No business can afford to neglect technology, especially when it comes to integrated cargo management systems, Hermes Logistics Technologies chief executive officer, Yuval Baruch (pictured) says.
He explains everything is digitised in today’s world, and automation and digitisation will continue to grow in numbers, evolve in functionality and further penetrate into the air cargo industry, while new standards need to be utilised and trends including the internet of things need to be embraced and big data needs to be used better.
As Baruch describes it: “Imagine an air cargo handling world where a ULD “knows” it’s a ULD, a location “knows” it’s a location, a door “knows” it’s a door and a truck “knows” it’s a truck; the opportunities are almost endless.”
He says growing competition within the air cargo handling industry means different cargo management system providers are being forced to focus on different aspects of technology, functionality and innovation.
Baruch explains Hermes focuses on translating the latest technologies into best practices and looks at how air cargo operations benefit in the real world.
He says: “We believe that new functionality does not necessarily need to be reliant completely on a tangible technology; it can also simply be a tool that allows a good idea to be implemented quickly and safely.”
Baruch does not think the industry is necessarily resistance to change, but cargo handlers can be very traditional and slow to adopt changes.
He believes tight operating margins make investments a challenge and a major decision, with costs the main reason to resist embracing technology.
He says: “We are starting to see the benefits of new technology as the costs come down and increasing pharma requirements are also driving change. Hermes strongly believes that the acquisition of a quality, process-driven, best practice integrated CMS is the most important investment that a cargo handler can make.”
Hermes has been busy upgrading customers, with a major implementation of Hermes Hub Management System at LuxairCargo in Luxembourg, Hermes Cargo Management System at ALS Cargo Terminal in Vietnam, and upgrades for other companies including dnata, ICCS and Etihad.
Baruch says: “Hermes is in the final weeks of releasing its next generation Hermes System. This release is according to the Hermes roadmap and will include technical and functional innovation.”
Costs are very important to handling agents as there needs to be an obvious return on investment but sometimes it is not visible.
Baruch believes discussing the core operational business and not the technology itself is the way to go, and Hermes prides itself on talking the same ‘language’ as its customers, by explaining complex ideas in a way a warehouse employee or forklift operator understands.
He says: “This approach often results in a “change from within” atmosphere where end users internally demand upgrades and enhancements that technology can deliver.”
New technology and sophisticated devices are also becoming much cheaper, Baruch comments: “Good, innovative process design that harnesses the availability of smart objects that can communicate with the system and the resources using it present some great opportunities.”