Portal promises to provide ‘vastly improved planning and control’ for air freight shipments to small and medium-sized freight agents
Air freight quality body Cargo iQ has successfully trialled a new solution that it claims will provide “vastly improved planning and control options” to small and medium sized freight forwarders that work with its member airlines on a small-scale or regional basis.
The IATA-sponsored initiative said its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Solution will enable a ‘Route Map’ and status updates to be made available to the forwarder for individual consignments in line with the common business practices and milestones set out in Cargo iQ’s Master Operating Plan (MOP).
Cargo iQ members have developed the MOP as a system of clearly defined common business processes in order to help air freight forwarders plan a route map for their shipments and measure the progress of the shipment against that original plan and the various milestones within that plan. However, it has struggled in the past to attract SME forwarders into its community of users and has tended to be dominated by the larger global groups.
“With Cargo iQ SME, we provide a turn-key solution for independent freight forwarders to benefit from shipment planning and control through shared Route Maps and operational visibility for various milestones along the shipment lifecycle,” said Chris Davies, manager for product and technology at Cargo iQ. “Cargo iQ’s members work together to continuously improve the value of air freight for customers and, by expanding our solutions portfolio, we are opening the door to a wider section of the air cargo industry.”
After registering with an accredited Cargo iQ SME IT Service Provider, forwarders can benefit from Cargo iQ performance-management tools straight away, Cargo iQ said.
Forwarders that join the SME portal will also have the option to apply for full Cargo iQ membership, to benefit from additional performance reporting, benchmarking, collaboration, and insights. “Upgrading allows smaller freight forwarders to put the Cargo iQ stamp of approval next to their names after a vigorous audit and certification programme, and provides access to other tools, such as our member-only Door-to-Door Performance Management System,” said Davies.
From shipper to consignee
The Door-to-Door (D2D) solution allows Cargo iQ members to measure the movement of freight from shipper to consignee, rather than just the airport-to-airport leg of a shipment’s journey, and has also been developed based on the MOP. D2D provides implementable business rules and use cases to track and measure shipments, operational visibility in real time on an individual House Air Waybill (HAWB) basis, as well as comprehensive metrics on pick-up and delivery performance, Cargo iQ explained.
All route map data for D2D is provided by Cargo iQ to generate analytics, which is then reported to members in Cargo iQ’s Air Cargo Intelligence Hub.
The SME Solution trial started with Italian IT and cargo community system (CCS) specialist CCS Italy, using Riege Software’s back-end Cargo Data Management Platform (CDMP) technology. CCS Italy specialises in IT solutions for freight forwarders, air cargo carriers, and ground handling agents.
“Taking part in Cargo iQ’s SME Solution trial is a great opportunity for CCS Italy to demonstrate how independent freight forwarders can work with air cargo carriers to benefit the overall air cargo industry,” said Gianni Mauri, senior consultant for CCS Italy.
Christian Riege, managing director of Riege Software – which specialises in cloud-based software solutions for the cargo industry – commented: “We always put our focus on scalability, to serve customers from the smallest to the largest on the same high technological level. To expand this approach to IATA’s Cargo iQ initiative targeting SMEs was an extra stimulus – with the awesome outcome of facilitating SMEs’ access to Cargo iQ.”
An official launch date for SME will be announced in the coming months, following an evaluation of the trial phase.