The development of digital solutions to optimize shipment processes from origin to destination has long been part of the portfolio of French general sales and service agent, ECS. With the launch of CargoTech, it will offer forwarders and airlines additional electronic applications and usage options to optimize their freight processes. CargoTech is a joint subsidiary of ECS’ Cargo Digital Factory and the software and data-science company, Wiremind Cargo.
For several years, ECS Group’s tech department, Cargo Digital Factory, has designed high-value-added technological tools for the freight agent’s customers: digital tools such as its Pathfinder Track & Trace solution or its Quantum pricing system. These have not only enhanced its customers’ processes but benefited its own employees, too, who have inhouse solutions such as the APOLLO reporting system, for instance, at their disposal, supporting them in their daily work.
Standstill is regress
Because digitalization is ever evolving, the ECS Group and partner, Wiremind Cargo, have now jointly created CargoTech as an independent entity. Its aim is to combine the two companies’ software expertise and design additional digital solutions, introducing them to the market once they are ready for deployment, thus expanding the standard product portfolio.
“Under the CargoTech umbrella, we will enhance and develop digital products both for the benefit of our existing ECS Group customers, as well as for all other airlines in the world. Our solutions are modular, and customers can subscribe to one or several products as required,” Cedric Millet, ECS Group Chief Strategy & Digital Officer, explains.
Innovations to be announced gradually
For the time being, the involved parties do not provide any further details on the targeted improvements standing on the agenda of their new software and data science subsidiary. “CargoTech is working on developing new applications that will meet specific customer expectations. The question of real-time is clearly part of the projects,” is ECS management’s answer to CargoForwarder Global’s question. Further, they state that the applications will be announced one after the other once they are ready to be launched.
For market observers this sounds as if CHAMP Cargosystems’ electronic toolbox will soon be challenged by a competitor. “For the moment, the idea is not to develop the same tools,” ECS objects, with emphasis on “for the moment.”
Asked if a solution to capturing the movement of ULDs and enabling real time visibility into the exact location of a container or pallet, is among the planned tools on CargoTech’s IT list, parent company, ECS Group, says: “Not right now. But that's exactly the kind of project that is being thought of.”
ECS Group and Wiremind have been working together since June 2018. ECS became a key user of Wiremind’s SkyPallet ULD capacity steering platform and flight optimization system in its early days, and thus helped to grow and enhance the product. “We both share a common vision and ambition to digitalize the industry in a way that removes complexity and manual work and focuses completely on the user experience,” ECS and Wiremind state in a joint release. Whatever can be digitized should not remain manual, but not everything can be automated, the French companies emphasize.
Digital and manual to go hand in hand
ECS Group offers solutions for both scenarios. “Every activity requiring human expertise is covered by our New Abilities portfolio, whereas CargoTech takes care of automating and digitalizing routine processes to reduce costs and optimize revenues while fostering innovation,” Mr. Millet explains.
Nathanaël de Tarade, Board Member at Wiremind and CEO of Wiremind Cargo, adds to this: “Our intensified collaboration with Cargo Digital Factory will enable us to deliver more quickly on our vision of becoming a leading provider of end-to-end software solutions to the air cargo market and taking SkyPallet to the next level.”
The foundation of CargoTech is an important milestone in the two companies’ digital strategies.
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.