Airports seek info connectivity with ocean cargo for sea-air visibility

Source: The Loadstar
Date: 20th September 2022

As a growing number of airports take a more active role in the cargo business on their patch, some are looking to extend data connectivity to nearby ports.

Several North American airports are in the process of establishing cargo community systems (CCSs) to develop more efficient data flow between operators and customers.

Among those that recently signed up, or started proof-of-concept trials, are Vancouver, Rockford, Boston and Philadelphia.

Typically, the ability to manage truck flows and avoid congestion has been the biggest incentive for airports to embrace the CCS concept, but now airports are looking to deploy a much broader array of features and functionality in their CCSs, which provides CCS platforms to cargo communities.

Several airports located near ocean cargo gateways have even expressed interest in CCS functionality beyond their core business.

They are not just looking at air cargo. They are exploring sea-air corridors.

The sea-air concept has waxed and waned over the years. With supply chains in flux, the shippers and forwarders have looked at it as another tool to find viable routings. In addition, the congestion and disruption that have afflicted maritime supply chains since Covid arrived have amplified the need for improved visibility of both ocean and air cargo, as beneficial cargo owners and their logistics providers looked to extricate freight from congested ports and shift it to air transport.

This has been challenging. There is a desire and a need for multimodal visibility. It is a poorly serviced market today.

The supply chain challenges of the past two years have highlighted the lack of visibility cargo owners has in locating their products. The impact of offering visibility across multiple modes of freight elevates business and supply chain performance in the fulfillment of consumer needs.

Visibility is great, but forwarders need to communicate that effectively to their customers and take action in the event of a change. Visibility should drive actions. The proliferation of CCSs can be a vital catalyst in this process. If shipments and the corresponding data move between airports or seaports that have CCS platforms, digital corridors can be established where data in the ecosystem at origin can flow straight to the platform at the receiving end and all parties linked to it. Improved tracking capabilities play a crucial role in this. Tracking is very important; that’s the first phase of a digital corridor.

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