INTERVIEW

Booking around the clock: The new age of digital distribution

Published
November 5, 2019

Digital bookings as a future-proof distribution strategy: By enabling freight forwarders to book air cargo capacities with instant confirmation anywhere, anytime, Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA)  takes on a leading role in establishing a new industry standard. We sat down with Satoshi Shimura, Vice President, General Manager and Head of Business Digitalization at NCA, to talk about our newly formed partnership and the impact of digital distribution.

Carriers are currently joining cargo.one by the month and we are excited to welcome you as the first Asian carrier on the platform. What was the reason for you to partner with cargo.one at this point in time?

We are very interested in the concept of e-bookings and believe it to be a highly efficient distribution channel. That is why want to be one of the players in the market that lead the way into the new age of digital booking experiences. Joining the cargo.one platform is precisely the right step at this point in time that will allow us to actively pursue this goal. We are excited to offer our customers this innovative way of booking cargo capacity. 

Digital booking is sought after by both airlines and freight forwarders. How will your customers profit from your offering on cargo.one?

What I see as an outstanding advantage is the easy booking process around the clock: Forwarders can not only request quotes within seconds and receive real-time prices, but also book capacity with instant confirmation - 24/7. This is extremely valuable, especially in a market as complex as global logistics, and is the only way forward to match today’s speed of business.

A customer centric approach is key when making strategic decisions. How do you expect the partnership with cargo.one to impact your relationship with freight forwarders?

I expect the partnership to have a very positive impact on our relationship with freight forwarders: The additional distribution channel empowers us to serve a breadth of freight forwarders, which allows us to build new ties and intensify our relationships especially with SME forwarders.

Second of all, we will be able to reach our customers where they want to be. As they are already used to digital processes in other industries, more freight forwarders have already discovered and are starting to expect the convenience of booking digitally. By being able to instantly confirm bookings on cargo.one, we will significantly reduce waiting times on their end and in turn, they will be able to serve their customers even better. It is a win-win for both parties.

Digital distribution is currently one of the hot topics in the air cargo industry. Do you think this is a trend that will cool down or stay in the industry for the long term?

I am convinced that digital distribution is here to stay and that this is only the beginning. We can already see in the market that its evolvement is taking up speed and that this continues regardless of market conditions. Without a doubt, digital bookings of air cargo are starting to become a new industry standard.

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