Logistics is known for being an extremely antiquated industry: Aircraft parts are shipped to the wrong hangars; human organs for transplant are transported without tracking capabilities; medical devices worth thousands of dollars are being put on the wrong aircraft. The industry handles the most important shipments, and delays are costly and sometimes, deadly.
This is why Airspace was created in 2015: To revolutionize an archaic industry by vastly improving time-sensitive shipping, by providing transparency and trackability, and by ensuring a better, more enjoyable experience for our customers.
Over the past five years, Airspace has had the unique opportunity to innovate, adapt, and evolve while other logistics companies have stayed stagnant in their processes.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview three experts from the Airspace team on how Airspace has solved historic industry problems. Brandy Reed, Senior Product Designer responsible for developing a visual brand, determining micro-interactions, and visual design for all our product software; Michael Ciavarella, Director of Revenue Operations, responsible for maintaining an efficient and detailed revenue process and tech stack; and Brandon Kennedy, Associate Vice President of Operations, currently heading the expansion of the operations department from the United States into Europe.
Here’s what they had to say about some of the most challenging aspects in time-critical shipping and how Airspace has helped solved these issues.
Time-critical shipments rely on drivers to deliver packages to and from airports and destinations. How does airspace provide more information about the driver’s activity to our customers in comparison to others in the industry?
- Brandy: When I started at Airspace we made a push to provide a deeper level of transparency to our customers around pickup and delivery times. It’s an industry standard to have a driver pickup under 60 minutes. But what happens in unusual circumstances, where we don’t have a big driver presence in an off-the-beaten path location, or it’s a very uncommon package type? We decided that it was important to display the correct information, because lives can truly depend on it, rather than potentially lose the order. Trust and transparency with our drivers will allow us to build a stronger bond with our customers based on a foundation of reliability and allow these super crucial, time-critical packages to arrive where they need to go in the best means possible.
- Michael: First, we let the customer know when the drivers are actually going to arrive. They can see the driver on the map as they are driving towards a location with their package down to a 3-foot radius. We even set up geofence notifications so our clients can receive a notification via email saying, “Your driver is within 'x' miles of your location.” Whether it’s a warehouse, technician, or even a surgeon who is waiting on the driver, they have more important things to do then worry about when a shipment will arrive. Once they get the notification that the driver is 'x' miles away, they know where to be and exactly what to do. This transparency allows them to work efficiently and optimize their time. Airspace provides real-time notifications when no one else does.
- Brandon: With Airspace’s proprietary system and driver application, we can pull the geographical location of the shipment within a 3-foot radius at all times. This cascades that direct information from the driver, who is the source, online to the operations team, and to the customer. Therefore, the customer knows at all times where and when the driver will arrive. This is such a fundamental change to the preexisting dispatch model in logistics. Being able to pull actual location via GPS technology, as well as GPS snipping to identify when a driver is not progressing toward the pickup location has absolutely changed the industry.
How does Airspace provide the optimal transportation route every-time?
- Brandy: We have a team of very talented developers who have worked tirelessly to create code that can factor in so many details. Preferences, history, and our driver locations all go into providing a route that gets their shipments to its final destination in the best way possible.
- Michael: Our system is built on a routing tool that uses machine learning to efficiently find the optimal route each time with very little chance of error. We pull in daily requests from Flight Aware and OAG to better understand what flight paths are available. We have the United States’ entire flight schedule at our hands. We know what flights are taking off when and when they arrive at destinations. Then, our system uses machine learning and proprietary technology to effectively choose the optimal routes that Commanders (our drivers) can take, provide an accurate price for those routes down to the penny, and give an ETA that says as long there are no service delays at the airlines, due to weather or 3rd-party events, this is our expected arrival time.
- Brandon: As Michael said, built into Airspace’s system, we have integrated key players in the industry, such as OAG and FlightAware as well some proprietary technology built to better digest flight information. This helps us optimize 10,000 flight paths for every single shipment. Traditionally, flight paths are filed by each organization. For example, if a shipment is being flown from San Diego to Nashville, the Airspace platform will show several options going from A to B. What is great about Airspace is we don’t just look at just the flight plans and scheduled connections that the airlines provide; rather, through the algorithm we built we see every single flight path as an individual flight and can optimize and pair better connections with any airline in a flight schedule. Our optimization cannot be beaten in this space.
How does Airspace increase customer visibility and communication throughout the whole process?
- Brandy: From the top down, the Airspace team emphasizes the importance of what we do. For instance, our tech department doesn’t just create features that will make the company more money. We truly care about our customers’ orders and understand the value of them. It is so important for us to create a platform that provides the highest level of visibility and communication because we understand how precious the shipments can be. On the design team, we communicate with our users (our customers, Commanders, and operations specialists) so that we can provide solutions that we KNOW meet their needs. This is the first company I have worked for where we work this meticulously to make sure that we are providing what’s valuable to our users. There is a level of passion there you can’t fake! Once we have a solution, we don’t just push live, we bring it back to the key stakeholders to make sure they are satisfied and it will work for them.
- Michael: Traditionally, the way the logistics industry works is through phone calls and manual email updates. So, if a client reached out to a traditional vendor or a third-party logistics provider, that person would have to manually calculate everything and then reach back out to the customer. Airspace wanted to remove all of those manual touchpoints and make the process easier for our customers. Every time a shipment transitions from one status or milestone to the another, a notification is sent as soon as that occurs. Therefore, our customers have all the information they need in real-time and they don’t have to waste time waiting. And, this information is sent to our customers without them even having to ask.
- Brandon: Well, that is how you spell Airspace. When we talk about transparency, we truly provide it. We can have live interactions with the driver as they transition through an order. From dispatch, to pick up, and delivery, customers have 100% transparency. Additionally, through our connections with airlines, we provide updates as soon as a package is loaded onto a flight all the way to when the wheels touch the ground. All of this information is not only relayed to the internal team at Airspace, but it is also directly presented to the customer in the same manner. Airspace provides fundamental visibility tools that this industry didn’t have, and we are able to do it and replicate it every single day. This is why we built Airspace.
Airspace was created to overcome industry challenges and will continue to support the needs of our customers and their valuable shipments. To learn how Airspace can help you and your company, reach out anytime. We would love to understand your shipping challenges and help you solve them.