As many of our readers are aware, airports are complicated facilities that rely on a constant supply of a multitude of goods to operate. On a daily basis, there are deliveries of food, paper products, apparel, electronics, mechanical parts, and countless other items to meet the demand of the restaurants, hotels, concession outlets, airline club lounges, and airport and aircraft maintenance staff at the airport. The safe and efficient processing and movement of these goods is paramount to an airport’s performance and its ability to serve customers. Yet, at most airports today, this process is fragmented and inefficient, resulting in higher operating costs and negative impacts on roadways surrounding the landside and airside.
At its core, an airport is a collection of buildings surrounded by pavement – roadways, aprons, taxiways and runways. Like most commercial businesses, these buildings typically receive deliveries directly from the shipper. In some cases, trucks or vans are routed to loading docks on the landside, but in many cases shippers are required to clear security and enter the airside roadway network to make their deliveries directly to terminals and other airside facilities. This process costs shippers time which is then passed on to the customer. It also impacts the airports, who are forced to manage the process to provide shippers with security clearance and to check vehicles for possible hazardous materials. This also puts commercial traffic on busy airport ramps which foremost is a safety concern, but also drives expenses related to damage and delays.