Etihad, cargo.one deal expands cargo ops digitalization and forwarders’ network reach

Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad signed an agreement with digital airfreight booking platform cargo.one at an air cargo conference today, confirming Etihad as the latest carrier to join the multi-airline e-booking platform. For Etihad, the move advances its efforts in digitalizing its operations and for cargo.one grows the network of carriers and destinations available to its freight forwarding customers.

Following a phased roll-out starting today, freight forwarders will soon be able to book Etihad’s capacities on the cargo.one platform. Freight forwarders can create and log into an online account, accessible via desktop or tablet 24/7, to request bookings for shipments with instant confirmation.

Using the platform, freight forwarders can fill out a shipment request’s origin airport, destination airport, drop-off date and date of arrival. Once entered, the cargo.one system will process the information and immediately provide a list of booking options that customers can view and select from. Once a booking has been accepted, the platform will send a confirmation to the freight forwarder that can be shared with colleagues and customers.

The cargo.one booking platform also allows for the input of specific data related to shipments, such as dimensions, weight, number of pieces and whether a shipment is stackable or turnable. Inputting the data before requesting shipment services helps not only filter available options but is also intended to improve the quality of the shipping service. Customers will also be also be able to see all the past bookings of a given station and can cancel or update their order should needs change. This allows for clear communication with the carrier that can then adjust loading plans or utilize the space for other shipments.

Customers will initially be able to book general cargo onboard Etihad’s main deck utilizing either the carrier’s standard or express services. In the future, forwarders may be able to send perishable and other specialized cargo shipments, depending on feedback from future market studies, according to cargo.one.

By joining the platform, Etihad intends to reduce manual distribution efforts as well as continue its expansion into the European market by accessing cargo.one’s global user base of over 300 freight forwarding companies. The move further advances Etihad’s digitalization initiative, which includes the carrier’s recent opening of its high-tech Cargo Control Center.

“Etihad Cargo’s ambition to lead the industry into a new digital era has driven significant investment in our digitalisation programme across back of house and customer facing platforms in the last 12 months,” said Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Etihad Aviation Group’s managing director of cargo and logistics services. The partnership with cargo.one “builds on the success we have achieved on our own online platform, etihadcargo.com, which now represents 38% of our bookings.”

Other carriers that have signed on to cargo.one’s booking platform so far this year include Nippon Cargo, El Al Cargo, Finnair Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir.

“With Etihad, we’ve brought on another big network carrier and are now able to serve all continents,” cargo.one managing director Moritz Claussen told Air Cargo World in an interview. “We’re adding 33 more destinations worldwide than we had in our network with our previous partner carriers and in the future are looking to add more.”

cargo.one concluded by sharing that five more carriers are in the process of integrating their networks with the company’s platform and that these carriers will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

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Chelsea Toczauer

Chelsea Toczauer is the Associate Editor of the company’s daily news and monthly magazine Air Cargo World. She holds two BAs in International Relations and Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Southern California, as well as a double accredited US-Chinese MA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University joint degree program. Chelsea speaks Mandarin and Russian.