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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 43
Wednesday November 9, 2022

If It's Wednesday It Must Be Miami

Amar More

     Taking an idea into reality and then bringing it out to the world has always been uppermost on the mind of Amar More, the CEO of Kale Logistics. This is the Mumbai-based company that revolutionized the air cargo process by implementing the Kale Exclusive Cargo Community System for smaller and bigger trucks calling daily at Atlanta Airport in 2019.
     FT is accustomed to meeting many friends who are also busy personalities, often flying to far away destinations in their business programs. Here is a man though, who lifts the definition of the word busy to a higher level.
     Since Atlanta went into business with Kale, Amar moved his wife and children lock, stock and barrel to Atlanta, Georgia and went totally hands on to this plan as Atlanta Airport changed the air cargo management at that gateway forever. It turns out that approach has accelerated the system development; elsewhere folks are waking up to a new day in managing air cargo traffic flow meanwhile the Kale solution is moving to other cargo hubs as you read this article.
     FT had the opportunity to interview Amar More on the run in between flights, what else?

FT:    Please share what you have learned about navigating through crises during the past COVID years?
AM:  COVID taught us survival and patience. We learnt so much about hygiene, leaving in confinement, respecting life and being thankful for being there. I also understood and appreciated that real heroes risked their lives and kept working to keep us all safe.
     As they say, with every adversity comes an opportunity:  COVID helped global logistics in adopting new technology at a rate otherwise unthinkable. During the pandemic, our cloud-based solutions and community platforms promoted contactless operations, work-from-home models and paperless processes to keep the industry safe and going.

FT:    How do you imagine ocean carriers buying into airlines might impact air cargo business?
AM:  It will only get more competitive. Ocean carriers, aggregators and 3PL players are taking on air cargo as they want to develop end-to-end global supply chain operations. Being able to ship or fly goods helps shipping carriers to create a one-stop-shop for cargo. This is a strategic move to provide a suite of services and expand the business area with customers. With increased volatility in freight rates, the airlines need to create a moat around their business to keep their “fortress” safe.
     Overall ocean carriers buying air carriers will be good for air cargo: we can see a salutary impact on the air industry with some modal shift, but to better compete in the long term, airlines need to reposition themselves as premium operators specialising in high-value or perishable goods, such as flowers.

FT:    Likewise, what long-term changes are foreseen as the result of COVID-19? For the better? For the worse and should be avoided?
AM:  The long-term changes that we anticipate will embrace these areas:
Focus on Sustainability: Shippers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are being held accountable for their emissions by their customers. Many are now reporting their SC-related emissions and are looking for carbon-neutral options. We all need to meet customers’ expectations for the highest standards of sustainability, but going from stabilizing to reducing emissions will require a collective effort.
     Modernization: The pandemic accelerated digitization as it introduced contactless processes to reduce the risk. We need to build on this momentum, not only to increase operational efficiency, but to meet customers’ needs. The biggest growth areas are cross-border e-commerce and special items like time and temperature-sensitive payloads. These customers want to know where their items are, and in which condition, at all times during transport. That requires the digitization and capture of all data.
     Safety: Cargo and people Safety is the buzzword in today’s Air Cargo circles. Misdeclared shipments, risk exposed front-line staff, lack of cargo tracking at the airport, theft and cyber-attacks are holding the centre stage. The industry needs to brace up to these challenges. Many Airlines and Airports have robust systems to address common hacking threats, but often fail to take a holistic approach to the entire IT environment.
     Trade Facilitation: Trends like anti-protectionism, vaccine rational distribution, World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement’s (TFA) ratification, e-freight, etc. are building considerable pressure on nations and the Air Cargo industry to develop frameworks, mandates and guidelines to comply with these global facilitation initiatives.

Amar More, Donna Mullins, Jamila Collins and LaToya Boose

FT:    What deliverables are expected at the trade shows Kale Logistics attends?
AM:  Trade shows are one of the most efficient ways to meet existing customers and prospects. Add to that learning from the experts on the latest happenings in the industry. At this year’s shows, we hoped that the industry turn-out was massive, and we were looking at creating awareness about our Cargo Community Systems in the industry. This is part of our strategy. Our team of experts are showcasing our pioneering platforms, showing a way to make the entire supply chain more efficient and transparent. We are also looking to learn from the industry through collaborations and joint initiatives.

