Clearance procedures, documentation procedures, restrictions, IATA rules and regulations for cargo, country-specific policies and less preparation time are just a few of the challenges faced by the air cargo industry and air freight handling businesses face. In the air cargo transportation industry, it’s essential to get goods to their final recipient as soon as safely possible since consumers have become more demanding, these are not challenges to overcome as smoothly and as swiftly as you can.

Loading solutions come in immensely handy when it comes to supporting operators in the air cargo industry. They can take care of the heavy manual work and allow the operators to load trailers and other vehicles more quickly, relieving some of the pressure when they’ve managed to navigate the obstacles stated above before getting their goods out to manufacturers, retailers and other customers. This post looks at how automated loading can benefit air cargo logistics operators.

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why the air cargo industry needs automation

Automation has become crucial in the world of air cargo because the industry faces more and more pressure to automate processes. Three main sources are behind this:

  • digital forwarding specialists providing services for only one or two sources of the value chain;
  • digital forwarders providing a range of services almost as wide as traditional forwarding companies and,
  • because of lower costs, offering a better experience for customers;

digital forwarders building their digital channels and improving them to serve customers

Safer loading

Operators in the air cargo industry could seriously benefit from automated loading solutions. A lack of experienced staff in the industry makes loading challenging and also more dangerous than it could be. Items like car engines are heavy, bulky and cumbersome to lift, and inexperienced workers may not know how best to tackle loading them.

Automated loading addresses these challenges by taking care of the heavy lifting and removing the need for forklift trucks to load the cargo into a trailer or vehicle. Additionally, removing the use of forklifts through automation also improves air cargo sustainability and reduces air freight's environmental impact by cutting Co2 emissions.

Quicker loading that preserves items intact

Naturally, these systems also make air cargo loading much more efficient and reduce loading times dramatically. Not only can logistics teams load (or unload) more quickly, but they can also do so without causing any damage to the goods during the process. The air cargo is much more likely to reach its destination intact and close to its original condition, if not entirely in its original condition.

types of loading solutions

When it comes to loading solutions, we have two major solutions that can help you with your air cargo:

Flatbed Trailer With PCR System At Tarmac

Powered cargo roller

The powered cargo roller is our very own automated system designed especially for loading and unloading cargo. The system combines rise-and-fall roller tracks and electric-operated drive rollers that enable it to handle heavy, oversized air cargo with ease. It can handle flat-bottomed unit load device (ULD) containers and transportation pallets up to 20,000 kilos and not inflict any damage on the goods. Aero engines are one type of cargo with which it deals comfortably.

This automatic loading solution is simple to use, reliable and robust. You don’t need to worry about side loading either because the system allows you to load vehicles from the rear. This removes the need for forklift trucks to assist in the loading.

IMG 6230

The modular rollerbed

Modular rollerbeds are flexible solutions that you can lay on the top of the floors of vans, trailers, warehouses and factories, thanks to the modular nature of the system. You can load up to 30,000 tonnes without the use of forklifts, speed up loading and unloading, and streamline offloading.

We’ve designed our modular rollerbeds, especially for use at airports across the world. They’re ideal for loading air cargo, ULDs and regular pallets. They’re straightforward to use and install, and, most importantly of all, they make loading and unloading safer. They’re also easy to store. You can just roll them out and then roll them in whenever you need them.

Which loading solution should you choose?

Choosing air cargo loading equipment costs time and money, so it’s important to make the right decision. You should consider how fast the loading process is. Will it be faster than your current process? If so, think about going ahead, but also contemplate the safety of the system. If an air cargo handling system somehow places any of your logistic teams at risk, it’s not the one for you.

Quality is another major factor, of course. Is it robust? Is it reliable? Can logistics workers operate it easily? Remember that efficiency is the goal. If the solution loads the cargo quickly but workers waste lots of time fathoming out how to operate it, the process becomes inefficient. Suitable training can pre-empt this.

Before investing in a loading solution, discuss maintenance with the company. What’s their aftercare service like? What kind of repairs or maintenance services do they offer? Note that good maintenance is essential to preserve the life and performance of your loading solution for longer.

implementing solutions in the air cargo loading industry

Take care to conduct regular maintenance on your loading solution so that it delivers its best for you longer. Bear in mind that the cost of maintenance is often preferable to the cost of replacing a piece of equipment. If you have to replace equipment unexpected, this can increase downtime, which, in turn, can hinder profitability as well as slow operations down.

Always be careful, too, whenever you’re loading cargo. Make sure you (or whoever is responsible for securing the cargo) have secured it properly. Once a vehicle transporting cargo is in transit, the cargo can shift and cause an imbalance.

If you’re loading the cargo onto a plane, be aware that it must be loaded in line with very specific weight balances to keep the plane in the air. Check the cargo to ensure the load sheet and the cargo itself corresponded with each other. The sheet should then go to the pilot so that they know everything they need to know about the cargo.

Even if there is no freight in the space, loadmasters should place all locks in the up position on the cargo planes. This prevents cargo from sliding around through empty positions.

Implementing a specialised loading solution for air cargo makes the process safer, easier and faster. If you’d like to find out more about our solutions, give us a call or send us an email, using the details on our Let’s Chat contact page, and we’ll be happy to discuss your project with you further.

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