If one thing is clear coming back from the 2023 World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Istanbul – it’s that the industry is ripe for change. So many conversations and compelling sessions focused on the rapid pace of transformation we’ve all been experiencing, and our teams loved hearing about the strategies and plans being executed worldwide in support of ensuring cargo keeps pace.
If you missed it, here’s a look at 4 major trends shaping the industry:
- Digitalization. With an entire track dedicated to digitalization at WCS, it’s not a surprise that it tops our list of trends. From improving communication and collaboration between stakeholders, enhancing visibility, and providing better insights into shipment data, initiatives, and standards such as One Record are driving the industry toward a digital ecosystem. End-to-end digitization in air cargo will enable faster, more efficient processing and improved customer service.
- Automation. Key to driving efficiency and digitalization in the industry is automation. Automation has an important role to play—both operationally and on the front-end. On the back end, technologies such as robotics and fully integrated warehouse management systems are helping to reduce labor-intensive tasks. Automation is also supporting front-end capabilities by speeding up sales processes and increasing accuracy—further supporting an improved customer experience and allowing employees to focus more on value-added activities.
- Data. From data aggregation to data standards and blockchain, data was never far from discussions at WCS. As with any industry, the ability to properly build a digital ecosystem and focus on digitalization, relies on data…the ability to properly store, analyze, aggregate, and use it. While the industry is data rich, it’s also insight poor. A focus on data across the board is needed so that companies can make data-driven decisions. Data will also power the future usage of AI in the industry, as we heard LATAM Cargo CEO Andres Bianchi note, “if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.”
- Dynamic pricing. It’s no surprise that working at a company known for real-time dynamic pricing, many of our conversations revolved around pricing. As the industry focuses on the trends laid out above—digitization, automation, and data—companies are looking to embrace data and AI to dynamically price based on customer, market, and capacity conditions. This allows cargo carriers to be more agile and react quickly to market changes, and customer needs and expectations, optimizing revenue, reducing wasted space, and improving their bottom line.
Digitalization, automation, data and dynamic pricing are essential drivers of change for the cargo industry. By embracing these trends, companies can improve their operations, reduce costs, and improve their competitiveness. The key is to stay ahead of the curve and embrace innovation to remain relevant in this rapidly changing industry.
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