IPC has released in production the first platform allowing postal operators and air mail carriers to effectively plan and allocate airmail for a longer period of time (eg IATA Season) based on forecasted volumes. The building of an Allotment Template ensures posts to better plan their mail consignments and stand a better chance for mail to be uplifted as scheduled and air carriers can more effectively plan the use of the often scarce flight capacity.
While some new enhanced features are still being implemented, this web-based tool is now fully availabile to posts and airlines and can be used for real capacity allocation processes.
The tool enables more particularly:
- Centralised access for posts and airlines: posts can use the tool to forecast and request volumes, while air carriers can offer volumes and respond to requests from posts
- Facilitating the full pre-season allotment template building, with volumes per weekday, exceptions, bank holiday inclusion, etc
- Optimization of of the space allocation process by further developing and testing booking within the allotment season using historic data from IPC CAPE system, adjusted with refined algorithms that include latest mail volume trends
- Definition and use of the key data elements that are needed for an optimised booking process which includes cubic volumes and eventually define a standard booking message
The IPC Forecasting and Booking tool is open to all interested posts and airlines that wish to benefit from its features already now. They are also invited to participate in the Workgroup that regularly meets in order to define new features to be developed.
Why such a tool?
To raise the reliability and profitability of mail, airlines expect posts to better forecast the volumes to be carried and to communicate all relevant information to airlines in an efficient way. This process guarantees postal operators a more reliable and safe capacity availability on airplanes. Hence the need to have a centralised system accessible to both postal operators and air carriers.
As postal space allocation process and systems did not exist before, IPC worked with the interested parties in developing the Forecasting and Booking Tool to then work in defining a standard message to be exchanged. This system is an important part in the IPC Future of Mail by Air Initiative (FoMbA) that IPC is conducting, aiming at establishing a business partnership between posts and airlines.
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