Donna Mullins is an industry veteran with close to four decades of experience in the logistics and supply chain industry. She held key positions in airlines, freight forwarding, customs brokering and several other firms. Under her stewardship, companies expanded their global footprint and capabilities. In these four decades, she has been responsible for all facets of the logistics business by preparing a robust System of Planning. Her stint also generated significant business and growth realizations. With her proven leadership skills, she spearheaded and managed import/export operations globally. Donna is affiliated with regulatory bodies as an active member. These affiliations have put her in the position to help set the course of the logistics industry in North America. As a member of these bodies at the national level, she has been communicating the policy changes and working hand in hand with CBP, BIS, FMC, TSA, and others. In Kale, she is on a mission to create awareness of the need for digitization and community platforms and to facilitate the same in the North American region.
1 What kind of digital technology platform has Kale created to support operational flows in the logistics industry, and why is it essential to the community that they automate?
Donna Mullins: Kale Info Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kale Logistics Solutions, has created a suite of comprehensive IT Enterprise Systems and Cargo Community Systems that help to facilitate the effective, efficient, and expeditious throughput of cargo. In 1989, CBP Commissioner William von Raab told the international logistics and trade community, “Automate or perish!”. As an industry, we struggle to automate. Many value chain players have automated, while some are still moving toward automation. There are multiple reasons why the community should automate, but one that stands out most from an operational point of view is the visibility of the shipment status electronically and in real-time.
2 What are the significant challenges, particularly with the JFK cargo community, in how cargo is picked up and delivered?
Donna Mullins: Some of the challenges include bottlenecks created by trucks coming to the cargo facilities based on flight arrival or departure times; lack of advanced shipment information about the cargo being picked up or dropped off; and trucks coming to the facilities for cargo that is not ready to pick up.
3 How is Kale piloting its truck slot and dock management program that WFS has implemented at JFK Airport, and how many organizations have enrolled in the pilot program?
Donna Mullins: Kale is addressing the above challenges noted at Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) by providing the trucking community the platform to book a dedicated appointment time to arrive at their facilities, therefore allowing the trucks to arrive and be processed quicker. By giving advanced shipment information to WFS via our ACS Truck Slot Management module, WFS has knowledge of what is on the truck or what the truck is bringing before arriving, thus allowing them to preplan for the vehicle’s arrival. By interfacing with the WFS Epic system, Kale ACS gets real-time updates on the breakdown and payment status of imported cargo and will not allow the truck to book a slot until both milestones are met. Thus reducing the number of times a truck will go to get cargo only to find out it is not broken down or the ICS is still pending payment. As of September 29, 2023, there are 289 registrants for the WFS JFK “Time is Money” Dock Management program.
4 In terms of numbers, how has Kale’s Airport Cargo Community System (ACS) reduced wait times for exports and imports?
Donna Mullins: We have seen, using artificial intelligence (AI) generated data, that during the period of Jan. 1, 2023 – July 31, 2023 68% of the trucks using our platform in JFK had less than one hour wait times, and, in some instances, waited less than two minutes for their dock allocation for their reserved appointment time.
5 How does sustainability factor in as a key priority and also help Logistics Service Providers (LSP) improve their capabilities?
Donna Mullins: Sustainability is a core benefit of Kale platforms. Using our systems can reduce labor costs, fuel costs, paper costs, and carbon emissions. Using our platforms, authorized trade partners can exchange electronic information (eAWB; eDocket; eDO) and never need to print the document, which saves trees.
We estimate that an airport handling 1Mn tons of cargo, corresponding to about 1.3Mn shipments annually, generates 161,200,000 copies of paper, of which 128,960,000 copies might be unnecessary, equivalent to cutting approximately 12,896 trees. With dedicated dock appointments, driver costs are reduced as their wait and dwell times are decreased; logistics companies are notified via electronic milestones, and lessens the need to make phone calls or send emails. The dwell time for trucks at major US airports is between 4-6 hours. An idling truck consumes 0.6 gallons/Hr. The CO2 emissions from the truck are calculated at 10,000 gms/gallon. Our studies indicate that about 400,000 to 700,000 trucks ply to an airport handling 1 Mn tons of international cargo, releasing 73,4874 to 36,743,711 Lbs of CO2 annually.
As an example, the proof of concept of Kale’s community system at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta processed 1.5 million lbs of cargo and saved an estimated 1,245 gallons of fuel, 1,945 truck hours leading to an estimated saving of $69,000 in labor and reduction of 9,017,020 grams of CO2.