The international transport of air cargo often partly takes place by road. Speed is essential for air transport and therefore optimal coordination of information between airlines, trucking companies and cargo handling agents is necessary to allow the road transport of air cargo to be undertaken as efficiently as possible.
What is the Trucking CDM platform
CDM stands for “Collaborative Decision Making” and combines flight information from the airlines, trucking companies and handling agents to optimally coordinate the road transport of air cargo between these parties. By making truck movements (more) predictable, cargo handling agents and trucking companies are both better able to coordinate truck movements with available loading-and unloading capacity thus enabling waiting times to be minimised.
Predictability of Truck movements for Handling agents
In order to be able to reduce drivers’ waiting times to a minimum, cargo handling agents need reliable information from the trucking companies regarding truck movement(s) and their anticipated arrival times. In the CDM platform all truck movements are visible to the handling agents and expected arrival times are continually updated. It is important for the trucking companies to know on a timely basis if deviations from planned loading/unloading times are to be expected. Handling agents can use the expected arrival time information provided by the trucking companies to confirm slot reservations and, via the platform, handling agents are advised if delays have arisen. Should this be the case trucking companies can decide if drivers should first pick up other loads in order to utilise their permitted driving time as efficiently as possible and also avoid waiting.
Airlines full visibility on truck movements
Airlines also have the possibility of following the entire transport process in real time. The loading time, departure time, any eventual damage identified during loading or unloading as well as the location of trucks in combination with expected arrival times can, via an account, be fully transparent. In this way airlines can keep their customers accurately informed and timely anticipate any deviations to the transport process.
Optimal control of transport and lower bank guarantees
Even after loading, with the CDM platform the handling agent can continue to follow the transport in real time. Normally the handling agent loses control of the transport process after goods have been loaded even though, in nearly all cases, the customs documents are made up in the name of, and are for the account of, the handling agent. The handling agent might, after a while, receive a notification from Customs indicating that the transport was incorrectly completed, whereas, within the CDM platform the handling agent receives an active notification if the goods are not delivered to their destination by the anticipated arrival time. The handling agent can therefore take direct action to prevent financial consequences. The platform makes active monitoring possible and therefore provides optimal control over the transport process which in turn allows bank guarantees to be reduced to a minimum.
Communication between parties at all involved airports
Predictability and transparency of trucking movements is necessary for all the involved parties at the various airports in order that the road transport of air cargo to its loading and unloading destinations runs as efficiently as possible. The trucking CDM platform provides this communication channel so that maximum efficiency can be achieved throughout the chain. In this way from the moment of loading to that of unloading the transport of air cargo goods between parties at different international airports can be entirely predictable.
Managing door capacity and traffic on the forecourt
In recent years the problem of congestion on the forecourt has been frequently discussed along with the option of trucks not being allowed onto the handling agent’s site before registration and approval for loading or unloading has been confirmed. For international truck movements it is possible that communications such as “Cargo ready for loading, please report to door number 33” be received by drivers entirely via the Trucking CDM platform. In this way, as well as regulating access to the site, door allocation can also be advised therefore bypassing the office “link”.
Recording damage, load- and unloading times
The handling agent can use the platform to easily record start and finish times of loading and unloading. In the case of damage related photographs and documents can be attached to the orders so that everything is digitally in one place and quickly accessible. This available data allows management information to be generated simply and analysed in order to further optimise transit time between the relevant parties.
Trucking APP, WebAPI and e-CMR
Experience gained during the pilots has led to requests and new insights being incorporated into the further development of the platform. In the first quarter of 2019 the mobile Trucking CDM app was delivered and development of a webAPI has commenced that would allow data to be shared between parties either from their own system into the platform or from the platform into their own system. A link to transfollow is also being studied in order that, by means of e-CMR standard, relevant stakeholders may profit from a maximum digital solution.
Participating in Trucking CDM
In order for the development of the Trucking CDM platform to be optimally aligned to the specific, individual requirements of the airlines, handling agents and trucking companies, the platform’s developers are keen to be in contact with all parties interested in participating. Airports interested in optimising their logistical infrastructure are also invited to discuss this.
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