Exclusive: CargoAi launches CargoQUALITY

Real-time air cargo capacity and rate information used to be distant dream, but over the past five years or so, that dream has become reality, and an increasing number of airlines have begun offering their capacity on the few, established online marketplaces out there. CargoAi is one of these platforms and has seen a meteoric rise in acceptance since its inception in 2019. As its claim “Another way to think cargo” states, its success is down to ongoing innovation and new features. Following on from its additional Sustainability focus, CargoAi now also offers a Quality perspective. For the first time in the digital marketplace world, users of CargoAi’s CargoMART are given an overview of each airline’s quality performance on a given route. CargoForwarder Global (CFG) asked Matt Petot (MP), Founder and CEO of CargoAi, to elaborate on his company’s new CargoQUALITY feature.

Matt Petot talks to CargoForwarder Global about CargoAi’s new quality feature. Image: CFG collage of CargoAi and Canva stock image

CFG: CargoAi is adding a comparative Quality indicator as a further decision-making support for forwarders looking to book general cargo on routes offered on the CargoAi platform. When is this going live, and will it be available for all airlines on all routes?

MP: The CargoQUALITY feature is now live as of April and available on all 100+ airlines and countless routes available on CargoMART.
It is also available in our analytics solutions for freight forwarders and airlines.

CFG: What is CargoAi’s own definition of Quality in air cargo? And does it share this with its CargoTech peers?

MP: We calculate a standardized Quality score per airline per route as the percentage of shipments that were ready to be delivered by the airline at 6 hours after flight arrival, according to a baseline roadmap derived from the booking information. The planned NFD (Notify for Delivery) is compared against the actual NFD milestone (or AWD, where necessary) to calculate the Quality score. The result flows into a historical CargoQUALITY score for the airline and route (origin and destination), as well as the historical CargoQUALITY score for all airlines on the route in question.
The Quality scores of the past three months are considered, thus always offering an up-to-date view of the airline’s true quality performance.

CFG: You are the first online air cargo booking platform to offer Quality as a comparative indicator to forwarders. What led to CargoAi establishing this indicator? And why NFD?

MP: As part of our vision, we want to create the best air cargo booking experience.
It is clear to us that adding an operational comparative indicator was necessary to drive better procurement/booking decisions as an additional consideration factor when choosing between multiple airlines. Freight forwarders no longer need to rely on intuition regarding an airline’s efficiency and reliability, as they can now base their purchasing decisions on accurate, recent, and up-to-date quality information.
To drive standardization and alignment in our industry, CargoQUALITY applies the same long-established standard NFD indicator – 6 hours after flight arrival to all of the airlines included on the CargoMART platform – providing an equal measure for every airline and every forwarder.

CFG: NFD and other quality milestones were developed by Cargo iQ, previously Cargo2000. What are your views on Cargo iQ’s achievements and your own experiences working with these milestones, and how do these play into your decision to launch?

MP: As a fun fact, I, Matt Petot, worked on Cargo2000 many years back – and we respect what they do for the industry.
Cargo iQ standard is great for the industry and the measures deserve to be extended to many more airlines, forwarders, and to be public. The only way to really improve quality is to have this data used in the operational process, and we want to expand on what they are driving, ensuring that every airline on CargoMART can get benchmarked with the same 6-hour standard.
The CargoAi and Cargo iQ teams are actively taking on the subjects for the last 2 years to find solutions on how to work closely together. In no way are we competing as we both want to work in the same direction.

CFG: Certain IT system providers have a monopoly on messaging systems, and there are still many air cargo players using outdated EDI messaging systems – what challenges do these pose on quality measurement?

MP: The monopoly is not in place anymore as EDI messaging is not updated anymore and created too many challenges. The data in EDI is not the same anymore as what the airline website shows! Most freight forwarders are now using alternatives to get the accurate tracking of their shipment, such as visibility companies like P44 or our own CargoCONNECT tracking solution which also includes CO2.
It does not pose any particular challenge for us for the 100+ airlines integrated with us, as we get access to the data from the millions of air waybills (AWBs) booked and tracked every year via our different CargoAi solutions.

CFG: Did you pilot the NFD-indicator with selected users (airlines and/or forwarders) before going live? What was their feedback?

MP: As part of our processes, we always test any new product with our beta users before going live.
The initial feedback from our testing freight forwarders using CargoQUALITY has been positive. Users have praised the product for its ease of use, comprehensive dataset, and ability to filter according to their need. Many across Procurement and Operations departments have noted the spark of new conversations around certain booking decisions – which is exactly what we wanted to drive for our industry.

CFG: The NFD based on the same time measurement across all airlines on a certain route is an objective indicator. What about introducing a subjective quality indicator where a forwarder can rate the outcome of a booked shipment on a particular route with a 1-5 star system (like Amazon) or 1-10 number scale (such as in Booking.com)? Would that make sense and be something CargoAi would consider?

MP: We already have this feature in place as part of CargoMART.
The main difference is that the shipment rating system includes multiple other independent aspects (e.g. platform experience, operational experience, payment experience), other than what CargoQUALITY is purposely built for.

CFG: What is the next step, now, for CargoAi? Can users look forward to further quality features this year? Perhaps in collaboration with other CargoTech members and/or Cargo iQ?

MP: As a matter of fact, we released our CargoMART Pro for forwarders and CargoMART Airline pro for airlines this month – helping both sides to streamline and optimize their processes when it comes to air cargo booking.
As part of our DNA, we’re constantly looking for new products and partnerships based on customers’ pain points – and we can share that our teams are already working on our new products for 2024.

Thank you, Matt, for those insights. Is there any other message you’d like to share?

MP: We recommend staying informed about our platform updates and new upcoming features at cargoai.co as our team is already working on exciting new features!

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