AOG, Meet TMS: Leveraging a Transportation Management System for Aircraft on Ground Logistics

July 5, 2023
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Consider the thousands of tiny components that make up an aircraft. If one part develops even a minor defect, it grounds it, and the clock starts ticking immediately. The resulting effort to locate, transport, and install replacement parts then becomes a logistical tsunami and a race against time. Every fleeting moment risks escalating costs, disgruntled passengers, and strained business relations. Thus, as the high-stakes situation plays out, all eyes become fixated on aircraft on ground logistics.


In 2023, there’s an innovative solution tailor-made for challenging environments like this- a Transportation Management System (TMS). This trailblazing technological platform transforms AOG scenarios by streamlining information, expediting decisions, and securing the prompt arrival of essential parts.


TMS, embraced by forward-thinking logistics providers, converts the chaotic AOG situation by quarterbacking aircraft on ground logistics with precision, speed, and reliability. So without further ado, let’s explore how a TMS can redefine the approach to urgent logistics by laying the groundwork for resilient aviation supply chains.  

For Today’s Shippers, AOG is a Race Against Time

Punctuality and schedules are sacred in aviation. The clock is unwavering, regardless if a vital aircraft part must reach Alaska or Australia. So, when a sudden snag grounds an aircraft, it triggers an urgent AOG scenario, thrusting shippers into a high-stakes race against time. Each clock tick intensifies costs, signals looming disruptions, and risks long-lasting aftershocks – strained business ties and possible reputational harm.

The Staggering Costs of AOG

The weight of an AOG event lies heavily on shippers’ shoulders, and it’s more than just the sheer logistics. The financial strain can be enormous—technical malfunctions grounding an aircraft can see costs skyrocket to an unsettling $150,000 per hour and compound well into the millions during a prolonged AOG event, as highlighted by IAG Cargo Magazine.

Beyond the Dollar Amount, AOG Exacts a High Toll from Shippers

An AOG situation doesn’t just dent your wallet; it wreaks operational chaos and strains vital stakeholder relationships. Industries dependent on quick deliveries find no comfort in land or sea alternatives, stressing the high stakes of air freight.


First, an AOG event can upend operational efficiency, turning the much-desired ‘On-Time In-Full’ (OTIF) delivery into a challenging endeavor. This strain grows as outdated communication methods complicate problem-solving, causing shippers to tussle with intricate logistics.


Meanwhile, stakeholder expectation management becomes an uphill battle, threatening enduring partnerships. Precise Estimated Times of Arrival (ETAs) hinge on a trustworthy tracking system, a key player in reducing uncertainty. Without this, the situation’s complexity could spiral, making stakeholder expectations more challenging to meet.  

Facing AOG, Logistics Providers Turn to Innovative Solutions

The high stakes of AOG events are impossible to ignore. Grounded aircraft cost millions, creating a domino effect of operational challenges and strained relationships. In this setting, the task falls on logistics providers to manage these crises efficiently.

Meeting Expectations in a Competitive Market

For shippers, two things are non-negotiable: reliable transportation and speedy communication. Outdated tracking and communication methods often fail to meet these demands, paving the way for logistics providers to step up their game. As customer expectations continue to ascend, logistics providers have the motivation to innovate and exceed these evolving demands.


Unquestionably, expedited trucking is vital in alleviating the severe costs associated with AOG situations. However, its effectiveness remains limited without a robust technological system bolstering its communication and tracking capabilities. Thus, this necessitates a shift from traditional methods to sophisticated solutions that not only deliver on shippers’ expectations but exceed them.

Enter: Transportation Management Systems (TMS)

Innovative technology tools in logistics are actively redefining the management of AOG situations, meeting customer expectations, and ushering in an age of heightened efficiency and dependability.


Among these trailblazing tools is the Transportation Management System, commonly known as a TMS. Acting as a logistic command hub, a TMS equips providers with a dynamic approach to AOG crises. It enables them to enhance their operations, improve communication channels, and offer exceptional service to shippers, driving a new standard in logistics management.

What is a Transportation Management System?

Think of a TMS as the quarterback in today’s logistics world. It’s an integrated solution tackling persistent challenges, especially for aircraft on ground logistics. Let’s explore further to gain a better understanding.

Defining TMS 

The simple definition of a TMS is a robust software platform tailored to optimize and streamline transportation operations, including the most challenging aspects of aircraft on ground logistics. This powerful tool offers many features, including efficient route planning, intelligent carrier selection, and comprehensive shipment tracking. Customizable to the unique demands of any business or industry, it improves efficiency and heightens customer satisfaction while reducing transportation costs. Moreover, as the nerve center of logistics, TMS fosters real-time visibility, facilitates collaboration, and steers data-guided decision-making. 

