Cargonet was launched on 9th April 2013, initially serving as a freelance sales resource for various sectors of the cargo industry, all of which had the same customer base and focus. However, spotting a gap in the market, the company has grown over the past ten years into a 100% neutral UK freight wholesaler that offers a full range of services.
“In 2013, having attended interviews with several of the big name airlines, I decided that I wanted to do a role where I felt I could make a difference rather than being just a number, and set up my own business,” Cargonet’s Managing Director Steve Landy said.
Cargonet has organically grown over the last 10 years from just Landy at his dining table with 15 customers, to 18 members of staff and almost 700 customers; pinning its success on the ability to be flexible.
“We have never tied ourselves up in processes that cannot be deviated from if needed. We are proactive, passionate and ask our customers what they actually want and deliver it. We’ve never lost sight of the customer journey which is what brings them back time and time again,” Landy highlighted.
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As a neutral wholesaler with a focus on airfreight and courier, Cargonet acts as the middleman between the freight forwarder/courier company and the airline/integrator. Its customer base is wide-ranging, serving everyone from a 1-man band to companies with over 100 employees. Whatever the customer needs, Cargonet tailors its service to their individual needs.
Without its customers, Landy is clear that they wouldn’t have a business, noting how they will never lose sight of that fact. Cargonet is a relationship builder that is just trying to make its customers lives easier. “As much as the industry tries to automate it really is still about the people,” he said.
“The larger forwarder would come to us for rates and space that they don’t necessarily have access to themselves. The smaller forwarder may not have accounts with the airlines which we give them instant access to, also they may require value added services such as transport, handling, screening and documentation,” Landy explained.
“The whole concept is based on consolidation and the benefit of buying rates based on our tonnages rather than just their own. This gives the customer lower costs and increased experience. In a meeting with a customer we were referred to as their “Operations department that they don’t actually pay for” which I think is a compliment,” he added.
Cargonet’s customers like to challenge the company, whether it’s moving a live cat to Doha or a Range Rover to Entebbe. They entrust Cargonet to achieve this through its knowledge and experience of different markets and the carriers that serve them. This saves the customer time as Cargonet are the ones who scour the market to find the best or sometimes only option.
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Times are changing
The airfreight industry has grown and retracted over the last decade. It is still in a state of recovery after the pandemic with services and schedules slowly coming back. Processes are certainly a lot more complicated than they were 10 years ago but are eased with ever evolving digitalisation.
Digitalisation is something that is evolving all the time and an area that the industry as an overall has been quite lacking. “We use industry leading software which is made up of many components that assist with the likes of eAWB and electronic messaging, customs entries etc. Systems will never replace people and our customers always want that people contact, but we stay ahead of the game and make sure that our internal processes are as automated and up to date as possible which helps us be the face of the company and a step ahead,” Landy said.
In this space, Cargonet works to provide reliable, affordable freight solutions but in a manner that is sustainable, embracing the growing focus in the sector on environmentally friendly approaches.
Cargonet is seeing significant investment in the transport sectors with the introduction of electric vehicles. At a more local controllable level they are heavily committed into reducing the amount of paper they use. Their systems allow them to save documentation within the job on the system reducing the need to print hard copy job files. “Sustainability is such a broad subject at the moment, and we continue to work as best we can towards the goal of our use of resources,” Landy added.