Driving change requires tangible milestones. At IATA’s World Cargo Symposium 2022 in London last week, CargoAi unveiled both its Cargo2Zero suite of solutions to facilitate greener choices, as well as an industry-first CO2 Efficiency Score – something that could perhaps be adopted across the industry. CargoForwarder Global (CFG) used the WCS in-person opportunity to speak with CargoAi’s CEO, Matt Petot (MP).
“Only if targets can be measured, can they be achieved. Our Cargo2ZERO suite of solutions is the result of a number of customer discussions over the past few years, which have confirmed the
increasing importance of sustainability in business decisions. It is a prime example of Tech for Good,” Magali Beauregard, Chief Commercial Officer of CargoAi announced at the WCS 2022,
where Sustainability played a central role. It is an integral part of all of CargoAi’s activities, too, as the company advocates the many benefits that technology can bring.
A basis for constructive discussion
Its latest product offer, the real-time Cargo2ZERO suite of solutions, comes along with another industry-first: a new CO2 Efficiency Score. The latter, which is based on the IATA CO2 emissions standard, enables users to benchmark themselves and is a starting point for constructive discussions between freight forwarders, airlines, and shippers, when it comes to defining tangible improvement measures. It “will help the air cargo industry to bridge the gap between an intention for climate action and actual climate action,” CargoAi believes. Cargo2ZERO allows freight forwarders to make informed green choices when booking online by providing transparency on CO2 emissions per AWB (as requested by many shippers), and data helping forwarders to monitor their Scope 3 SBTI reduction targets. In addition to being able to filter the cheapest or fastest connections on the platform, CargoAi users can now also sort capacity offers to show the greenest options.
A real-time report that can be downloaded at any time
“The sum of a forwarder's decisions is visible in the Cargo2ZERO report which shows every booked AWB and its respective CO2 emissions. The system evaluates the overall CO2 emissions, calculates the forwarder's Efficiency Score, and shows this in comparison to all other forwarders using the platform,” CargoAi explains. Information that forwarders can access on their CargoAi ecosystem dashboard, or downloaded as an XLS/CSV file, “retrievable at any given moment”. Initially, the report will provide a history stretching back over four months. This will be extended as the report matures. Imported AWB lists can also be monitored.
Sustainability defines all of CargoAi’s activities
“Sustainability is at the core of all our developments and customer interactions. CargoAi will use the Cargo2ZERO data to steer and encourage forwarders to choose the greenest options for their shipments, and to enter into pragmatic discussions with their own clients about what is needed to reach 100% net zero efficiency,” CEO Matt Petot underlined, pointing out that there are more sustainability innovations yet to come from CargoAi.
CargoForwarder Global interviews Matt Petot
CFG: What is CargoAi working on currently?
MP: We welcomed Lufthansa Cargo as our latest new airline partner last week, and have another three or four airlines to come soon, with a number on a backburner. And today, of course, we launched our Cargo2Zero CO2 product, as a sustainability solution. We talked to many freight forwarders in the making of the product, and collaborated with them. They are very excited about it, as it provides really useful data when talking to shippers.
CFG: How has 2022 been in comparison to 2021? Are you seeing a slowdown in airline interest at all, with the current drop in cargo volumes being talked about?
MP: No, we don’t feel any slowdown. There is still a lot of growth. Because airlines are less full, they post more options on CargoAi. The digital drive will not drop off. Yes, the pandemic accelerated digitalization when it comes to the adoption of Zoom and similar tools, but not booking platforms. Those airlines that launched on CargoAi during pandemic, were planned before. Likewise, airlines’ websites had also already been in the making. Digitalizaion is here to stay. More and more airlines are launching websites and joining booking platform. And the more airlines that have their own website, the more they use APIs to connect o us.
CFG: CargoAi, cargo.one, and WebCargo exist, as well as airlines’ own websites. So many channels? Why? And will there be more, soon?
MP: Airlines are interested in offering customers a choice. They don’t want a monopoly, however they also don’t want too many platforms. Yes, there could be more booking platforms in future, however, I believe it will remain at three for the next three to four years, for now.
CFG: You joined CargoTech earlier this year. How has joining CargoTech tangibly benefitted CargoAi?
MP: CargoTech’s investment is the first benefit. The second is the collaboration platform. We are now working together on a product with Wiremind Cargo, and are talking to Rotate to see where it makes sense to develop solutions together.
CFG: Are you involved in IATA’s Digital Cargo Working Group? If so, how is it running?
MP: Yes, CargoAi has participated in ONE Record meetings every Tuesday for the last 2 years. The pace is very slow. Given that more and more airlines have APIs, change has to happen now. The industry requires standards and these should be implemented quickly. ONE Record needs to work closely with IBS and CHAMP who can drive change.
CFG: What question would you have liked me to ask you?
MP: “How can digitalisation help combat the work force crisis?” It is hard to recruit people in this industry since aviation is not deemed attractive because of sustainability issues. Young people coming in and seeing how late digital adoption is, and being faced with having to write AWB numbers on spreadsheets, will not stay. Those aviation companies that have already implemented more modern, digital solutions, will have a better chance of retaining young people.
CFG: What about CargoAi and recruitment?
MP: CargoAi is a remote company, so our talent pool is worldwide. We have experienced good success over the past two years with lots of people applying to our open position. Also, even though we are still a relatively young company, our employees tend to stay longer than 2 years. They see a purpose: CargoAi facilitates change – and we have received recognition of this too: CargoAi won the Air France KLM Martinair Cargo-sponsored Innovation Award – Digital, this summer.
CFG: Thank you, Matthieu Petot!
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.