So, what is this cloud business all about and why did DFW adopt it? Glad you asked. The airport’s air cargo community system we call, the DFW Cargo Cloud, enables optimal communication, transparency and sharing of data across all players of the supply chain on each of their respective transactions. In a highly fragmented supply chain, we can achieve seamless transactions between freight forwarders, shippers, ground handling agents, 3PLs, airlines, Customs and Border Protection, and trucking companies like never before. The first app DFW implemented that sits on the Nallian platform was the truck slot booking solution. The truck slot management tool allows cargo handlers to make capacity available for slot reservation, which freight forwarders and trucking companies book accordingly. This helps the cargo handlers maximize dock door capacity, flatten peaks, and plan staff according to actual activity, while trucking companies and freight forwarders eliminate wait times and the associated overtime for their drivers. Shorter wait times for truckers also reduces roadway congestion and harmful emissions. DFW Airport’s leader in implementing this solution Bill Nesbitt, adds that “at scale, we think it’s going to really speed up the flow of cargo across the airport, as well as have environmental and asset utilization benefits”. Another member of the DFW Cargo team working alongside Bill in rolling out the truck slot booking solution is Karen Herberger, and together they have on-boarded four ground handlers representing 14 airlines, 9 forwarding companies, and 12 trucking companies. These seven trucking companies provide pick-up and delivery services for 80% of our forwarding community.
So, what’s next? This summer the next application, Digital Desk, will make an appearance at a ground handler near you. Digital Desk allows truck drivers to check-in for their slot booking at a kiosk near the front counter, log their arrival & departure times, and book slots if they don’t already have one. After Digital Desk, we will be working to set up digital connections to the cloud that will facilitate data-sharing between the different parties to a transaction. The data-sharing technology will allow truckers & forwarders to see payment status, customs status, & breakdown availability, as well as increase visibility between truckers & forwarders for slots.