In a world where change is the only constant, adaptability is key.
In the air cargo industry that feeds sophisticated, time-sensitive supply chains, the transformation sweeping across is not a mere shift from paper to screen. It’s a profound digital evolution that touches every corner of the sector and translates into how goods move around the world. The most powerful catalysts of this change are not external disruptors, but rather industry veterans who embrace the digital wave, deeply understand the whorls in the waters, and steer toward a more efficient, customer-centric future.
A fantastic example of such a transformative journey is that of Camilo Garcia. Having worked with IAG Cargo, then spearheading airline engagement at WebCargo, and now again with IAG Cargo as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Garcia’s career has come full circle. His experience on both sides of the industry coin – airline and digital innovator – has given him a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges that come with digital transformation.
This journey – while more apparent with Garcia – reflects a broader trend of air cargo digitization that is changing the industry for both airlines and their customers.
A Deeper Look at Digitization
IAG in particular has played a critical role in the adoption of air cargo eBookings, whether by joining WebCargo as an early partner, driving support for improved digital payments, or launching a slew of other innovative ideas.
During a recent interview, Garcia shared some enlightening insights about his role and IAG Cargo’s digital transformation (WebCargo’s questions are in bold):
Tell us about your role as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at IAG Cargo.
“This role has given me a great opportunity to work closely with both our amazing teams and customers around the world. As a truly global carrier, IAG Cargo has the ability to offer very attractive propositions to our customers. Flying goods from Chile to China, from India to Brazil, from North America to the UK&I. My role requires close collaboration with different departments across the business; operations, network, and product teams (to name a few), to ensure we deliver the best product offering for our loyal customer base.
Since joining, we have launched New Premia, our climate-controlled facility at London Heathrow for handling premium freight, expanded our global network- now providing services to 27 destinations in the USA and 29 destinations in LATAM and the Caribbean, invested heavily in digitisation and optimisation projects, and continued to drive our sustainability initiatives to become fit for future.”
How is IAG Cargo challenging the status quo in the airfreight industry?
“At IAG Cargo, we place our customers at the heart of everything we do. We use the combined strength of five airlines (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Level) and our growing global network to support customers and deliver their goods to manufacturers and consumers across the world… We all know that no two days are the same in the airfreight industry, you have to be able to adapt and grow in the ever-changing logistics environment. As such, from an IAG Cargo perspective, we challenge ourselves daily to ensure we stay ahead of the curve.”
What specific steps has IAG Cargo taken to digitalise the business so far?
“At IAG Cargo, we’re on a journey towards ‘Destination Digital’, our initiative to become a digital first carrier in the air cargo industry. We are always finding new ways to implement digitisation across the business model, which includes investing in online booking. We have seen it support us in improving communication with our customers, enhancing their experience, and forwarders are able to enjoy instant access to rates, route availability, and a platform to make and manage bookings in real-time.”
What makes IAG Cargo and WebCargo such a powerful partnership?
“Both IAG Cargo and WebCargo are like-minded in their approach. We’re able to complement one another and collaborate in a meaningful way that brings benefit to both the business and the customer.”
What air cargo digitization is all about
Garcia’s words resonate with an essential truth – the digital transformation of the air cargo industry is not just about change for change’s sake. It’s about creating real value for freight forwarder customers and their shippers, making processes more efficient, and staying ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving global market.
In the grand scheme of things, the metamorphosis of the air cargo industry, marked by the kind of digital innovation Garcia speaks about is a testament to the power of embracing change, reimagining possibilities, and most importantly, putting the customer – forwarder or shipper – at the heart of the transformation.
The digital evolution in air cargo has taken flight, and with leaders like Garcia and IAG Cargo in the cockpit, the industry is set on a promising trajectory. The journey may be complex, with twists and turns, but as long as the destination remains clear – a more efficient, more customer-centric industry – the sky’s the limit. And this evolution is not just a phenomenon. It’s a shared vision, a testament to the transformative power of digital innovation when it’s embraced by those who know the industry best.