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Finnair Cargo: An eye on the big picture

Helsinki, Finland — As cargo operations and facilities expand at Helsinki Airport, so does the degree of complexity in keeping track of it all. Cargo Eye promises to keep this simple.

Steady growth in cargo operations, the addition of wide-body Airbus 350s, the opening of the COOL terminal, and the introduction of state-of-the-art cargo management and automated handling systems all inside one year means new business opportunity for Finnair Cargo.

But such expansion also presents a new challenge: How do managers and line supervisors maintain overall awareness of what is going on? How can they see the “big picture” of their operations amidst a myriad of different systems used to run day-to-day operations?

The answer is Cargo Eye.

“Cargo Eye is a new operations monitoring and tracking platform that presents live, relevant and contextual data in a simple, graphical view,” explains Kari Saarikoski, Digital Transformation Lead for Finnair Cargo.

Cargo Eye collects live data from across all of Finnair Cargo’s information and tracking systems – the global position of aircraft, flight information, the geographic location of all cargo ground traffic and key data from the SkyChain – and renders it onto a large screen in Google Maps format.

In an instant, the viewer gets a top-level, panoramic view of what is happening and where everything is. A navigational sidebar is included, allowing the user to filter onto the screen that data which is most relevant and contextually meaningful to them.

“We see Cargo Eye as an indispensable management tool,” continues Saarikoski.

“For example, the CCC (Cargo Control Center) in the COOL cargo terminal can look at one screen and see where every truck and plane is carrying seafood or pharmaceuticals, get updated on its arrival and connecting transport, monitor its contents and temperature, and be prepared to shift ground resources to where they are needed most in anticipation of delivery.”

Under development since early this year, Cargo Eye is the product of cooperation among Finnair Cargo personnel and Finland-based QOCO, a provider of digital smart solutions.

The genius of Cargo Eye is that it not only interfaces with critical Finnair Cargo IT systems, but also allows linkage –via APIs (Application Protocol Interface) – to a world of other potential applications and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

“We already are able to interface with small transmitter devices that we and our partner shipping companies use to track vehicles,” Saarikoski points out. “As for our ground operations, Cargo Eye can pull-up an airport map that shows exactly where every cargo taxi is thanks to GPS-based devices that feed into our network.”

And this is just the beginning. Efforts are underway to learn how critical data could be shared directly with customers, as well the development of cloud-connected applications to run on mobile devices.

Jukka Glader, head of Finnair Cargo Operations, emphasizes the potential impact Cargo Eye will have on his team.

“The events of the past year only validate our efforts to transition away from trying to supervise and control every detail to managing-by-exception,” says Glader.

“Cargo Eye helps us do just that. Our CCC (Cargo Control Center) now has a powerful tool giving it a simplified, holistic awareness of all our operations. As alerts arise, we can selectively go deeper into a specific system to resolve the issue. This gives us much better resource management.”

“We also see the visualization power of Cargo Eye assisting our sales and managements teams,” Glader concludes.


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