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7 Min Read

Join the discussion: Conversational AI's role in air cargo efficiency

diciembre 14, 2023 / Sabari Ramnath

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Effective communication between freight forwarders and airlines is critical to ensure seamless operations in the air cargo industry.
  • Despite the benefits of modern digital booking platforms, challenges exist in aligning them with the specific needs of freight forwarders, leading to a preference for manual bookings.
  • Conversational AI presents a transformative solution, automating conversations to tailor interactions precisely to each freight forwarder's preferences. It blends human-like interactions with digital efficiency.
  • By adopting conversational AI, the air cargo industry can unlock its potential, empowering freight forwarders and improving communication with airlines, leading to a more efficient, intelligent and customer-centric future.

Streamlining supply chains and delivering exceptional customer service often hinges on effective communication. As the industry continues to digitize, interaction remains invaluable. But some conversations can become time-consuming, especially those involving various stakeholders.

Freight forwarders managing air cargo on behalf of their customers and airlines facilitating the global transportation of goods all contribute to an intricate web of interactions. Reliance on traditional phone conversations tends to impede operations. While digital booking solutions offer some relief, they don’t address root causes like delays or misunderstandings that lead to customer dissatisfaction.

There could be a new option on the horizon — conversational AI. Combining this technology with digital booking systems can help evolve how airlines and freight forwarders communicate and collaborate. This shift to digital bookings has the potential to shorten call center wait times and slash the time it takes to move parcels efficiently through the supply chain. Let’s dive deeper.

Understanding the current state of communication

Traditionally, call centers are pivotal in facilitating communication between freight forwarders and airlines. Freight forwarders rely on call centers to inquire about flight availability, request quotes, track shipment statuses, resolve issues and more. The problem with phone-based customer service is that it can involve long wait times and miscommunications. Limited support available outside of traditional business hours can hinder operational efficiency and impact customer satisfaction. Plus, the average cost of these support calls tends to run high. Finding a way to serve customers better — and at a reduced cost — is alluring.

The power of digital bookings for air cargo management

Digital booking platforms have changed how the air cargo industry operates. These platforms offer efficiency, transparency and accessibility, transforming the booking process from a cumbersome task into a streamlined and dynamic experience.

Forget lengthy phone calls and manual paperwork. With just a few clicks, freight forwarders can access a vast array of flight options, compare rates and make bookings instantly. This eliminates time-consuming processes and allows forwarders to focus on other critical aspects of their operations, enhancing overall efficiency.

Digital booking platforms have brought about remarkable improvements in the air cargo industry, but some challenges remain — namely when a freight forwarder has a specific need. While each forwarder operates with distinct requirements and preferences, existing digital systems tend to cater to broader needs. This gap in personalization can lead to freight forwarders and airlines manually booking cargo shipments.

The emergence of conversational AI for intelligent air cargo communication

As the industry advances, success lies in bridging the gap between generic digital platforms and the niche needs freight forwarders seek. Conversational AI can help fill the void by tailoring digital interactions to each forwarder. Now, booking air cargo becomes an engaging conversation, seamlessly blending the familiarity of human-like interactions with the efficiency of digital automation.

Here’s how conversational AI can streamline how freight forwarders and airlines collaborate:

  • Precise personalization: By analyzing historical data, previous interactions and individual requirements, AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants can tailor their responses and recommendations to match each forwarder’s needs. This level of precision in personalization builds trust and rapport, fostering a strong and lasting relationship between forwarders and airlines.
  • Streamlined communication: Conversational AI is a 24/7 virtual assistant ready to engage with freight forwarders in real time. Forwarders can now communicate instantly and efficiently with the airlines instead of waiting in long call queues or dealing with delayed email responses. Whether inquiring about flight availability, tracking shipment status or making booking changes, the conversational interface simplifies and accelerates the entire process.
  • Self-service empowerment: Conversational AI brings self-service capabilities to freight forwarders. Through the conversational interface, forwarders can easily manage bookings, track shipments, request changes and access vital information without human intervention. This self-sufficiency enhances their overall experience and frees up valuable resources and time for both forwarders and airlines.

As conversational AI continues to evolve, its ability to understand context, learn from interactions and adapt to changing preferences will only strengthen. This technology empowers the air cargo industry to elevate customer service to unprecedented heights, fostering better collaboration between freight forwarders and airlines and paving the way for a more efficient, intelligent and customer-centric future.

Open the dialogue with conversational AI

Infusing intelligence into conversations with conversational AI brings efficiency and effectiveness to daily operations, ensuring that the future of air cargo communication is intelligent and tailored to meet the needs of all stakeholders involved.

Unisys Cargo Portal Services™ is at the forefront of providing seamless cargo booking experiences, embracing transformative technologies and enabling freight forwarders to communicate with airlines precisely as they desire.

To learn more about how you can manage end-to-end cargo shipments in one place, visit cargoportalservices.com today.

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