The start of the pandemic in 2020 led to an increase in digital cargo booking technologies that improve efficiencies and cut costs. It has since accelerated among freight forwarders in an effort to increase sustainability practices and boost security with data encryption.
This has led to more freight forwarders adopting digital cargo booking technology. The following are a few success stories in the airfreight industry:
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has developed a digital booking platform called myCargo. The platform provides customers with real-time pricing and scheduling information, as well as access to tracking and management tools.
Since its launch, myCargo has seen rapid adoption, with more than 90% of Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s bookings now made through the platform. Customers are also able to select one of four different levels of SAF when booking through the air cargo booking platform.
Airfreight digitalization company CargoAi offers a digital platform that provides real-time quotes and booking capabilities for air cargo shipments. The platform integrates with multiple airlines and freight forwarders, allowing customers to compare rates and schedules across multiple carriers.
“We help small to medium airlines jump the digital curve and become more competitive than most of the big airlines, who had to invest years and millions to make” their own digital booking platforms, Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi, previously told Air Cargo Next.
Singapore-based CargoAi has seen rapid adoption since its launch in 2019, with more than 1,000 freight forwarders and shippers using the platform to manage digital air cargo bookings.
Cargo.one is a digital air cargo booking platform founded in 2017 that connects shippers with a network of airlines and freight forwarders. The platform aims to simplify the booking process for air cargo shippers by providing a user-friendly interface and real-time access to flight schedules, prices and capacity. Cargo.one connects shippers with a network of airlines and freight forwarders, enabling them to book air cargo shipments quickly and efficiently.
Cargo.one has grown rapidly since its founding and has established partnerships with more than 40 airlines and 3,000 freight forwarders, according to its website. The platform currently offers coverage to more than 400 destinations worldwide and is continuing to expand its network and services.
In addition, the booking company recently launched a digital add-on to its platform, called cargo.one pro, which gives forwarders and import and export agents 24/7 access to live quotes and booking options.
Forwarders can browse various shipping agents in real-time, and users of the platform are vetted and verified, Moritz Claussen, cargo.one founder and co-CEO, previously told Air Cargo Next.
“Cargo.one pro will be … helping all freight forwarders globally to do these import shipments, seamlessly booking imports with dozens of freight forwarders, but then also allowing freight forwarders to offer their services to a massive user base of a couple of thousand [customers] that use cargo.one on a daily basis,” Claussen said.
Digital freight forwarder Flexport has become a major player in digital air cargo booking since its 2013 launch. The company has digitalized the shipping process — from booking to tracking — and has a reputation for transparency and efficiency.
San Francisco-based Flexport offers automated booking to improve time-consuming and error-prone manual processes; real-time tracking, so customers can monitor; customization that allows customers to services such as customs clearance and insurance; and digital documentation to allow customers to easily manage and access shipping documents, such as bills of lading, commercial invoices and packing lists.
WebCargo by Freightos is a digital platform that allows shippers to instantly compare and book freight rates from multiple carriers. It has streamlined the cargo booking process.
The platform features customizable solutions for air, ocean and ground as well as a centralized platform for collaboration between shippers and carriers.
Freightos CEO Zvi Schreiber said during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call on March 13 that the company is focusing on digitalizing the international freight market.
“Global trade is about 23% of the world economy and [an] estimated 90% of products purchased in the West are imported. So, it’s a huge part of our economy and of our lifestyles,” Schreiber said.
“The third-party logistics industry, which includes air and ocean shipping of goods, is worth over $1 trillion. But this vast and critical industry is surprisingly offline, creating tens of billions of dollars of waste and the offline highly intermediate nature of global freight is a factor in all the supply chain problems [we] experienced in recent years,” he said.
One of the world’s largest shipping companies, Maersk has invested heavily in digital technology to improve its operations — including its digital platform, Maersk Spot.
Maersk uses data analytics to give customers insights and personalized recommendations to optimize the supply chain, helping digital cargo booking customers make more informed decisions about shipping strategies while reducing costs.