Saudia Cargo focuses on digitalisation with cargo.one partnership

Cargo.one and Saudia Cargo say their recent partnership comes in light of rising demand for digital services.

In mid-April, Saudia Cargo announced plans to add its capacity to the online booking portal as it continues with its digitalisation drive. The rollout is planned for June.

Teddy Zebitz, chief cargo officer, Saudia Cargo told Air Cargo News that the move is in response to its customers’ changing requirements, and evolving needs from airlines.

“The passenger side of the business has moved a lot faster than the cargo side on digitalisation, but now is the opportunity for our sector to move ahead and accelerate on this agenda with the customer in focus.

“Overall, digitalisation is playing a vital role in the ecosystem. Everything from shipper to terminal to end user. Today digital solutions offer wide range of tools covering the needs of fast pace life and answer to rising expectation from our customers and partners.

“Our focus in utilising digitisation is to optimise our operation, provide seamless customer experience and strengthen the relation and help connect all global key players across the supply chain and have better alignment to optimize throughput and available capacity.

Zebitz added that Saudi Cargo is keen on keeping human interaction with customers no matter how evolved technology gets.

“It’s our core belief that success and relationship come from human interaction and technology is there to facilitate, optimise and scale our workflow not to replace people and their forward thinking capabilities,” he said.

“This ecosystem has to collaborate for the end user to satisfy the overall experience; offer speed, and showcase our reliability and agility which are the customers’ preferences that we need to deliver in the air cargo line-haul business sector.

“It is a customer focus and it is a focus on how we can make a contribution in the value chain for each market and segment i.e. pharmaceutical companies, food, essentials businesses and alike in order for the industry to create the desired value with speed, excellent responsiveness and reliability.”

Cargo.one co-founder and managing director Moritz Claussen said that Covid – and increased home working – had been an accelerator of digitalisation in the industry, but added that the trend had begun even before the pandemic in order to reduce manual interaction with data and to improve the customer experience.

The increased demand is evidenced by a 300% increase in cargo.one’s user base last year, while bookings in that time grew by more than 700%.

Another reason for an acceleration of digitalisation in air cargo is that the sector has grown in importance for airlines due to reduce passenger operations. Cargo is therefore gaining more resource and attention, he said.

Looking ahead, Claussen said cargo.one has further plans for development and has the resources to do so following two funding rounds in 2020.

“One of the big focal points for us going forward will be internationalisation,” he said. “We want to make sure we are selling the capacity of Saudia Cargo and our other partner airlines not just in Europe and the places we are live now, but that we can provide our services even more globally.

“As part of that we are currently expanding into North America and we are in the process of starting the expansion to Asia Pacific and other regions. This is one big focal point of the organisation right now and is something we believe will add a lot of value to our airline partners.”

Cargo.one is also adding more products to its booking options after developing a passive cool service last year.

“What we have learned is that facilitating a booking is a first step but to really help airlines reduce their manual labour and really focus on more value-added tasks we need to enhance the post-booking experience as well, for example, by enabling updates and modifications to bookings and to proactively send tracking updates to customers to let them know what is going on with their shipments.”

Zebitz added that while it will offer capacity on cargo.one, this is only part of the airline’s overall approach to digitalization as it looks to meet the requirements of customers at the various points along the air cargo supply chain through the creation, delivery and development of services.

“I think it is becoming more and more apparent that we need to provide a service value chain,” he said.

“How we meet the customers on different platforms, whether it’s personalised service or whether it is on digital platforms or a combination.

“And then serving the customer in the middle via the product services and speed. And then afterwards how do we follow up, what did we learn are we really serving the customer and doing aftersales.

“The service value chain across these three brackets now needs to be in place and the digital solution is one enabler for this to happen.”

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