In last week’s issue of CargoForwarder Global we published the first part of an article on a new concept for “capacity forecasting” which has been set up by Transmetrics. In this issue we present the second part with its conclusion.
The cargo airline companies are not the only ones who can benefit from Transmetrics’ solution. “Having an accurate forecast in advance, even medium-sized freight forwarders can improve their planning, collaboration and bookings. As a freight forwarder, you get a strong advantage in negotiation with the airlines for a better rate and, as a result, can achieve a greater profitability,” assures the company.
The Transmetrics concept is different from the methodology of other companies, such as Belgian company TRI-VIZOR, which use data for the clustering of volumes from different companies. “They try to provide horizontal collaboration between different shippers jointly using the same capacity”, says CEO Asparuh Koev. “Our aim is the vertical collaboration between various transport companies so we have complementing approaches.”
DHL Aviation was involved as a consulting partner and has not yet decided to implement the system. The first customers to use the Transmetrics’ product were in the ground freight business. In the air cargo segment, Transmetrics is looking for early adopters, who are ready to invest their time to fine-tune the optimization part of the solution for the particular needs of the airfreight sector. The interest has been shown by several airlines already. According to Asparuh, “A more logical extension to our business is to go to the air freight forwarders and we are talking to some of them. Right now the demand for expansion into the air transport sector is there.”
A lot of air cargo is flown in the belly of passenger planes. For these carriers, passenger numbers are easy to predict, which helps them develop the best dynamic pricing strategy. As for cargo, they tend to work on a flat-rate basis, which according to CCO Anna Shaposhnikova and CEO Asparuh Koev is anything but a good market approach towards cargo. “Knowing the forecast for cargo volumes would help them apply an effective dynamic pricing for cargo shipments.”
The company’s headquarters are based in Bulgaria and it is not surprising, says Asparuh. “Bulgaria is one of the European leading IT clusters. For a long time, the local education system has helped in the development of many talents in mathematics, statistics and software development. So you can hire top IT talents at a reasonable cost in comparison to Western Europe. Also, the fact that we are part of the EU and that our legislation is EU-aligned helps us do business internationally.”
The larger part of the Transmetrics team is based in Bulgaria but the company has a strong connection to Belgium as well. Two of the Transmetrics co-founders met while doing the MBA at the Vlerick Business School and currently one of them is based in Brussels. In addition, the majority of the Board of Directors, the Advisory Board and the investors of Transmetrics are based in Belgium.
The Board of Directors is chaired by Louis Verbeke, who is an Honorary Chairman of the renowned Vlerick Business School. “I was very interested in the concept”, he says. “It allows for an improvement in the objective decision making and proper supplier selection. In today’s environment logistic companies are often the leaders in their local markets, but the further you move away from the centre, the less transparent the matters become and the more difficult it is to maintain the objectivity.”
Apart from Mr. Verbeke, some of the Board members are Herman De Bode, a former Senior Director at McKinsey & Company and Niky Terzakis, former CEO of TNT Aviation. The Advisory Board consists
of the current and former professionals from the logistics companies, such as DHL, a.hartrodt, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, and others.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels