INTERVIEW

From manual to digital in 12 weeks. An interview with Simson Demmer, Chief Strategy Officer of CargoLogicManagement.

Published
October 10, 2019

An interview with Simson Demmer, Chief Strategy Officer of CargoLogicManagement about the cargo.one integration process of AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir and the evolution of the partnership.

When did you first hear about cargo.one and got in touch with the team? 

I couldn’t recall the first time we heard about cargo.one. It was probably in a news story or press release. But we met in person with the full team at WCS in Singapore for the first time. It was a very refreshing meeting. Instead of talking about the mythical task of digitalization, we clicked. We walked away from the meeting with a clear view that together, we could make rapid progress.


Why did you choose cargo.one as a partner to boost your digital transformation efforts?

There is an “aha” moment when you see a search complete on cargo.one for the first time. It is simple, clean and intuitive. A very strong customer journey from search to booking, and therefore a channel where we want to be present for our customers.

It was important for us to be able to offer an end-to-end booking process, rather than, for instance, a novel way to distribute rates. So cargo.one’s focus on “instant confirmation” was a good match, as was its focus on some of our core European markets.

What do you see as the main advantages for airlines of working with cargo.one?

It opens a new sales channel for us as carriers. We can reach our existing customers and those that maybe haven’t thought of us as often before. The simplicity and transparency of cargo.one makes it a truly seamless experience for freight forwarders, with relevant, bookable offers on the page in 45 seconds or less.

We are proud to be one of the first on cargo.one and relish the opportunity to demonstrate digital-first in the booking process.


From your point of view, was it an easy integration process? And how would you describe the way of working together over the past weeks? 

In short, yes.

We have been making concerted efforts in building our data & analytics capabilities and integrating these with our commercial and operational processes to deliver a better product for our customers.

Together with the cargo.one team, we were able to build on this foundation. We had to speed up in some areas, given the pace of the project. But there was a tremendous amount of flexibility and constructive engagement on both sides to match our timeline, and that made integration almost a breeze.

A big thank you to both teams.


Having experienced visibility as a consumer, usually when purchasing items online, is this raising customer expectations for moving freight as well?

We expect that it will, of course.  

The booking process will become more transparent and more data-driven for our customers, and for us. That will over time change how our customers find the best solution, and how we offer the best package. I suspect that across our industry it will raise expectations on how you book, track and monitor progress or deal with unforeseen events. And with richer, more granular data all participants will be able to review and adjust to achieve better and better results over time.


Do you expect digital booking platforms such as cargo.one to be the standard way of booking in the future?

Yes, one of the ways.

In fact, as an industry, we must move faster in that direction. No passenger carrier in the world could afford to only offer bookings by phone or e-mail. Online booking share has been a KPI there for a decade. 

While freight is more complex in many ways, the technology and capabilities exist to make a larger share of products and services available online as well. We need to offer the same level of transparency and ease of use to our customers, that we expect when we book our holidays – be that on Expedia, Kayak or airline’s websites or their call centers.

That means being present where our customers are, in all channels, across relevant platforms. Both online and direct. At the same time, we have the benefit of learning from lessons from the passenger world in their digital distribution journey.

How do you see the partnership developing and expanding in the near future?

Bringing together feedback from customers and our commercial teams is very helpful to set priorities, and we continue to develop our pipeline in lockstep with their feedback. Overall, though, there are three focus areas:

First, we want to offer customers in more markets the full breadth and depth of our network. That means go-live in beyond our European launch markets in short order.

Second, we are keen to expand the services bookable through cargo.one. We are main-deck carriers with a strong product portfolio, from DG to XL to Pharmaceuticals. More and more of we aim to make available for booking online over time.

Finally, there are a lot of opportunities to innovate. Both in looking beyond Europe, with different market patterns and in how we offer services, service bundles, and different categories. 

I am certain it will continue to be an exciting journey. For us, cargo.one and our industry at large.

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