Today’s highly competitive cargo environment requires high levels of customer service, improved employee productivity and timely, accurate management information. Although it is possible to automate almost any phase of cargo, only a detailed analysis will determine which areas can produce the desired benefits and are economically justified. This paper describes a practical approach to determining what type and how much automation is needed to meet your cargo operations objectives. Techniques for identifying requirements and quantifying benefits are presented from the end-user’s perspective. Because each user’s situation is unique, no attempt is made to recommend the automation of specific functions or to propose a particular system as a solution.