Etihad Cargo has reported that in March it recorded the most successful performance yet for online bookings with 16.4 per cent of monthly bookings coming through its new online portal.
Six months on since the launch of the portal, Etihad said it has managed a major distribution channel shift and accepted 14.4 per cent of its total bookings online since the October 2018 “go-live” milestone.
The cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group migrated to a new technology platform last year as part of its focus on digitalization and innovation, which it said achieved a “remarkable step change in the way it runs its operations and engages with its customers”.
In 2018, the carrier embarked on a strategy that saw the introduction of several transformation programmes across its fleet and network, commercial and operational processes, and its physical and digital infrastructures.
This culminated in the carrier’s successful front-end systems migration to the IBS iCargo solution in October 2018, and it celebrated the launch of its Online Booking Portal on its website.
Etihad Cargo now has over 6,000 unique registered users making online bookings every month, and the numbers are continuing to trend upwards (18.2 per cent of the bookings were made online during the last week of March).
Building on this initial digital investment, round the clock work within Etihad Cargo continues with the carrier successfully completing trials for another major distribution channel, using automated Freight Forwarder Messaging (FFR) to instantly allow bookings to be made and confirmed.
These pilots were undertaken with DHL Express and DB Schenker and completed successfully in March 2019, and are in the process of being progressively rolled out across their global operations as well as to other key forwarder customers.
Etihad Cargo head of technology and innovation, Rory Fidler said: “Etihad has made great strides in implementing the first phase of its digital ambitions over the past 18 months.
“We placed investments in digital transformation and innovation at the core of our new strategy, underpinning a renewed customer-driven culture within the organization.
“The fruits of that investment and hard work are transforming the way we interact and do business with our customers, and are opening up a multitude of future opportunities.”
Another innovation will soon make booking with Etihad Cargo even easier, with the development of a new distribution channel featuring Application Programming Interface (API) along with Web Services, which will provide customers with quote-to-booking functionality before the start of the third quarter.