Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

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SkyCargo Innovation

How can we use data to improve cargo services?

Emirates SkyCargo is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world with a fleet of 250 aircrafts and 15 dedicated freighters. As a partner of Emirates, Dnata is one of the world’s leading cargo service operators, providing ground handling services across three continents and handling over 2.3 million tons of cargo annually.

To deliver shipments for businesses and customers worldwide, Emirates and Dnata depend on a cargo logistics chain, a chain that relies on external partners and authorities to ensure the delivery of shipments. The chain currently is unable to analyze data about the status and details of its shipments, making it challenging to identify the systemic sources of delays and errors in their cargo operations.

Cargo Logistic Chain

A typical cargo logistics chain depends on external partners and does not have a way to analyze data about its operations.

The Solution

The student team recommends using data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to digitize and improve Emirates and Dnata's cargo services. By using IoT sensors like Passive RFID, Active RFID or BLE, the companies can track details about the cargo and record the time taken by each package at every stage of the process. 

By recording and analyzing this important data, Emirates and Dnata can exponentially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its cargo logistics chain. For example, if the companies notice that the package is taking a long time in data warehouse than the transit, they will be able to identify this inefficiency and work to solve the problem.

Cargo Venn

By combining internet-enabled sensors and RFID technology, Emirates and Dnata can use data to innovate their cargo operations.

By using technology, the companies can limit the amount of manual interactions between Freight Forwarders, Customs, and Regulatory authorities. Additionally, their customers will have more transparent and immediate information about the status of their shipments. In the long run, Emirates would be able to simplify and disintermediate the value chain and build direct relationships with customers, while Dnata could extend its business mdoel to service cargo beyond air travel.