At the Dallas World Cargo Symposium in March 2018, IATA emphasized e-commerce is a growth driver for the air cargo industry. Today, consumers expect very speedy delivery and will buy from retailers or individual shippers half way round the world as simply as from those in the next street. IATA not only suggested e-commerce could power cargo’s growth and leverage the huge number of flights its members operate, but also stressed the need for new systems and processes to meet the needs of e-commerce.
Post offices are the biggest e-commerce shippers, as well as one of the oldest clients that airlines handle. Mail has been moving by air for over a hundred years, but today’s post offices collaborate to set standards through the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
Within the group of GLS e-freight solutions, EzyPostTM enables airlines to meet the expectations of worldwide postal services, reduced costs, improve operational efficiency as well as service levels. This service utilises a one-stop integrated platform that links worldwide postal services and global mail airlines through comprehensive and innovative IT solutions. Through mail bag scanning and download functions, airlines can track and trace mail movements at every point, from the start to the finish of the delivery of consignment. EzyPostTM makes it easier for airlines offering mail services to receive online electronic airmail consignment information (CARDIT) from the world’s post offices. Similarly, the participating post offices receive real-time electronic airmail consignment status reports (RESDIT) 24/7 from the connected mail airlines. EzyPostTM is certified by and connected to over 50 post offices worldwide, including the USPS, the different post offices in the EU and the China post.
Processing air mail and parcels is different to air cargo which is what led GLS partnering with CHAMP to integrate EzyPostTM to the CHAMP new AirMail module for a more all-inclusive solution for the operations of air mails with the post offices for their Cargospot ailrines. As an integral part of Cargospot, it meets the UPU needs for shipping e-commerce: visibility, speed and collaboration delivered at low-cost.
A key advantage of the air mail module being part of Cargospot Airline is that it permits carriers to manage mail as part of their overall cargo capacity. The new functionality allows airlines to move towards the IATA Postal Air Waybill Number initiative. It also meets the unique needs of post offices by allowing the creation of post office allocations, the assignment of capacity particularly for mail, post-only and ad hoc contracts, along with UPU rating for non-contracted shipments. Rating works in accordance with UPU guidelines around postal class, rates and Cargospot let carriers collect other charges around the carriage of air mail.
The scope starts with the receipt of UPU CARDIT CN38 consignment-level messages sent by post offices. That triggers sorting of mail by flight based on destination, and goes on to manifesting, ramp transportation through loading on the aircraft and the reverse at destination. Interlines and multi-sector flights can be accommodated. Throughout the whole process, RESDIT update messages are sent to post offices to ensure timely updates and allow them to update their e-commerce clients.
Scanning is supported on Android, WinCE, and Win Mobile devices with iOS support expected in future. It lets users receive mail bags, load them onto flights, then break them from down from flights and deliver them. Carriers who use the new Cargospot mobility solution will generally as well be able to use their scanners for AirMail.
Reports include a raw data report which is downloadable to the airline system to support invoicing, a performance report and a consignment report (CN38/CN46/Manifest). As all the data can be included in CHAMP’s Data Lake, powerful management dashboards can be easily produced.
Accounting includes billing to post offices (CN51 and CN66); interline billing through Mail ICH and NON-ICH Export runs. The mail revenue recognition is supported through an earned revenue accounting run.
The implementation is extremely quick as the Cargospot components are already available for many clients. A standard EzyPostTM solution can be set up within 3 weeks before the cutover and obtaining the post office approval. Such integration and prompt set up soundly benefit carriers to grow their mail business and share in the future e-commerce.