Lufthansa Cargo AG trusts in NIC-place for their air cargo road transports
On the platform NIC-place, the European market leader can check the air cargo transportation of 21 road partners. This solution sets a new benchmark for determining the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).
Road Feeder Services (RFS) have become essential for every air freight company. Every year the European market leader Lufthansa Cargo AG (LCAG) handles over 600.000 tonnes of air freight at flying altitude zero.
BY STEFAN BOTTLER- Stefan Bottler is a specialist journalist based in Munich.
Source: Trucks, Trailer & Telematik, No. 6 / November 2018, p. 30, DVZ
Road Feeder Services (RFS) have become essential for every air freight company. Every year the European market leader Lufthansa Cargo AG (LCAG) handles over 600.000 tonnes of air freight at flying altitude zero. 21 ‘road partners’, including Aircargo Transport, Georg Reischl, Georgi Transporte, Jan de Rijk and Transdanubia, travel on 91,000 scheduled trips to 115 European airports. Each trip is integrated into the flight schedules. LCAG must rely on the punctual arrival of the trucks at the airport. Since road traffic can be delayed by construction works, traffic jams, accidents and other unforeseen events, air cargo travel needs a reliable tool for determining the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). In the future this will be provided by the NIC-place platform. In a Europe-wide tender process in autumn 2017, the product from Kempten software developer kasasi GmbH was selected. Now the rollout has begun. Since early October, the first partners have been communicating with LCAG on NIC-place. “We want to complete the changeover in the first quarter of 2019,” announces Markus Fischer, Head of RFS Management at LCAG. During the coming year the subsidiary company also wants to connect non-European providers. The company sees great demand primarily in the traditionally strong USA market. About 1400 customers currently use NIC-place. Apart from prominent logistics service providers such as Esser, TNT and Medtrasol, shippers such as one leading discounter have joined the platform. NIC-place has proven itself to be an open and manufacturer-neutral solution especially for the time-critical transportation of foods and in the pharmaceuticals market, which is often temperature-dependent.
The platform has over 100 interfaces with ‘maximum data depth’ (kasasi CEO Markus Lechner). Data from all the common telematics systems can be visualized and evaluated on it. The solution also offers impressive flexibility for vehicles and transport carriers. Containers, trailers, wagons and other units can also be integrated, irrespective of whether they are transported by rail, sea or air. “We adapt the applications to the individual needs of our customers,” says Lechner. The new platform, which replaced the nine year old NIC-Base in January 2018, integrates several other functionalities. kasasi’s 30-odd software specialists developed the predecessor, which only depicted telematics data, into an all-rounder under the new brand name. Users can now manage and monitor trips and share their data with third parties. An ETA calculator uses current traffic data, remaining distances and driving times to determine the expected arrival time. With escalation management, the user can define measures if the vehicles diverges from the route or other unplanned events occur. “Every road partner works with their own telematics and transport management systems,” says Fischer. With NIC-place they release their data for LCAG. In the future Lufthansa Cargo will use the platform to monitor all RFS routes and determine changes to the ETA with permanent live-tracking.
An update will be implemented within the coming 5 months. If delays are foreseeable, LCGAG can organize transhipment or other measures. Transportation data can be viewed too. “The LCAG partner only releases data for the current route,” explains Lechner. If they then transport for another client, the Lufthansa subsidiary cannot access this route. The solution takes account of the requirements of data protection and data security, which have become tighter under the General Data Protection Regulation. Only company-specific data is present, therefore the Road Partner must activate every LCAG route in their scheduling tool separately for NIC-place. The data released is stored in a backup computer center and is available for subsequent analyses.