EAL's agreement with the two digital booking channels will increase the utilization of China Cargo Airlines' and China Eastern Airlines' air cargo capacity. Both are marketed by EAL and its digital booking platform EOS, respectively. The aim of the deal is to offer forwarding agents transparent eBooking options for transport capacity made available by the two Chinese carriers.
Although these are individual contracts, all three parties involved in the deals are benefiting, with Shanghai-based Eastern Air Logistics profiting the most. Thanks to the collaboration with WebCargo and cargo.one, the utilization of the main and lower deck capacities of the above-mentioned carriers marketed by EAL will increase. At the same time, the logistics service provider cements its pole position by becoming the first Chinese marketer offering forwarders real-time eBooking channels for air shipments.
Agents are given more choice
“Digital is the way forward. Our digital sales platform, EOS, which laid the foundation for this cooperation, is built on top of technology initiatives such as the Shanghai Pudong Airport Smart Logistics. Partnering with WebCargo and cargo.one means EAL will continue to grow and expand its global customer base by providing forwarders seamless access to our considerable capacity exporting from and importing to Shanghai, and competitive rates,” emphasizes Jonathan Xu, General Manager of Logistics Solutions Business Department at EAL.
In a separate statement, cargo.one points out that integrating the available transport capacity into its own electronic platform, made available by the Eastern Air Logistics deal, freight forwarders in close to 5000 offices worldwide will gain instant access to main decks of freighters or belly hold compartments of passenger aircraft into China and across Asia Pacific. “The connectivity cargo.one delivers as a 24/7 booking platform will help EAL to grow its international bookings and remain front of mind with freight agents in all relevant markets,” reads its release.
Abundant cargo capacity, large network offering
Eastern Air Logistics, which has been a no name outside China for years, bolsters the marketing of China Cargo Airlines’ dedicated Boeing 777 and 747 freighter fleet, as well as belly capacity in nearly 800 passenger aircraft operated by China Eastern Airlines. The carrier serves 184 countries and regions and benefits from modern air cargo depot facilities at major Chinese hub airports such as Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, Xi'an, and Wuhan, as well as a domestic transportation network, including trucking solutions.
Cooperating with marketers representing different airlines is not new territory for cargo.one. The booking platform often partners with airline groups who, similarly to a logistics group like EAL, collectively market the capacity of the group members. SkyTeam Cargo club does this to a certain degree. CargoForwarder Global asked whether a mutual cross-shareholding between cargo.one and EAL is part of the deal. The booking platform’s management denies any shareholding element associated with the partnership.
Fly now, pay now
WebCargo by Freightos points out that e-booking options go hand in hand with financial services. “Through EAL, we can offer our customers even more options for air freight between China and the West, with credit lines and a seamless wallet functionality that will get their cargo booked and paid for in minutes,” states Joyce Tai, Freightos’ EVP of Worldwide Partnership. The company adds to this that forwarders booking with EAL will continue to benefit from WebCargo’s combination of real-time rates and booking with online payments, helping forwarders to quickly book and reconcile payments with EAL, as well as with other carriers.
Regardless of the individual interests of the companies involved, the agreements show that digitalization in the air freight industry is gaining momentum and advancing worldwide. 1.5 decades after IATA introduction of the e-ticket in passenger traffic, air cargo is also finally letting go of fax and telephones when it comes to information exchange.
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