Air cargo plays a fundamental role in the processes and logistics of global trade and transportation. According to IATA, a 1% increase in air cargo connectivity can generate over 6% increase in exports and imports.
It offers speed, accessibility, and efficiency for high-value, time-sensitive, and perishable goods. Air cargo's contribution to global connectivity, supply chain flexibility, and economic development makes it an essential component of the modern global trade system.
Essential Aspects of Air Cargo Tracking
1. Speed and Efficiency
Air cargo is the fastest mode of transportation for goods over long distances.
As a result, it enables rapid delivery of time-sensitive and high-value shipments, reducing transit times and ensuring prompt delivery.
This speed and efficiency are particularly important for perishable goods, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and other time-critical products.
2. Global Connectivity
The practice connects regions and countries worldwide, enabling trade across borders and facilitating the flow of goods between distant markets.
It provides direct access to destinations that are not easily accessible by other modes of transportation, contributing to the globalization of trade.
3. Accessibility to Remote Areas
Air cargo enables access to remote or landlocked regions that may lack adequate infrastructure or have challenging geographical features.
It allows goods to be transported efficiently to such areas, supporting economic development and trade opportunities.
4. Supply Chain Flexibility
It allows for greater flexibility in supply chain management such as quicker response to changes in demand, unforeseen disruptions, or urgent orders.
Companies can adjust their inventory levels and respond to market dynamics more effectively, ensuring a smoother and more efficient supply chain process.
5. Global Just-in-Time Manufacturing
It plays a critical role in just-in-time manufacturing processes.
Components and raw materials can be shipped quickly to production facilities, reducing inventory costs and allowing manufacturers to respond swiftly to customer demands.
6. Integration with Other Modes of Transportation
It Integrates with other modes of transportation, such as trucking and ocean shipping, to create an end-to-end logistics solution.
7. Economic Impact
Supports economic growth and job creation.
It stimulates trade, facilitates foreign direct investment, and enhances business competitiveness.
Air cargo operations, including airports, logistics providers, and related industries, generate employment opportunities and contribute to the overall economy.
8. Emergency Response and Humanitarian Aid
It plays a vital role in emergency response and humanitarian aid efforts.
At the same time, it enables the rapid transportation of relief supplies, medical equipment, and humanitarian assistance to areas affected by natural disasters, conflicts, or humanitarian crises.
Benefits and Limitations of Air Cargo Tracking
Air cargo tracking, which involves monitoring and tracing shipments throughout their journey, offers several benefits and has certain limitations.
Benefits of Air Cargo Tracking
It provides real-time visibility into the location and status of shipments.
It allows shippers, consignees, and logistics providers to monitor their goods throughout the transportation process, ensuring transparency and reducing uncertainties.
Tracking systems enhance the security of cargo by allowing stakeholders to monitor the movement of goods and detect any unauthorized or suspicious activities. This helps prevent theft, loss, or tampering of shipments and increases overall supply chain security.
Enhanced Customer Service
The system enables better customer service and communication. Shippers and consignees can proactively manage their logistics operations, anticipate delays, and inform customers about the estimated arrival times. It helps build trust and improves customer satisfaction.
Efficient Supply Chain Management
Tracking information allows for better supply chain management. It enables companies to optimize inventory levels, plan production schedules, and coordinate with other stakeholders, such as customs authorities or freight forwarders. This improves overall operational efficiency.
Quick Response to Disruptions
With tracking systems in place, companies can promptly respond to disruptions or delays in the transportation process. They can identify bottlenecks, reroute shipments, and take necessary actions to mitigate risks and minimize the impact on their supply chain.
Compliance and Regulatory Requirements
Many industries have specific compliance and regulatory requirements related to shipment tracking. As a result, it helps businesses meet these obligations, such as providing proof of delivery, maintaining chain of custody, or adhering to industry-specific standards.
Air cargo tracking may face limitations in certain regions or remote areas where the necessary infrastructure or tracking technologies are not readily available.
This can result in reduced tracking capabilities or gaps in information.
Data Accuracy and Reliability
While tracking systems aim to provide accurate and reliable data, occasional errors or discrepancies can occur.
Factors like technical glitches, human error, or misinterpretation of data can impact the accuracy of tracking information.
Air Cargo Rate
Implementing and maintaining air cargo tracking systems can involve significant air cargo rate(s).
This includes the expenses related to tracking technologies, software integration, data management, and training personnel. Small or budget-constrained businesses may find it challenging to invest in comprehensive tracking solutions.
It involves collecting and sharing shipment data, which raises privacy concerns. Businesses need to ensure that the collection and use of tracking information comply with privacy regulations and protect sensitive customer or business data.
Dependency on Technology Concerning Air Cargo Track and Trace Dynamics
Air cargo track and trace processes are technology-intensive relying heavily on technologies such as tracking devices, sensors, communication networks, and data systems.
Any disruptions in these technological components of air cargo track and traces, such as power outages, network failures, or system malfunctions, can affect the accuracy and availability of tracking information.
However, large-scale cargo and transportation businesses have already set up several backup solutions in place to mitigate any possible risks by for instance re-routing to backup systems in case of power outages or network failures thereby ensuring uninterrupted track and trace services.
In sum, air cargo services allow for better decision-making, risk management, and improve overall efficiency in transportation and logistics processes.