Cathay Cargo has upgraded its integrated mail
platform with a digital solution that provides
greater transparency for post offices and the track-and-trace
visibility their customers expect.
With Cathay Mail, the airline is able to provide
a superior customer experience that better caters to the
requirements of post offices for shipment visibility, reliability
“Cathay Mail highlights how we have adapted
technology and digitalisation to offer real benefits to our
customers. By fully integrating mail-handling functions with our
cargo operations and expertise, our innovative new mail solution
provides a sophisticated suite of tools and facilities to support
our postal partners,” said Tom Owen, Director Cargo.
Cathay Cargo’s refreshed “mail as cargo” solution
integrates mail-handling data with air cargo systems using the
PAWB – the postal air waybill. This use of electronic data
interchange (EDI) technology removes much of the previous shipment
paperwork and gives both origin and destination post offices, and
designated operators, more visibility of shipments down to mail
bag (or “receptacle”) level, allowing them to offer package-level
track-and-trace visibility to e-commerce shippers.
The information also enables Cathay Cargo to
manage capacity against actual volumes of mail on flights, so it
can make allowances for surges in ad hoc demand or make unused
space available for other cargo.
There is an additional benefit for mail heading to
Europe where, by making the information available in advance, mail
shipments will be compliant with the European Union’s new ICS2
customs requirements, which are being introduced this year.
Thanks to the digital data available from the
PAWB, it is now easier not only to reconcile shipments for
billing, but also to measure performance. Cathay Cargo will be
adding KPIs to its mail performance monitoring suite, which is
accessible on the EzyPost platform. Indices such as on-time
delivery and visibility performance will be accessible and updated
from live data.
In addition, Cathay Mail enables efficient
operational recovery should an aircraft be grounded at an
intermediate stop. Staff will be able to identify and segregate
express mail shipments for priority uplift, and this will be
visible in the system.
Cathay Cargo aims to outperform the 95% industry
“visibility performance” standard and will set its own stretch
targets to ensure it exceeds contractual standards. The EzyPost
platform will also produce monthly reports that will be available
to post office customers.
“This new investment in our mail-handling
capability increases the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a global
mail hub, giving post offices the confidence to move mail more
seamlessly to, from and through Hong Kong,” added Owen.
In the India market, Cathay Cargo offers the
Cathay Mail solution to India Post. Cathay Cargo helps India Post
to convert CARDIT messages into a PAWB to create an online booking
in CX-Cargospot, which is completely automated.
“During the pandemic, we collaborated with India
Post to provide uninterrupted connectivity, uplifting mail bags
from Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Currently, we serve
around 14 destinations on our network. Our commitment to
delivering exceptional service has resulted in strong growth in
tonnage and revenue. Through Cathay Mail, we look forward to
expanding our partnership and serve more destinations in the
future,” said Rajesh Menon, Regional Head of Cargo – South Asia,
Middle East & Africa.
How PAWB and EDI work
Ordinarily, airlines have little visibility of
mail shipments. Mail is prepared in sealed bags at origin postal
terminals and delivered to air cargo terminals for loading.
Airlines are given conveyance instructions via a
CARDIT (CARrier/Documents International Transport advice) message,
and in return they send a RESDIT (RESponse to Documents
International Transport advice) to acknowledge receipt.
Cathay Mail uses electronic data interchange (EDI)
technology to integrate this limited messaging into Cathay Cargo’s
Now, when a post office customer issues a CARDIT,
Cathay Cargo will issue a PAWB (postal air waybill). This gives
post offices visibility of the bags in each CARDIT and, therefore,
the location of individual packages in each bag on their own
Ongoing updates to the devices and apps that scan
mail bags have delivered increased visibility and efficiency since
the programme began. Bags can now “nest” in an Unit Load Device
(ULD), which simplifies the scanning process and boosts
efficiency. When the ULD is scanned, it captures the check-in
status of the shipment and makes handling the shipment for onward
flights or delivery more straightforward.
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