Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Mercator app aims to transform warehousing operations

Steve Rogerson
March 28, 2017



Mercator, a provider of technology to the travel and transportation industry, has launched an intelligent cargo ecosystem, an open API platform for air cargo management and ground handling. As part of this launch, the Dubai-based company has introduced the Warehouse App to help air cargo carriers connect goods, people, data and processes to transform warehousing operations.
 
The Warehouse App is the first of a series of applications that will be rolled out as part of the intelligent cargo ecosystem. The ecosystem is the next step in the evolution of its air cargo product portfolio and encompasses a number of air cargo management applications for offer and order management, logistics, warehousing, regulatory compliance, quality management, revenue management, and analytics.
 
The open architecture platform enables air cargo carriers to break away from the constraints of legacy systems by letting handlers and operators make process changes within the system quickly and achieve flexibility. The app-based approach, inherent to the ecosystem, enables carriers and ground handlers not only to improve the efficiency of their operations, but also to introduce extra services.
 
For example, air cargo carriers will be able to move small consumer packages and perishable goods more effectively by having full visibility into the movements of the shipments, and by optimising air cargo management processes to reduce delays and the risk of disruption.
 
“The role of technology is rapidly shifting from being a driver of efficiency to an enabler of fundamental innovation and disruption in air cargo management and ground handling,” said Brendan McKittrick, Mercator’s chief technology officer. “Mobile technology and open API platforms will revolutionise the industry, allowing carriers to get a real-time digital view of the entire air cargo supply chain. The technology can really transform the industry, providing much greater visibility, versatility and, above all, the ability to simplify complex and challenging processes.”
 
The Warehouse App is a blueprint of how this ecosystem works. Fully integrated with the intelligent cargo ecosystem, the app was developed after consultation with hundreds of air cargo warehouse agents around the world and through Mercator’s experience of handling more than 200,000 tons of cargo a day. This approach delivers full interoperability, enhanced security and an intuitive user experience, which are paramount for process orientated environments.
 
The app allows warehouse agents to capture all air cargo data through a single mobile interface and achieve visibility into every stage of the warehouse management process, from acceptance and relocation, through to breakdown, build-up, delivery and tracking billing data.
 
A smart search functionality lets the agent search and query shipments, display SHC codes and labels, view shipment itineraries, and retrieve loading details. After the cargo is scanned, agents can track an entire shipment or a specific item within a shipment, enabling them to improve efficiency and deliver an enhanced customer experience.
 
Finnair Cargo has been one of the first carriers to test and deploy the app as part of its efforts to transform its air cargo and ground handling operations. Janne Tarvainen, vice president of Finnair Cargo, said: “We are very pleased to have Mercator as a partner in this significant project. The Warehouse App will be an important tool for years to come. The new mobile and digital system, alongside our investment in a new cargo terminal, will revolutionise Finnair’s cargo system for customers and partners.”