Freightos launches Webcargo Sky to offer faster price quotes

Freightos, the online freight marketplace, released an addition to its logistics technology suite yesterday that allows users to access real-time airfreight prices, CMO Eytan Buchman told Air Cargo World.

The new product, called Webcargo Sky, gives forwarders live access to an airfreight database that includes connections to over 370 airlines and encompasses 1,400 forwarders. For many of the connected airlines, users also receive information on whether there’s space to book there, Buchman added. Users will get “faster price quotes,” bookings and services for airfreight, which is usually “by nature time-sensitive and urgent.”

The system was launched to address a “systematic problem” in the industry where most prices weren’t connected to the airline system, Buchman said.

Freightos found in a study earlier this year that only three air carriers had significant, real-time application programming interface (API) connectivity, and airlines scored only 11% in terms of customer connectivity.

“There’s a siloed gap between airline, forwarder, and importer platforms,” he explained. In most cases, “logistics providers will either rate sheets or will request spot quotes from airlines.” After receiving the quotes, the providers need to pass them along to the customer.

If the customer chooses to book, the provider needs to book their shipment on a specific flight that may not have the capacity to hold it or may have limited capacity, which could then drive shipment costs up, Buchman added. The resulting back-and-forth over shipments wastes time for everyone involved and prevents goods from moving as efficiently as possible, he said.

Webcargo Sky, which is designed to ease that communication, is free of charge – Buchman compared it to Gmail offering users a gigabyte of free space. “Typically, this software costs a lot of money,” he said, adding that it should especially benefit small and mid-size companies that might not have the budget to spend on expensive software. Some features, however – such as comparisons between negotiated and market rates – require a paid upgrade.

“You need strong digitization” today, Buchman added. He pointed to the trade tensions between China and the U.S. as an example for why real-time communication between airlines and freight companies is so important.

Though he acknowledged that there are other platforms trying to offer similar services, “the biggest difference is magnitude. No other platform has nearly as many airlines,” Buchman said.

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