Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. Today’s article is from Blume Global and highlights why air freight forwarders must help industry increase air cargo visibility.
Adversity forces innovation, especially for those resistant to change. With increasing competition from integrators, air cargo forwarders and other stakeholders have started to acknowledge they need to streamline and collaborate, fully embracing supply chain technology to survive in a rapidly changing world.
A driving factor is the lack of air cargo visibility. With the rapid growth in e-commerce, a growth only accelerated by the pandemic, retailers and manufacturers cite lack of supply chain visibility as one of their largest challenges today
Not unreasonably, they say they need a supply chain that offers advanced planning and that is highly agile and coordinated. They need greater access to data to show not only where shipments are throughout the entire journey in real-time, but also their safety and integrity. Without that, the companies are unable to react to problems when they occur or stop those problems from happening again in the future.
Progress to address this has been slow, hampered by trying to reach consensus among multiple stakeholders around the world. Airports, carriers, ground handlers, and logistics companies all have varying degrees of air cargo technology infrastructure. Some have none at all, while others are saddled with cumbersome legacy systems that are expensive to upgrade or replace.
The pandemic and the need to safely transport vaccines around the world have given things a push.
Pharmaceuticals are often extremely temperature-sensitive. The Pfizer vaccine, for example, needs to be transported frozen at -70°C (-94°F), which is colder than Antarctica. Whatever the drug, leave it in a ULD on the tarmac in the sun for too long, or have a refrigeration failure on the freighter mid-flight, and the shipment can be ruined, often with no one knowing until a patient’s treatment fails. As well as the potential loss of life, the financial cost can be considerable. The most expensive pharmaceutical is currently Zolgensma at $2.1 million per dose, but even more common drugs can routinely cost $1,000 a go.
To read the full article, click HERE.
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