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International Forwarding Association Blog » Air freight in Europe » Revolutionizing Air Freight with Infrastructural Advancements

Revolutionizing Air Freight with Infrastructural Advancements

Air freight forwarding is undergoing infrastructural transformations, with key developments such as the modernization of runways and taxiway systems, advanced air traffic control equipment, and automated cargo handling. These improvements enhance airport operations and result in a more efficient, secure, and rapid movement of goods.


Modern Runway and Taxiway Systems

A major infrastructural improvement in air freight forwarding is the modernization of runway and taxiway systems at airports. Enhancements involve LED lighting for improved visibility, upgrading the runway surfaces, and installing ground radar systems for managing aircraft movements on the tarmac. For ground forwarders, this translates into fewer delays and more predictable schedules and allows for better planning and coordination of ground transportation. Enhanced runway systems also improve the safety of cargo handling, especially for sensitive or high-value goods.


Air Traffic Control Systems

Modern air traffic control (ATC) systems feature radar systems for tracking aircraft in flight, communication systems for air traffic controllers to guide pilots, and automated systems for managing flight paths and ensuring safe distances between aircraft in the air. These improvements streamline the management of air traffic and reduce in-air delays. As a result, ground forwarders enjoy more predictable cargo arrival times, which further enhances their ability to schedule ground transportation and labor

Moreover, advanced air traffic systems allow for better monitoring of traffic, which reduces the risk of mid-air collisions. This heightened safety supports the secure transport of hazardous goods and delicate cargo.


Advanced Cargo Handling Systems

Automated systems such as conveyor belts, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and robotic loaders expedite loading and unloading and speed up cargo turnover. For ground forwarders, this efficiency minimizes waiting times at the airport and optimizes the turnaround time for cargo trucks. Additionally, such facilities often incorporate better tracking systems, which ensure more accurate and real-time updates on cargo status. This improvement is especially beneficial for time-sensitive shipments, as it allows for the swift processing and transportation of urgent deliveries.


Cargo Screening Systems

Airports are upgrading to advanced cargo screening technologies, including high-resolution X-ray machines, CT scanners for detailed imaging, and explosive trace detection equipment. These technologies allow for more rapid screening, which, in turn, enables the handling of larger volumes of cargo. Ground forwarders benefit from a smoother and faster transition through security checkpoints, which streamlines the logistics process.


Expanded Cargo Facilities

Larger, more sophisticated cargo terminals enable the handling of increased volumes of freight, which helps accommodate the growth in air freight traffic. These facilities also feature specialized storage areas, including temperature-controlled zones for perishable goods, dedicated spaces for hazardous materials, and customized sections for irregularly shaped or oversized cargo. For ground forwarders, this means improved capacity and flexibility in handling a variety of cargo types, which leads to more efficient processing and transit.


Eco-Friendly Infrastructure

Airports are increasingly adopting eco-friendly infrastructure like energy-efficient lighting and water conservation systems, alongside renewable energy sources. For forwarders, this shift opens opportunities to collaborate with airports, including joint sustainability programs and the use of shared green facilities. Such partnerships support their corporate responsibility objectives and bolster their brand image.