Abu Dhabi, UAE – Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics branch of Etihad Airways, is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize airfreight operations and amplify flight cargo capacity. This progressive move forms part of Etihad Cargo’s ongoing digitization journey, intending to elevate cargo volumes by maximizing each flight’s cargo capacity.
Last year, Etihad Cargo inked a ground-breaking proof-of-concept agreement with leading logistics technology provider, Speedcargo Technologies. The partnership made Etihad Cargo one of the pioneering global carriers to utilize the Singapore-based firm’s AI products to optimize flight cargo capacity. Following triumphant trials, Etihad Cargo is now deploying three AI-driven tools from Speedcargo — Amplifi, Cargo Eye, and Assemble — to streamline, digitize, and standardize cargo operations across its network, enhancing service quality for its clients and partners.
Amplifi, one of the deployed solutions, enables Etihad Cargo to optimize the cargo load on every flight. The technology dynamically computes the free and usable capacity considering the booked cargo, aircraft type, and cargo offer. By adopting the system’s load plans, Etihad Cargo can now maximize cargo load and minimize overbookings.
Cargo Eye, another tool, captures cargo dimensions and volume data, digitalizing cargo at the point of entry at Etihad Cargo’s ground handling stations. The system, built on Microsoft’s IOT Edge solutions and Speedcargo’s proprietary algorithms, enables real-time cargo data sharing, streamlining load planning, build-up planning, and forward operations.
Assemble, the third AI tool, facilitates digital planning and assembly of Unit Load Devices (ULDs) using Amplifi-generated load plans across Etihad Cargo’s ground handling stations. The user-friendly Amplifi offers ground handling partners comprehensive instructions for safely and optimally built ULDs.
Reflecting on the advancements, Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo, stated, “Etihad Cargo has been on a digital transformation journey since 2018, continually exploring and implementing new technologies to refine our customer service offerings. Speedcargo’s AI tools have proven the potential to enhance cargo capacity utilization across our fleet and standardize cargo handling processes, thereby improving cargo handling quality and consistency within our network.”
Etihad Cargo’s integration of these AI solutions is establishing a data-rich network that bridges airline operations and ground handling for improved planning and decision-making. The ability to create digital audit trails for cargo receipt and handling is set to benefit Etihad Cargo’s clients by offering a smoother end-to-end experience and enhancing productivity for planners and ground handling partners.
The AI-driven cargo handling solutions were first trialed in Singapore, where they have since been deployed and are currently in use by Etihad Cargo’s ground handling partners. A pilot program for these solutions is also underway in Frankfurt. Etihad Cargo is actively working with partners across its global network to extend this cargo-maximizing technology to more locations in the coming months.