Key Features: Unparalleled Visibility, Control, and More

A TMS is a game-changer in logistics, especially with aircraft on ground logistics. It offers a host of key features designed to optimize and revolutionize the industry, and you can see it for yourself with leading TMS providers.


One of the standout features is end-to-end visibility, providing a comprehensive view of the supply chain from origin to destination. This transparency is invaluable in promptly identifying and addressing any disruptions or inefficiencies.


Another key feature is automation, which simplifies everything from order placement to shipment delivery. This feature streamlines operations and minimizes errors, leading to improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.


Enhanced inventory tracking is yet another highlight. This feature ensures real-time monitoring of goods, eliminating the uncertainties often associated with conventional methods.


Lastly, a TMS provides invaluable data analytics, offering insights that drive informed decision-making. This feature can lead to better strategy formulation, improved performance, and higher profits.

The Potential Impact of TMS in an AOG Situation

Imagine a frigid night at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and suddenly, a critical part fails in an aircraft bound for London. An AOG situation is declared. It’s now a race against time, as each grounded hour costs the airline hundreds of thousands of dollars and tarnishes its reputation.


As the airline alerts the logistics provider, the TMS springs into action. Data pours into the system, detailing the necessary replacement part located in a warehouse in Seattle, clarifying the need for urgent transportation.


Using real-time tracking and predictive analytics, the TMS identifies an efficient route that dodges weather disruptions and maximizes the utilization of available resources. It automates the dispatch of a delivery truck in Seattle and assigns the fastest, safest flight to London from there.


The system’s collaborative platform keeps all stakeholders – logistics, airline representatives, and ground crews – in the loop with real-time updates. The London team, informed about the part’s ETA, prepares for immediate repair work upon arrival.


Hence, the airline averted disaster, and the TMS played a significant role. 

TMS Takes on AOG: Key Benefits of a Transportation Management System

As a game-changing tool, TMS is redefining crisis management and significantly enhancing AOG responses. It’s all due to its key benefits tailor-made for aircraft on ground logistics- delivering reliable results, facilitating streamlined communication, and offering accuracy on-demand. 

Reliable Results

Every second counts in the demanding world of aircraft on ground logistics. Remember, a grounded aircraft can potentially cost airlines up to $150,000 per hour and millions altogether. Thus, a reliable solution is crucial, and a TMS offers just that. By efficiently consolidating and analyzing information, a TMS swiftly identifies the nearest available spare part and organizes its delivery within a stringent time frame. By promising speedy and reliable results, a TMS minimizes downtime, saves substantial costs, and reinforces its dependability.

Streamlined Communication

When managing an AOG situation, transparent and effective communication is essential. Miscommunication or delays can amplify the crisis, impacting relationships with stakeholders. A TMS solves this problem by offering a collaborative platform that seamlessly ensures real-time updates flow between shippers, forwarders, and ground crews. This clarity and transparency can enhance trust and collaboration, making AOG situations more manageable and less stressful.

Accuracy On-Demand

A successful response to an AOG event hinges on accuracy—precision in identifying the right part, determining the right aircraft, and coordinating the proper delivery schedule. An advanced TMS brings this accuracy on demand. With features such as built-in route optimization and inventory tracking, the system ensures that the correct part reaches the right aircraft precisely when needed, reducing the risk of further delays.

Embrace the Future of AOG Logistics With Carrier 911 

Through this article, we’ve explored the high-pressure world of aircraft on ground logistics and discovered the transformative role of a TMS. The clear takeaway? The right TMS can shift the tides in AOG recovery, turning potential catastrophes into little more than speed bumps.


Renowned for top-tier service, round-the-clock visibility, and freight emergency expertise, Carrier 911‘s strategic partnership with Turvo, a collaborative TMS, amplifies its capabilities. This alliance infuses its operations with the robust strength of a TMS, ensuring real-time shipment visibility for all supply chain parties. With the ability to track a shipment’s location at any moment, customers have an unrivaled level of control and assurance. Moreover, the synergy between Carrier 911 and Turvo eliminates the need for continuous follow-ups, with proactive communication as the standard.


Every interaction, from the initial service request to the final proof of delivery, is handled with urgency and meticulous care. Carrier 911 stands prepared to swiftly recover time-sensitive shipments from any airline or Container Freight Station (CFS) across the United States or Canada at a moment’s notice. So why not experience this potential firsthand? See a demo from Carrier911 today and witness the game-changing benefits of TMS in AOG logistics.

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