FT:    Report card on Kale Launches during COVID? Can you offer an overview of reaction to your effort? What is next? How can others including business partners and even perhaps competitors join in the Kale Logistics initiative?
AM:  We were proactive in the pandemic situation, as we quickly rolled out low-investment point solutions for the Logistics industry with free Proofs-of-Concept. This was designed to support the industry, which was facing a crisis. Our persistent role helped us penetrate markets which were earlier difficult to enter.      We had great success with the North American market, signing up and working with Atlanta, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago Rockford, Vancouver and two other airports that are protected by a non-disclosure agreement. We have also signed up with a maritime port in North America and globally with over 50 airports and ports to create digital communities. We then plan to connect these communities using digital corridors to create an unparalleled digital infrastructure for logistics globally.
     Cargo Community Systems are not an end in themselves: they need to constantly grow and evolve according to changing customer needs, with collaboration among industry peers with their applications, not conflicting, but adding value to the supply chain. Disruptive technologies like Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, Robotics, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Data Hubs, and Geo-Spatial will find a way to the CCS. We have the bold vision of connecting the global logistics industry through technology to facilitate the global trade. This is not going to happen without partnerships, not just with our partners with complementary offerings, but also partnerships with competitors. If we all work together we shall create the everlasting global digital infrastructure that this industry has deserved for a long time.

FT:    Can you offer some highlights of programs and services that lie ahead in 2023 and beyond?
AM:  When we started off this year, we were sure the industry would rebound from the dire straits of COVID, and tech adoption would continue to gain more ground. We were right. There is more demand for cloud-based and SaaS-based solutions. We are focused on digitizing more Airports and Ports this year. We have already touched 100+ Air Cargo Stations and are talking to 40 more Airports and Ports at this point in time. A cargo community system comes with some limitations, as it has geographical boundaries. To overcome these and achieve larger synergies globally, one has to think beyond Cargo Community Systems. This brings us to the future of Cargo Community Systems, i.e. the Digital Trade Corridor. The Digital Air Freight Corridor aims to create a completely transparent supply chain through the exchange of real-time shipment status information between airports by exchanging shipment data to eliminate duplicate processes. For example, we can share shipment arrival information in advance with the rightful stakeholders in the destination Airport so that the Customs, Handlers, and other stakeholders are well informed and prepared to handle the incoming freight on time. We have established the first Digital Air Freight Corridor between India and the Netherlands, powered by Blockchain.
     Another remarkable offering is the e-Marketplace, an online portal for booking door-to-door cargo transportation services, offering competitive pricing and total transparency of the best shipment options across all modes of transport. The platform connects supply chain stakeholders, such as freight forwarders, Customs brokers, shipping lines, airlines, transporters, consignees, warehouse operators, rail operators and regulatory authorities, enabling them to adopt modern logistics practices that will allow better response to customer demand, increased efficiency and a more competitive industry landscape in the Air Cargo space. The platform can connect with third-party systems, Cargo Community Systems and systems of the Airport Authority and terminal operators to provide status updates. I am particularly proud of this achievement, which is contributing to the construction of a seamless and transparent air cargo supply chain, de-facto an unparalleled enhancement of service levels.
     We have also introduced the Maritime Single Window, which is now a mandate from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to be implemented in all ports before Jan 2024. In this light, we are working closely with global bodies to give impetus to digital policies and initiatives.

FT:    You had been planning for the World Cargo Symposium in London. What was your expectation? What would have been your message to your colleagues?
AM:  Sadly I was stuck at home by circumstances that I could not help. I was hoping to see friends from the industry in London. The sessions are always important, but even more important are meetings with customers and prospective customers that are possible in such a vast gathering. Despite the obvious precautions, face-to-face meetings can still be very productive.
     This and other events are solid ground for companies like us to promote digitization and create awareness on sustainability through paperless operations in Air Cargo. Our message is loud and clear: digitization with Cargo Community Systems is critical to change the way cargo is handled, forever and for the better. The industry needs to adopt digitization for growth. Technology is no longer purely good to have, but it is now a must-have. I am now looking forward to TIACA ACF in Miami where my team and I will be available at Stand 531.

