.
Airway Bill Tools
A search toolbar is developed in the system to locate AWB's. The AWB are searched in the database using
Nature of goods
Loading cargo into flight
The cargos after booking are discriminated according to their destination and place origin. These are then shown in with other cargos with similar destination and origin pair of places. The system then gives out an option of printing label to put on the cargos for its further transportation into flights and the final destination.
It is impossible for an unauthorized person to handle the cargo, as the data of cargo collecting staff and agent's information is stored onto the database.
Dynamic Route Modification
The system also has the convenience of changing the route of a cargo or cancelling the shipping of cargo using the networking of the system.
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The cargo reports are available to authorized personnel on real time basis which inludes:
Taxes and charges
Payment method and amount paid
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End-to-End Logistics Solution:
Provides all kinds of functionality of a cargo management system with display of all detailed information about the cargo.
Integrated product includes all aspects of cargo management i.e. revenue accounting, back-office accounting, cargo movement information and etc.
Interface with support to exchange information with other kinds of systems for data exchange with existing and new systems
Is Future Proof:
The system has been developed with CGI's requirement and other requirements of the growing airlines and its cargo industry.
Introduces Operational Excellence:
Tools for improving warehouse management and cargo management process. The system focuses on reliability of service and optimization of revenue.
Developed with Cutting Edge Technology:
System developed with high security modules and other data security issues for airlines. System is Flexible and has client dependent architecture to ensure airlines not getting fixed with one specific kind of technology.
Enhanced Distribution Model:
icargo Supports to read and scan data from PDA/scanner to assist in digital entry of data.
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Sales Management: This module manages the sales and booking part of the cargo operation
Cargo and Mail Revenue Accounting: This module manages the accounts and finance part of the cargo operations .
Customer Management: The management of customers FAQs and other enquires.
Airline - C.O.R.E - Cargo Operations and Revenue Management Engine:
The heart of the system which processes all booking and cargo operations.
Handling - Cargo Terminal Operations System: The terminal operations of the system i.e. the transportation of cargo from flight changing and other terminal operations.
ULD Management System: The management of the ULD into the flight and its tracking and movement in and out of the flight.
Freighter Cost and Profitability Management: The efficient use of operations of cargo to increase revenues and other resources.
Mail and Courier Handling: The ground handling of the cargo from unloading from airlines to the distributing agent or final destination.
Claims Management: The module will manage all feedback of customers and complaints and specially claims of cargo not received to track the lost cargo and other operations.
Revenue Management and Optimization: Optimization of resources to best use and to increase revenue thus yielding more profits through savings in operations.
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Thus ISM is plays one of the most important role in the cargo industry and icargo solution suite completes this need very much efficiently for the airline cargo industry.
"Icargo" and other information system management are very much necessary in today's operation of the airline cargo industry without which it would be nearly impossible to deliver goods as efficiently as it is being done today.
icargo system has been developed with the best collaboration and the developing company IBS
Technologies has already won the award of "IT systems provider of the year" for the air cargo industry.
Figure 1: Airway bill in the system
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Figure 2: panel of cargo package input system.
Figure 3: Label to be put on cargo package