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Aventus Overhauls Operational Efficiency of Airline Cargo with Blockchain at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is the largest airport in the UK. It is used by over 89 airlines flying to 214 destinations in 84 countries, serving upward of 60 million passengers annually. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. 

Customer Challenge:

Aircraft unit load device (or ULD) management is vital to efficient cargo operations. However, issues including non-digital data input, non-standardized databases, low data transparency and challenges around auditability result in slower turnaround times and revenue loss for airlines.

With Aventus:

Via a partnership with a national airline at Heathrow Airport, we migrated ULDs to  blockchain, resulting in 

  • Increased digitization
  • Real-time visibility
  • Trust building between parties,  

Migrating ULDs to blockchain made supply chains more efficient and made settling charges between parties easier. 

Blockchain also serves as a platform to re-align ground-handling operators’ incentives through digital accountability and tokenization.

Aventus developed an automated end-to-end ULD-based platform to significantly improve operational efficiency at a global scale via cutting-edge blockchain technology, creating a new standard in ULD management.

The results from the pilot program at Heathrow Airport included:

  • 83% reduction in documentation (record-keeping, reconciliation) times via digital and mobile
  • 28% reduction in loading times as locating ULD is faster (no loading sheet needed to be given to warehouseman)
  • 7% overall productivity gain due to a significant reduction in documentation times

Maurizio Beni, advisor and former director at Heathrow Airport, said: “The aviation sector has changed the way we see the world. But despite its advancements in many areas, in the almost five decades I've been in the industry, the approach to cargo management has remained rudimentary, and it’s now a critical hurdle for airlines’ efficiencies. Blockchain has the potential to bring unparalleled efficiencies to cargo management – which might be the difference between airlines thriving or dying in this challenging time for the industry.”

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