ACE: Digitisation still too slow but change is coming


Digitisation was on everyone’s lips at air cargo europe in Munich from 9-12 May and it was the theme at the first conference session.

Lufthansa Cargo executive board member for products and sales, Dr. Alexis von Hoensbroech (pictured above), hailed the positive impact the digital world can have on air cargo.

He was the keynote speaker at the conference session ‘The age of the digital and the connected – the end of traditional LSPs (logistic service providers)?’

During a one-to-one interview with moderator Bernd Maresch (pictured right), von Hoensbroech said the rate at which digitisation is happening is still too slow.

“The industry is on the edge of a very dramatic change and this change is clearly slow, but this industry has developed much faster than two years ago,” von Hoensbroech explained.

He added: “We have different players in this industry, which makes it very, very slow to develop.”

Von Hoensbroech said technology can speed up the whole supply chain process and will “massively” improve quality and it is “very likely that digitisation will change the industry”.

He said when it comes to technology you have to be a “driver” and you have to digitise your own business and processes first, which is what Lufthansa Cargo is itself doing.

“We have to talk about having an entirely transparent supply chain and we must have data consistency, ” noted von Hoensbroech.

“What the industry needs is a consistent system like a cloud or a block chain which gives consistent data and the sharing of information.

“We have to find a way to get a cloud up and running. There is no obligation for innovation, but there is for survival,” von Hoensbroech said.

But the performance of the air cargo supply chain is still too slow in general in the view of von Hoensbroech: “40 years ago it took six days to move cargo, but today it is still six days and it is still very slow, especially as cargo is only in the air for an average of 12 hours and 10 out of 100 shipments go wrong, which is still a very poor performance.”