INTERVIEW

Empowering a leap in digitalization. An interview with Ronan Spira, Head of Cargo Division at EL AL Israel Airlines about customized integration with cargo.one.

Published
October 28, 2019

Veit Dinges, Senior Business Development Manager at cargo.one sat down with Ronen Spira, Head of Cargo Division at EL AL Israel Airlines to discuss why  EL AL chose cargo.one as a partner to accelerate digital transformation efforts and how the customized integration process took place. 

What do you believe is the potential impact of digitalization in air cargo, and where is EL AL Cargo on the digitalization journey?

In airfreight, similar to many other industries, increased levels of digitalization will support efficiency and customer service. A lot of inefficiency and friction exist today in how airfreight is booked and in how data quality is ensured throughout the process following bookings. Not only can inefficiency be removed but the responsiveness of the air freight supply chain will be improved with digitalization. At EL AL Cargo we have a lot to gain from increasing the level of digitalization of our processes and in more external connectivity. Working with cargo.one has given us strong momentum on the journey. We will continue to work with cargo.one to strengthen our digital presence in more markets, with more products. 

At cargo.one we are currently integrating multiple airlines, while many others are still deciding if it is the right time to start a digital distribution project. Going live with EL AL as the next airline on our platform might have taken some of our customers by surprise. Why did it make sense for EL AL Cargo to act on digitalization now?

We were looking into undertaking this kind of project because digitalization will be a learning journey - from a technological as well as an organizational perspective. Progressing down this journey as early as possible allows us to develop our capabilities over the coming months and years. There are no opportunity costs associated with working with cargo.one and it makes complete sense for an airline to start these projects as early as possible. To be frank, there is probably less risk in entering a young market and learning under those conditions than arriving late to a developed market without a good understanding of how to participate effectively. I can imagine that other carriers either believe that they do not have resources or the right knowledge in place to begin a digital distribution project. However, this threshold is much lower when working with a capable partner.

...is this why you decided to work with cargo.one?

Working with cargo.one brought momentum and a lot of outside expertise that enabled us to develop a highly customer-centric product that is not common in the industry yet.

Digitalization is both a technical and an organizational challenge and cargo.one has the ability to support our efforts on both of these fronts. Beyond all of this, cargo.one has a great team, and we believe in the founders' vision for a more digital air freight industry.

What was the integration process like?

I wasn't involved in the day-to-day integration activities but I know from my team that cargo.one managed the integration and took a lot of coordination off of our hands. From working with us to conceptualize a customized technical solution to project managing the data collection and development as well as other steps in the progress. Again, this sits at the core of why it makes sense to digitalize with someone who knows what they are doing and who has the tools and processes in place to drive this process.

What are the next steps on your digitization roadmap?

While we now have capacities listed next to Lufthansa, ABC and others we are really only at the beginning of our digitalization efforts. There remain many business processes to digitize and integrations to improve. As I mentioned before this is a journey and while we have now taken the first steps we need to drive what we have already learned, continue to learn and execute on it.

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