Rapidly growing US cargo hub RFD targets full digitalisation via Kale’s cargo community system, marking a significant step forward in the Indian tech provider’s North American expansion strategy Will Waters Rapidly growing US cargo hub Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) has entered a partnership with Kale Info Solutions (Kale), the US subsidiary of international tech specialist Kale Logistics Solutions, to implement its Airport Cargo Community System (ACS), in a bid to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its cargo operations. Kale’s partnership with RFD, announced this week at the 13th annual Air Cargo Handling & Logistics conference in Athens, is the latest in a string of successes in the last three years for the India-based tech specialist as it rolls out its ACS systems around the world. It also marks a significant moment in RFD’s development and its digitalisation journey. RFD has seen annual air cargo throughput triple over the last five years, with a 25% increase in volumes recorded in 2021, and the airport has increasingly become an important Midwest hub for e-commerce and international trade. Kale’s ACS implementation is expected to reduce manual documentation and data entry time for cargo handlers at RFD, increasing process efficiency at the airport as well as reducing truck congestion and streamlining cargo flows. “As the fastest-growing cargo airport on the planet, we’ve partnered with Kale to provide the RFD cargo community with the most efficient, transparent cargo IT platform in the marketplace,” said Mike Dunn, executive director at RFD. “Kale will allow us to further streamline the digitisation and movement of cargo at RFD today and to keep up with the demands of our growing cargo operations in the future.” Deployment of the full system will allow cargo handlers to receive real-time updates on estimated cargo arrival times, while advance slot booking capabilities will enable trucking companies and ground handlers to coordinate landside freight movements, eliminating waiting times and enabling efficient resource allocation. The mobile app will allow these slots to be booked and adjusted any time, to accommodate peaks and troughs in truck arrivals at the airport. Amar More, president of Kale Info Solutions, commented: “This agreement marks another step forward in Kale’s strategy to expand its customer base in North America. Our ACS is built on the principle of enabling a cohesive ecosystem and driving efficiencies in air cargo operations with the highest level of data accuracy, security, and compliance. “We look forward to helping RFD enhance business efficiencies at the airport, attract more airlines, and drive its sustainability credentials.” As part of its objective to help North American airports overcome ongoing truck congestion challenges in the region, Kale is also in the process of implementing its ACS at Vancouver Airport, with several other US implementation projects in the pipeline, including a role in a cargo development strategy at Philadelphia Airport. More and Chicago Rockford Airport’s Deputy Director of Operations and Planning, Zach Oakley, announced the contract on day two of the Air Cargo Handling & Logistics event, taking place in Athens, Greece, from 5th to 7th September. Incorporated in 2010, Kale Logistics Solutions is a trusted global IT solutions partner for several Fortune 500 companies worldwide, offering a comprehensive suite of IT solutions for the logistics industry. With offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai, Kenya, Netherlands, USA and 5000+ clients worldwide across 30+ countries, Kale Logistics Solutions is a major player in the cargo technology industry, recognised by global bodies like United Nations, Asian Development Bank, KPMG, Kellogg Business School, Global Ports Forum. Kale’s community and enterprise solutions cater to a wide network of Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) and help strengthen and improve their operational and business capabilities. With in-depth domain knowledge and technical expertise, Kale has created a suite of comprehensive IT Enterprise Systems and Cargo Community Platforms, which offer a single electronic window capable of supporting operational flows, percolating data to various stakeholders, and facilitating the paperless exchange of trade-related information between stakeholders. Kale’s solutions help airports, cargo ground handlers, airlines, freight forwarders, customs brokers, 3PL providers, transportation providers, warehouse operators, ports, shipping lines, container yards, container freight stations, other regulatory bodies, achieve faster growth, standardised processes, and operational efficiencies with digitisation and automation. Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) was ranked the 14th largest cargo airport in the United States for landed weight by the FAA in 2021. This is an increase from RFD’s No. 17 ranking in 2020 and No.19 ranking in 2019. RFD handled more than 1.5 million tonnes (3.4 billion pounds) of landed weight in 2021 compared to just over 1.35 million tonnes (2.7 billion pounds) in 2020 – a nearly 25 percent year-over-year increase. RFD is home to the second-largest UPS hub in North America, a major base of operations for Amazon Air, and serves more than 15 international airlines and freight forwarders including DB Schenker, DSV, HAE, Senator International, ABX Air, ATI, National Airlines, Silk Way West Airlines, Emirates, Korean Air, and Atlas Air. With the airport’s ongoing cargo expansion, Rockford has become a Midwest hub for e-commerce and international freight.