Collaboration and the future of online cargo booking

posted on 14th September 2023
Collaboration and the future of online cargo booking

Many companies are still restricted by legacy systems that prevent the full digitalisation of cargo booking and other management processes. Creating solutions that operators can easily integrate into their existing systems can actively facilitate digitalisation, one step at a time, says Awery’s Tristan Koch

Online cargo booking platforms are crucial in ensuring that the increasingly competitive air cargo industry remains agile and can distribute and sell inventory in a more efficient and sustainable way.
As capacity continues to grow with the return of global passenger services and an increasing number of new freighter operators coming online, the ability to quickly bring services to the market and distribute them through online platforms is critical to success. When looking for online cargo booking platforms, users need to consider which platforms provide the best user experience and market penetration.
Awery’s CargoBooking is an open access online booking marketplace that allows airlines and their General Sales Agents (GSAs) to provide freight forwarders with real-time air cargo rate distribution, quotes, and bookings. One of the key benefits is that it automates the complete sales process, and consequently enhances cost savings, operational efficiencies, and serves as an extra sales channel for airlines and GSSAs.
Uniquely, Awery offers this service without charges to any of the participating users, as we believe that basics such as quoting and booking should be with no cost. We don’t take a fee when a booking is made, and airlines and GSSAs can also engage with forwarders over CargoBooking without the forwarder needing to register. While data analysis and advertising may be part of a future premium, paid-for service, the standard version is open access to all participants.
We believe in an air cargo digital democracy, and by offering this open-access version of our platform, we can help drive that transformation to the benefit of all players in the industry.
It is important to recognise that many companies are restricted by legacy systems which prevent the full digitalisation of cargo booking and other management processes. For example, Awery has identified that the number of bookings being performed online is still very small compared to the actual market, indicating that the industry is still reliant on finalising orders through email or other less effective ways of communicating.
Awery’s solution is its eMagic tool, included in CargoBooking, which is designed to easily integrate into operators’ existing systems. eMagic includes a plug-in which analyses the content of an email to identify the key elements needed for a quote and pulls these different types of data into a single readable format, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming manual inputting.
By creating a solution that is easy for operators to integrate into their existing systems, Awery is actively facilitating the digitalisation of the industry, one step at a time.

Collaboration is key
Collaboration between tech partners is key to fully optimising air cargo management. Whilst data certainly has a value in the air cargo industry, not freely sharing operational and non-commercial data is stifling the industry’s ability to reap the benefits of digitalisation. We are strong advocates of allowing free access to this information for the common good.
The aviation software developer recently partnered with Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) to co-launch h2A, a new innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for airlines. Our partnership with HLT responds to an industry need to synchronise numerous, disparate workflow processes, something that can only be achieved through true integration and digitalisation. The platform will enable greater process control and simplify operations for airlines, who can find everything they need in one place.
h2A is a comprehensive platform that manages all processes across the entire lifecycle of the airfreight shipment, from warehousing to flight management and commercial activities, as well as all HR and business processes behind the scenes. Integrated systems, such as h2A, will serve to facilitate end-to-end visibility and traceability of shipments from booking to delivery and allow different stakeholders to access and share relevant information in a centralised manner.
As legacy airlines look to reduce their reliance on multiple disparate IT solutions and new cargo operators seek a single source IT supplier, Awery believes h2A is uniquely placed to help.
CargoBooking and h2A are helping to reduce information silos and improve collaboration between all parties involved in the value chain and are both part of the company’s goal to unite the sector under one digital umbrella.
Tristan Koch is chief commercial officer at aviation software developer and IT service provider Awery