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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
Events General

Networking (and) Air Cargo Networks

 

Navigating via networks

It was an honor to attend and address the Neutral Air Partner OPENAP conference in Dubai. After so many months of digital communication, it was truly enjoyable meeting industry professionals and friends in person.

We’ve faced many challenges together over 2020 and 2021. Some new, some old, some minor, while others seemed insurmountable.

The basics of air cargo logistics haven’t changed drastically – the same airlines are flying, the same forwarders are coordinating, and the same shippers are looking for the same services – and yet it feels like everything has changed.

There’s less capacity, fewer routing options, and more disruptions to day-to-day operations from airport shutdowns, weather delays, manpower shortages, and wild swings in pricing volatility. (You can see our air and ocean cargo pricing indices here.)

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But of course, logistics professionals know a thing or two about facing challenges, and have consistently found ways to deliver by leaning on networks and networking to make it happen.  And when faced with new challenges, we know that the best way to face it is by creating new and better connections.

Connections create opportunities. That’s why we travel to conferences in Dubai and belong to organizations like Neutral Air Partner – they help us locate and grow the relationships we rely on to deliver.

Air Cargo Connections

Air cargo and connecting are my passions. I joined WebCargo in 2019 because I strongly believe that technology provides connectivity, and connectivity provides efficiencies – for everyone.

I watched Uber connect taxis and passengers, Glovo connect restaurants and delivery professionals to hungry people, Amazon and eBay connect sellers and buyers, and of course, over the 20 years I’ve been in the industry, I have seen how Kayak and Travelocity etc. connect airlines and passengers for travel. Tech companies provide digital connections to augment personal networks. They provide hyperconnectivity – connections at scale. Every passenger is connected to every taxi. Every buyer interested in stamp collections can find every stamp seller online, easily, comparing different items and prices before checking out.

If it works for taxis and stamp collections, why not air cargo? That’s WebCargo’s question, and its mission. It’s mine too.

What does air cargo hyperconnectivity look like? Ask a forwarder using WebCargo.

That forwarder’s tech stack provides end-to-end digital connectivity from customer to carrier, across the organization. Operations personnel price and book air cargo shipments for customers in seconds, connected directly to 30+ airlines in real-time. Salespeople instantly search pricing and quote customers with digital rate management and quotation. Pricing has a single source of truth, and data can flow from one vertical to the next seamlessly. And their customer-facing self-service online freight sales portal automatedly closes deals in minutes, 24/7, off the phone.

The same tech stack provides connections to each customer, each operations clerk, each salesperson, each carrier, and even partner forwarders and agents. And that tech stack unlocks efficiencies for each in their interactions and transactions alike.

This tech-led connectivity transformation is taking place across the entire logistics industry. What started out in air cargo as forwarders’ drive towards single sources of truth for pricing and quoting has led to direct carrier connectivity and data flow, from real-time carrier pricing to customer quotes, and then back across from customer to carrier and through the forwarder for direct capacity booking.

It is amazing what reliable relationships can enable and connect. And when technology helps, there’s truly no limit to what we can all accomplish. WebCargo is already the world’s largest air cargo booking platform. And we’re just getting started. Join us!

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