FT:    How do you rate cooperation amongst all the forces today? What needs to be emphasized, improved or needs to be changed? How can Kale drive that initiative?
AM:  At Kale collaboration is our overarching vision to provide technology to the logistics industry. We want to convert the cacophony in the supply chain to a melody through digital collaboration. We can hear the rumble and see the change coming. People are more open to connect their systems than they ever were before. There is great synergy and cooperation amongst the industry players toward Digital Transformation. It is crucial for all of us to understand that we just cannot continue working as we did in the past, with cargo idling on the ground for up to 85% of the total transportation time. The average Air Cargo transit time has hardly moved in the last 30-35 years, an average Air Cargo shipment still generates over 100 paper copies of some 30 different documents. Our community platforms have the potential to save around $50 bn. annually in terms of efficiencies and 10 bn. paper copies (across air/sea modes), which corresponds to saving 625,000 trees annually. The technology is right here, available for the airports and ports. All that is needed is the right leadership, with intent. We can no longer just pay lip service to the environmental and economic sustainability issues and play the waiting game (for someone else to do something before we start). We believe that the Airports or communities that will initiate early will reap the maximum benefits and attract more cargo than others. So, we believe the time to act is now, and we are there to hold hands throughout the digital transformation journey.

FT:    How did your family make it through the pandemic? Can you share how your fine family and other changes to the More norm may have impacted your life?
AM:  My family indeed surprised me with their adaptation skills during the pandemic. First and foremost, they had to get used to seeing me in the house? I had been traveling all these years and rarely spent 50% of the total time at home and here I was completely stuck at home during the long pandemic period. I had thought it would be impossible to keep kids home, given the fact that every day we had to drag them back home from the play area in our colony in India. But I think they did remarkably well in adjusting to this change. Their schools moved online and they managed that well too. We got to spend time at home and spent time as a family playing indoor games which I had never imagined I would be able to do. My parents also had to move onto the digital bandwagon for their meetings with their friends and other social interactions. And finally my wife: she, like most women, is a superhuman. She helped us transition so unbelievably well that life was never boring during the pandemic. We also moved from India to the U.S. in the same period and that was another big change for us. All in all the pandemic really meant some significant “shifts” for the More family.

More From Kale Logistics Solutions
Is Fresh At Miami

Mr. T Prasad, Arun More, Amar More and Urmila More     Although he has many bridges to cross in a lifetime of promise based on the manner in which he has electrified the movement of air cargo at airports, Amar More, CEO of Kale Logistics Solutions pictured with the man that taught him logistics, Mr. T. Prasad (far left) and his Mom Urmila and Dad Arun, displays a unique awareness and appreciation of where he came from and what he is bringing to air cargo that is both revolutionary and unusual.
     The bump here is passion for people and love of fellow man that is both refreshing and genuine.
     “It was an absolute honor and privilege receiving the “Distinguished Alumnus” award 2022 from the Best Management Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics in India—my alma mater, National Institute of Industrial Engineering Mumbai," Amar said last week upon receiving the award.
     “My professor, Mr. T Prasad who is also famously known as Prof Mandi (market) is an amazing teacher; he inspired us and continues to inspire generations of students in 'creating jobs for the world' rather than just 'taking up jobs that others have created'.
     “He eats, breathes and inspires global entrepreneurship and keeps emphasizing that there are so many problems in the world/industry that the entrepreneurs can and should solve.
     “He also organizes a 'selling' festival wherein students come from different institutes and on a Saturday or Sunday they literally have to be on the streets and sell goods and show that they can generate profits (very unique and hands on pedagogy).
     “It’s always good to go back to school and relive those precious days.
     “What made this more special was the presence of my parents, my favorite professors and friends.
     “Missed having my wife and kids with me as they were not in Mumbai. It was good to experience the exuberance of the young students.
Amar More and Donna Mullins      “Hope I am able to give back to the institute to the best of my ability,” Amar declared.
     Although still a young man, Mr. More will undoubtedly receive much recognition as a leading agent of change in 21st Century Air Cargo.
     Let’s hope his inclusiveness and passion is recognized and continues.
     This week in Florida at The International Air Cargo Association ACF, with a hall full of people post pandemic and lots of IT programs to offer, a closer look at the performance chart reveals Kale Logistics Solutions is fresh and exciting with Amar More and Donna Mullins on the half shell at Booth 531.

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