‘Future of Digital Freight’: American Airlines Modernizes its Global Cargo Operations

American Airlines Cargo took a giant leap forward today by deploying IBS Software's full-scale management platform. The move—hailed as "an unprecedented achievement in the air cargo industry"—migrated decades-old IT back-end systems into a single next-gen solution.

American Airlines has tapped IBS Software, an India-based travel, transportation, and logistics IT company, to significantly upgrade its global cargo operations. The move is being defined as a “giant leap forward” for AA’s cargo arm.

IBS’ iCargo management platform replaces more than 90 legacy systems AA had implemented over the last 40 years. A consolidated, lean, next-gen solution now covers ten core business applications, including cargo sales, cargo terminal operations, warehouse management, ULD management, and cargo revenue accounting.

With iCargo, AA is able to update the customer experience and provide a set of business tools that deliver greater overall value. iCargo said its vibrant community of users and active product roadmap will allow airlines to “define the future of digital freight.”

“Our partnership with the incredible team at IBS has been key to our success,” said American Airlines Cargo President Rick Elieson, in a statement. “Our investment in the iCargo platform allows us to better take care of our team members and better serve our customers. It also positions us to adapt to industry challenges or changing customer needs as we continue on our modernization journey.”

The iCargo air cargo platform is a cloud-based SaaS solution. It went live across AA’s entire global network on Oct. 1, which included 6,200 American Airlines Cargo team members, 2,772 airport agents, and more than 30,000 customers. The platform also supports the booking and tendering of American’s premium Priority Parcel Service (PPS) product.

The iCargo platform touches sales, operations, and accounting functions and the digitization provides its users with online channels, improved shipment tracking and warehouse efficiency, and a back-end revenue recognition and accounting system.

The next phase of the implementation includes introducing scanner apps, self-service kiosks, and mobility-enabled features along with Mail Handling and Mail Revenue Accounting modules. The full implementation will roll out over the next year, and beyond.

Migrating all aspects of the business to a single platform was described as an “unprecedented achievement in the air cargo industry” that should provide American Airlines Cargo—a “huge network cargo carrier”—with gains in efficiency.

“IBS Software is privileged to be associated with such an iconic name in the airline industry and is proud to be the core technology partner in American Airlines Cargo’s modernization project that seeks to transform its business and operations through the latest digital technology solutions,” said Ashok Rajan, head of Cargo & Logistics Solutions at IBS Software. “It is a stellar achievement for American and IBS Software, who worked together as one team with a single-minded focus on ensuring a smooth cutover with the least disruption to American Airlines Cargo’s customers.”

American, which recently completed a $350 million expansion project at its Fort Worth headquarters, and IBS, which has North America offices in Atlanta and Quebec, worked together on the migration to avoid disrupting day-to-day operations, a process aided by IBS’ experience digitizing cargo operations for large airlines and ground handlers.

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