Future of air cargo lies in automation

Sanjay Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, AISATS, discusses adopting sustainable initiatives and technology as the survival kit in order to move ahead for growth during the ongoing pandemic, and today, the ground handling firm is fully geared up to meet the futuristic demand.

Ritika Arora Bhola

Now that the cargo and pax operations are back to normal, how is AISATS gearing up to achieve 100 per cent capacity utilization?

AISATS has been investing in processes and technology to ensure that the increase in demand is handled without challenges. With proactive recruitment initiatives, our workforce is getting augmented on a continuous basis, and training processes are revamped to ensure that well-trained resources
are readily available to handle the futuristic demand.

Please share with us digital and physical infra for efficient storage, handling, and transportation of cargo, especially cold chain products, pharma, high-end equipment, and bulk cargo?

AISATS has a handling capacity of 250,000 MT per annum at its air cargo terminals at BLR Airport, out of which 40,000 MT is dedicated to cold chain products, including perishables and pharmaceuticals. The physical infrastructure comprises advanced material handling systems such as automated storage and retrieval systems, elevated transfer vehicle systems, and very narrow aisle high rise racking systems at its air freight terminal, while 17 dedicated cold rooms with temperatures ranging from –25°C to +15°C are available to handle different types of cold chain products at our Coolport facility.

Sustainability and digitization have become the buzzwords in the air cargo sector. Kindly share the initiatives taken in this regard?

AISATS believes in sustainable development and we have introduced many sustainable initiatives at our cargo terminals in the last few years, which include rainwater harvesting system, usage of treated water for landscaping and washrooms, optimization of HVAC and lighting for reduction in energy consumption, usage of nylon nets in place of disposable plastic shrink wraps to cover cargo skids, reuse of wooden crates, waste disposal through approved vendors for recycling, and usage of all electric equipment at our Coolport facility.

AISATS has introduced the Ground Radar powered by AI and IoT, resulting in a productivity increase and operational efficiency in ground handling operations. We also rolled out ‘COSYS+’ a new generation cloud-based cargo management system at the ACTs with features such as a digital workflow engine, the latest messaging platform, and end-to-end track and trace capability. Furthermore, we are in the process of implementing ‘Pharma Tag’ at our Coolport facility to provide end-to-end temperature tracking using IoT Beacon technology.