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It used to take three hours to book air cargo. Now, it takes us five minutes.

Air Export/Import Coordinator MC Trinter
Customer Interview Logistics Technology

From Trucking to Digital Air Cargo: Brennan O’Dowd on Digitizing Cargo Operations

Every month, WebCargo interviews someone from the industry to hear a wide range of perspectives. In April 2022, we asked Brennan O’Dowd, CEO of 7LFreight, about digital freight trends in air and trucking, and how platforms help forwarders operate.

Q: What obstacles does 7L set out to address via digital pricing and booking solutions in air cargo?

A: Our motto has always been “Freight Simplified.” Providing digital pricing and booking makes it easier for forwarders to do business.  They can spend more time with their clients and less time doing calculations or sitting on hold with carriers for quotes or to make a booking.

Q: 7L got its start in trucking – what challenges had to be overcome to digitize and enable dynamic rates for your customers?

A: We’re managing rates for more than 2500 carriers across multiple modes of transportation, and each carrier has its own way of publishing that information.   Every time we think we’ve seen it all, a carrier comes up with a creative new way to write a tariff or surcharge. We digitize and harmonize that data, so our customers can see the exact data for each carrier.

Q: What parallels do you see between trucking and air as dynamic rates and air cargo eBooking take off?

A: With the simplicity and automation of dynamic rates and eBookings, we’re going to see forwarders let their customers choose what airline routing they’d like.  We see that on the trucking side now. Each airline has its own strengths, and by letting customers make the carrier selection, they can select based on what’s most important to them, like speed or service.

Q: How do digital platforms improve the booking experience for contracted volumes as well as spot?

A: The centralization of information that occurs with eBooking platforms helps everyone in an organization see and utilize rates that have been achieved or negotiated.  Having contracted volume and spots available in an eBooking platform helps everyone understand the negotiated rate, and they can create a booking with those rates with confidence.