Digital air cargo from the forwarder’s perspective: Interview with Charles Marrale, CEO of ExFreight
Every month, WebCargo interviews someone from the industry to hear a wide range of perspectives. In May 2022, we spoke to Charles Marrale, CEO of ExFreight, for a short conversation to discuss digital air cargo from the forwarder’s perspective. Charles and ExFreight have been enthusiastic early adopters of logistics technology, and ExFreight’s customers have benefited from more access to more information at the point of booking.
Q: As a mid-sized forwarder and digital freight early-adopter what have been the main challenges that ExFreight set out to address via digital solutions?
A: Our digital strategy has three main goals:
- Increase operational efficiency by automating tasks,
- Increase sales efficiency by automating customer onboarding and quotes, and
- Increase our offering by adding more modes to our platform.
Q: What advantages has air cargo eBooking introduced for you and your customers?
A: eBooking has allowed us to automate our booking process. Before eBookings we often had to send emails or call the carriers. It was a waste of time for both our operations team and the airlines’ reservations teams.
Q: Were there any obstacles to overcome to make digital air cargo sales and eBookings a success?
A: Before eBooking we would often quote our customers based on contract rates but then find our space assumptions were incorrect which then put pressure on us to quickly rebook the space. Digital bookings allowed us to solve that problem but to do so we had to make a change to our existing platform to allow a new streaming rate response from the airlines.
Q: COVID introduced major stressors to the freight ecosystem; how did innovation and digitization help you weather the storm?
A: COVID placed pressure on everyone to quickly adapt to evolving market conditions. Our digital platform gave our customers instant access to dynamic market rates and allowed us to capture more business from our competitors who were not as nimble. The process automation that comes with digitization also allows us to do more with fewer people which is now becoming even more important.