Challenge 4: “Open Challenge”
Spare parts for a machine or an aircraft (for example AOG, Aircraft on Ground spare parts), important production components, documents for immediate and safe delivery: an extremely urgent international transport need. Although these cases can have serious consequences and can occur at any time. These days these transports are made with the support of On-Board Couriers with the next available flight connection. But the planning is sometimes chaotic if the pick-up address and the delivery address is somewhere in the world. The idea come from the own experience from one team member who made a lot of transports as an On-Board Courier and delivered very time-critical shipments worldwide.
What it does
We built a tool to find the best matches for the airports connecting from location A to location B that could be anywhere in the world and the perfect flight route by using the given APIs and the right On-Board Courier (OBC) to escort the shipment.
How I built it
We used the Lufthansa Open API for the airport research and the flight connection. For later stages we will use for the flight connection an API from a booking machine with nearly all available connection and not only from one airline group. For address verification as well as on-ground distance and time calculation, we used different Google Maps APIs. In this MVP we have a fixed group of OBC for the job. Later on, there will be an international database with OBC all over the world.
Challenges I ran into
We could match flights from the Lufthansa Group for this MVP. It was not possible to get access to other booking machine APIs in such a short time over the weekend. This need to be optimized to get more flight connections and also with prices for comparison. Also, our backend albeit robust, has taken up too much time of the entire team of three and thus the frontend app of our project has fallen behind.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of the fact that we managed at the last minute to handle all the complex data inputs from our backend through trials and tribulations. Thanks to apollo-server, we also managed to create a playground of our own API, so that backend frontend developers of this project may communicate more smoothly in the future.
What I learned
APIs for air transport could be more complicated than first expected ;-)
What's next for Speed Transport
We will move forward with the idea, evaluate it with potential customers and build a hole SaaS offering for Logistics-Agencies and On-Board Courier to support their daily work.