“Today 85% of India’s Air Cargo runs on Kale’s Systems”

Kale’s solutions provide state-of-the-art technology for modernisation and streamlining of air cargo operations that could be an answer to the challenges faced by the airports. Kale’s community and enterprise solutions cater to a wide network of Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) who have strengthened and improved their operational and business capabilities. Therefore, it is serving over 100 Air Cargo Stations across the world. Amar More talked in detail about this in an exclusive interview with Apace Digital Cargo. 

How has been the changing scenario of the air cargo industry in terms of digitalisation? How do you see the contribution of Kale Logistics towards the industry? 

The air cargo industry has embarked on the journey of digitalisation, but digitalisation is not the destination, it’s an ongoing journey. The testing times of the pandemic have brought a spotlight to Air Cargo despite the global lockdown. A global pandemic has also highlighted the urgent need for Air Cargo to accelerate its digital and sustainable transformation, and the industry is responding well. 

We have seen the rate of tech adoption during and after the pandemic is what would have been after five years. The pandemic has led the Logistics community to change the way data is getting, managed and exchanged. For years, the systems relied on the legacy process and were predominantly paper-based. Asides, the Logistics community has realised the potential of technology and the endless opportunity it can deliver in terms of efficiency, sustainability and absolute ease of doing business.

Kale Logistics Solutions is a pioneer in offering cutting-edge, state-of-the-art community and enterprise solutions. We map these solutions to the entire Logistics ecosystem. We are an innovative organisation that is built on the platform of deep industry knowledge and technical expertise. To date, Kale serves as the harbinger of many pioneering technology-driven solutions that have changed the face of the Logistics industry worldwide. Our innovative offerings have garnered us the pride of being cited in publications of KPMG as one of the top 10 innovations in the Indian Logistics Industry. We were also featured as a case study in the book written by professors at Kellogg Business School; for our innovations in the Logistics industry.

Kale’s community and enterprise solutions cater to a wide network of Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) who have strengthened and improved their operational and business capabilities. Most notably, we have been the recipient of United Nations awards on several occasions. We take pride in the fact that today 85% of India’s Air Cargo runs on Kale’s Systems. We are serving over 100 Air Cargo Stations across the world. 

Few months back, Kale signed an agreement for its 100th airport for digital transformation. Is it right to consider this as a benchmark? What is the further strategy? 

This is only the beginning, we have a bigger mission to activate the global air cargo industry by digitising global trade. We strive hard not only to stay relevant but try to create a digital future for the industry. We are working on expanding the reach and depth of our community platform by providing value-added features to the community like complete enterprise applications for Customs broking as well as Freight Forwarding rolled out through our CCS platforms. 

We are also working on creating the world’s largest digital Logistics cloud for the international supply chain by creating a global network of Airports and Ports connected digitally through our Digital Corridors. We believe that the future is multimodal, so we are working on creating Sea-Air corridors to facilitate intermodal cargo movement. Our large communities will get integrated with our Logistics e-Marketplaces, which are under development. We continue to expand our operations across the globe. We are also working on implementing the deep tech use cases of IoT, Blockchain, AI, and ML in our community platforms.

Digitalisation is the buzzword. How do you see the competitive scenario? What are the opportunities and challenges? 

One can call the Air Cargo business a ‘bright spot’ for the aviation industry, whose fortunes multiplied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has brought all the stakeholders like government, Airports, Airlines, Cargo terminal operators, Freight Forwarders or truckers, exporters, and importers on the same plane, and all of them have successfully collaborated to keep the industry moving during the pandemic. Digitalization has reshaped competitive dynamics in the Logistics sector, created new markets and transformed existing ones. It’s good to have healthy competition as the market stays innovative and tackles unfair and predatory practices. Digital evolution is again a collaborative path to which every industry player contributes. It cannot be a few players running the show. 

A truly digital trade facilitation platform is a composite of just not Cargo Community Systems, which are the core but a confluence of smart apps, internal enterprise ERPs/CRMs, government Single Windows, Data points, Digital Markets, etc. there needs to be an ecosystem of providers for all these for digitalization to thrive and gain more grounds.

Unlike other industries, the Logistics industry has varying degrees of IT maturity among its stakeholders. Large players have sophisticated IT solutions to manage their end-to-end operations, but the SMEs would still be on excel based data or worse, maintain physical files. Though they are disparate in operations, what links them is the common data and the same Cargo they handle at various times during the shipment journey. With different contours of IT systems, what suffers is the movement of Cargo across the supply chain. There is data discrepancy, time-consuming operations, and a lack of trade visibility and transparency. Therefore, making the entire supply chain inefficient and non-conforming.

Making the Logistics fraternity aware of the goodness of digitization is the most critical part. In several regions, they are still reluctant due to numerous reasons. Stakeholders believe that digitization will bring extra costs, and they need to set up a separate infrastructure for the same. However, few understand that the tech solutions do not require separate infrastructure costs.

ACAAI 46th Convention is all set to take place in Bangkok from 24th to 27th Nov, after a gap of 2 years due to pandemic situation; what is your anticipation for the convention as post pandemic scenario and resilience of the industry will be key topics of the discussions at the convention? 

Yes, the industry would reconvene after two years, so we expect a huge turnout. There is no denying the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of the Air Cargo business, the entire outlook of the industry has altered. Data, Technology, and Security have taken the centre stage. As the theme of the ACAAI convention is – ‘Resilient Air Cargo Industry – Post Pandemic’, I am hoping the community will eagerly discuss sustainable transformation, technology-led growth, Digital acceleration for cost optimization and pandemic-proof global supply chains.