Air Canada is Canada’s largest full-service airline and largest provider of scheduled passenger services in the Canadian market, Canada-U.S. transborder market and international market to/from Canada. Together with its regional partner Jazz, Air Canada serves over 32 million customers annually and provides direct passenger service to over 170 destinations on five continents.
Air Canada’s cargo services division, Air Canada Cargo, provides direct cargo services to over 150 Canadian and international destinations including Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. On top of that, Air Canada Cargo trucks to an additional 155 global destinations, making the trucking network as big as Air Canada’s flight network.
Business Process and Problem Definition
Since the primary business of Air Canada is an airline, oftentimes the trucking part of the business is simply considered an extension of the cargo network. However, trucking is becoming more vital to the company as the economy truly becomes more global and Air Canada goes farther to get cargo. So the Air Canada Cargo trucking network expands along with growing boundaries. In fact, the trucking portion of the business at Air Canada Cargo is growing at about 20% per year.
Along with business challenges that growth presents, Air Canada Cargo faced many ground transportation challenges, including a lack of stability within the transportation network. Also, a lack of standardization throughout the organization caused problems – a procedure in North America might be followed differently in the UK and a totally different way in the rest of Europe. In addition to standardization and stability problems, headquarters had poor visibility of logistics information into all the different regions of Air Canada Cargo. Settlement disputes with trucking companies were common, which often put long holds on payments and required a lot of manual intervention to resolve the issues.
Air Canada Cargo established a list of goals for a global ground transportation system:
- Increase visibility to better manage global transportation
- Establish standardization amongst all the international trucking networks
- Improve stability across the trucking network
- Gain prepayment audit and freight payment capabilities