Combination carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas is partnering with IT company SmartKargo to develop what Máximo Amadeo, commercial director of Aerolíneas Argentinas, calls “a real 24-hour, door-to-door service across the country” for e-commerce delivery.
The digital offering can be likened to apps like Uber, in that independent couriers will be able to elect to participate in the first- and last-mile delivery of e-commerce cargo, and local forwarders, e-commerce marketplaces and shippers that don’t have distribution networks will be able to book capacity – all via a cloud-based app.
Amadeo said that, at present, its cargo business represents almost 3 percent of the company’s total revenue. Like its regional competitors, much of the cargo that Aerolíneas Argentinas carries in the bellies of its passenger aircraft are Latin American perishable exports, like berries and salmon. But, in its partnership with SmartKargo, the airline will expand its cargo-carrying arm to tap demand for e-commerce.
Companies like Argentina-based e-commerce player MercadoLibre – comparable to Amazon and Alibaba – are generating demand for e-commerce products from Latin American consumers and creating heightened a need for logistics and transportation services in the region.
To address this demand, Aerolíneas Argentinas talked to multiple software vendors before deciding on working with SmartKargo. “The main objective is to develop the door-to-door distribution within our domestic market. They [SmartKargo] provide the technology so they can give full access of our service in our retail base without increasing our fixed costs, and make the bellies of our domestic bellies available for everyone,” he said.
Details about the release of the offering are yet to be solidified, but Amadeo said that the launch will fall sometime around “next July.”