The WCS in Istanbul offered the opportunity to catch up with Lothar Moehle, Executive Director of CargoiQ, and learn what has been happening since we last talked at the end of last year.
The backdrop of the World Cargo Symposium in Istanbul at the end of April, was a busy time for Cargo iQ. It scheduled its Board Meeting for the day before the WCS, on 24APR23, and its AGM on
27APR23. The latter serving to elect new Board Members that had been reviewed in the former. “Some are being reelected, some will be new,” he says. The results have not yet been
13 Working Groups
The Board Meeting included a packed list of activities. It reported back on the results of the 13 Working Groups in Abu Dhabi recently, which saw sixty-three Cargo iQ members convene and attend in person. It was the first face-to-face meeting since Geneva, the year before, which had been attended by thirty people at the time. The Abu Dhabi attendees constituted a good mix of freight forwarders, airlines, ground handlers and system providers from around the world. Among them were also a number of “first timers” – an encouraging fact, Lothar Moehle underlines, given that the attending experts are gone from their normal jobs for a whole week, therefore their attendance shows that companies are committed to working on solutions, and that Cargo iQ is delivering something of value and is gaining greater traction.
Pharma and Door-to-Door in focus
One of the Working Group focus points dealt with a Care protocol for Pharma. The working group brainstormed what a solution could look like that enables greater transparency of shipment requirements. When shippers book and they require temperature control or handling in transit for example, this information could already be booked at the time. “We are thinking this information could be built into modules and stored into an overarching database where our members can use these modules as a specimen, and the information can be integrated into planning and measurement.”
An eventual solution could then also be used for e.g. live transports, and a full set of standardized modules that members could then adopt in their booking systems.
Door-to-Door was a second focus. In those cases where larger freight forwarders do not an own branch at destination, or all SME members who typically work with different agents around the world, CargoiQ is looking to offer a solution to include a second forwarder into the system. This task will form part of an air cargo industry Hackathon in JUN23.
More members lining up
The Board Meeting also discussed finances and member numbers, which appear to be on the increase: “We are talking to medium to large sized forwarders who have approached us to get more from CargoiQ.” From a first discussion to signing up can take 6-8 months (legal processes), he tells me. “We have a large number of industry participants. This is very encouraging. They are seeing that quality is important because their customers are approaching them, and many big shippers are requiring quality measurements from their forwarders.”
Other topics were CargoiQ’s involvement in ONE Record since last year. It has been participating in IATA working groups and pushing members to be more involved in gearing CargoiQ specs to ONE Record.
Finally, Henk Mulder gave an update on IATA perspectives. “We had a good info exchange,” he states. “Better visibility leads to better quality,” he is convinced.
Training in IST
CargoiQ used the opportunity of being on site in Istanbul, to provide a training seminar. This has been requested by Turkish Airlines Cargo and was in two parts. The first is a remote info training that people can tune into, and a 3–4-hour online seminar with basic training to members and employess. Phase two, “face-to-face” follows the first part, and goes into more depth. It is 8 hours long and interactive.
Where are the blind spots in the supply chain still, I want to know? Perhaps something related to the product offering of airlines, such as Express shipments, for example, Lothar answers. These are typically very small and often handled through passenger instead of cargo terminals, evading our cargo monitoring. This could be looked into in the future, he concludes.
RFS and AI
I ask Lothar Moehle, if AI figure will or already does figure in CargoiQ? “This is not yet taking place,” he tells me. “I can see that predictive analytics could be enhanced by AI capacbilities – a case of technology applied at the right spot at the right time. AI is a buzzword in many meetings,” he reports, saying “I need to see it working properly. I am somewhat cautious at the moment.”
And what about the RFS Phase 2 pilot phase? Has this gone ahead, yet, I want to know. To quote Elon Musk, “We learned a lot when the rocket fell down”, he says. The first phase revealed that the IT company needs to support more with translation of typical trucker message to airline messages. “We are therefore currently still in Phase 1.”
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