“Today [23NOV21], the air cargo industry takes another step forward in the Digital Air Cargo journey with instant digital booking of air cargo becoming available on every mobile phone,” Freightos Group CEO, Zvi Schreiber, announced. Just weeks after launching FAX – the Freightos Air Index (CFG reported), the company has now released another innovation: a completely mobile version of its WebCargo booking platform. CargoForwarder Global (CFG) wanted to know more from Manuel Galindo (MG), CEO of WebCargo. Read more >>
“Instant Air Cargo Booking Goes Fully Mobile,” the press release announces, referring to the WebCargo App which existing WebCargo users can download free-of-charge from both the Apple
and Android Play stores. The app brings the full flexibility and access of the WebCargo booking platform to the palm of a forwarder’s hand. Their smartphone now delivers routing and rate
information on more than thirty international airlines, and enables swift booking possibilities. The trend towards online bookings has exploded since the start of the pandemic. WebCargo saw a
570% increase in booking traffic last year and an almost doubling of the capacities being offered on its platform. “Until very recently, freight forwarders would call and email back and forth
with carriers to secure air cargo capacity for their customers. In the last two years, WebCargo and its airline and forwarder partners have grown Digital Air Cargo (DAC) by thousands of percent.
This has given the industry new real-time agility which has been crucial during a rapidly evolving pandemic as well as a supply chain crisis,” Zvi Schreiber said.
Yet, “why this particular move now?” CFG wanted to know, particularly because the necessity for a mobile booking app was not really seen over the past decade, since forwarders are usually sitting at a desk with a computer during work hours.
CFG: Interesting that a mobile app has been developed. Is there really call for this, given than input until now has always been that forwarders use computers for their work? Did the move
result from forwarder feedback?
MG: Refreshingly perhaps, this really isn't a matter of developing a cellphone app just because we could. The demand for this actually came up in some developing countries where home and office internet connections aren't always as stable. Of course, the lion's share of bookings conducted by forwarders will likely be done on their desktop. But, as the industry evolves, the potential ways to price and book cargo will evolve as well, whether carried out directly by a customer on a freight forwarder's sales portal, in a customer's ERP and then API'ed into the forwarder, or on a cellphone.
CFG: What do you expect the channel usage ratio to be going forward re computer/mobile?
MG: I believe that it will differ greatly based on region and scenario. Ultimately, however, we believe mobile's share will be in the single to low-double digit percentages. But for an industry that is built around reliability, speed, and solving last minute problems, exception management, even if it's just for a few shipments here and there, is key.
CFG: Is the mobile app the pre-curser to allowing shippers to select and make their own bookings directly, and then forward these to their forwarder of choice?
MG: We leave that to the forwarder's discretion. However, we are already working with a number of forward-thinking forwarders (excuse the pun!) on how they can make real-time pricing and capacity information available to their customers online.
CFG: The video shows a forwarder messaging a customer - are these messages also integrated in the app, as one single communication base?
MG: Nope, creative liberties. [He smiles]
CFG: With WebCargo's recent FAX launch and now the mobile app, what is left to perfect the WebCargo offering? What can users expect for 2022?
MG: Users can expect more and better of everything. We're continuing to grow the number of airlines on our platform, and expanding our lead as the largest air cargo booking platform. We're also continuing to expand into more regions, creating more functionality to extend price management from rate lookups to full online booking and sales, and are extending into both containerized and loose ocean cargo. The Digital Air Cargo revolution has made a tremendous amount of progress in just three years, but it's still early days.
Thank you, Manuel Galindo!
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