The Berlin-based booking portal cargo.one has gained two new clients offering their main deck capacity for instant online booking of air freight: AirBridgeCargo Airlines and CargoLogicAir. They follow Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Finnair and some other carriers that decided to utilize cargo.one for upping their freight business.
The deal catapults the 2017 founded electronic booking platform cargo.one into a higher level among the players offering the booking and marketing of air freight consignments at dynamic spot
rates in real-time. This was illustrated last Wednesday, when two shipments consisting of almost six tons were booked online by logistics company Agility and to be flown from Frankfurt to
Shanghai Pudong in the main decks of B747-400ERFs operated by ABC and CLA.
“These two consignments were the first large bookings made via electronic platform for being transported by ABC and CLA,” enthused cargo.one co-founder and managing director Moritz Claussen who had come from Berlin to Frankfurt on the occasion.
Potential game changer
The agreement between the booking platform and the two cargo airlines was initiated at the last IATA-organized World Cargo Symposium in Singapore in March and announced during the Munich-held Transport Logistic trade show in early June of this year. There, the way was paved for the partnership sealed shortly after, confirms Simson Demmer, Chief Strategy Officer at London-based CargoLogicManagement: “We were intrigued by cargo.one’s offering service. Digital booking is part of a new journey, giving better value propositions to customers,” exclaimed the executive. He went on to say: “The industry wants to have everything easy, quick and transparent; in this sense cargo.one can become a game changer we are happy to partner with.”
AirBridgeCargo Vice President Europe, Andrey Andreev adds to this: “Besides being driven by a professional team of young and ambitious specialists, the platform guarantees simple, clean and intuitive search for its users. We can reach our existing customers, as well as new ones who have not thought about our services before. The simplicity and transparency of cargo.one makes it a truly seamless experience, with relevant, bookable offers on the page in 45 seconds or less.”
However, for the initial roll-out phase only up to 4.5 tons can be booked per AWB on each ABC/CLA flight and this from origins in Germany (FRA, MUC, LEJ) and the Netherlands (AMS). But at cargo.one they are optimistic to fast broaden the partnership: “We strive for ten tons per booking and the integration of other airports in our booking platform served by the two carriers,” says Laura Weritz, spokesperson at cargo.one. She’s confident that this will happen soon.
Sales activities will be upgraded
Jonathan Celetaria, Sales Director Europe AirBridgeCargo emphasized another advantage resulting from the electronic booking of freight: “It frees staff from checking documentation repeatedly, correcting figures and other standard stuff still common in cargo.”
Asked by CargoForwarder Global, both managers confirmed that electronic booking of freight has no effect on ABC’s or CLA’s sales force, costing any jobs. Instead, sales activities will change, turning into more tailored and individualized services. “Face-to-face meetings become even more pressing in times of electronic information exchange also because human support is needed should something go wrong,” stated Mr Demmer.
Booking portfolio will be expanded
So far, forwarders can only book general cargo shipments via cargo.one’s portal. But there are intentions to broaden the portfolio for ABC and CLA like integrating road feeding into the platform’s booking channel. “This will happen before this year is over,” assured Moritz Claussen.
ABC and CLA have already gone a step further, revealed Mr Andreev: “Although we are starting with general cargo, we are already offering both our General and Premium services, so it is suitable even for the most urgent shipments. We can already see that in particular for smaller, near-time shipments, there is significant demand. Not least among smaller and mid-size logistics companies searching on cargo.one.”
From the long-term perspective, both carriers intend to go beyond their European launch markets in Germany and the Netherlands by expanding the scope of products and services bookable via cargo.one.
According to the airline executives, at ABC and CLA the ratio standard freight / special products stands at 60/40, undergoing little change in recent times. General cargo is a market worth between 80 to 90 billion euros, they say. Hence, a massive chunk.
From the long-term perspective, "we are aimed at offering the full breadth and depth of our network. That means go-live beyond our European launch markets in Germany and the Netherlands and expanding the scope of our products and services," Mr Andreev said.
Multiple booking channels
Both managers emphasized their interest in gradually deepening the ties with cargo.one. “Our partnership has just begun. From our side, we intend to develop things together, learn from each other, getting customer feedback and go on from there by eventually offering the market pharmaceuticals to be electronically booked via cargo.one as a next step forward,” looks Mr Celetaria ahead.
Looking ahead, most customers will tend to utilize multiple booking channels for getting their goods airborne, the ABC and CLA executives are convinced. These range from platforms offered by individual carriers to electronic portals such as cargo.one. “We are only at the beginning of a thrilling new avenue to smarten up the cargo business,” they believe.