“We are at the start of a core digital change in the air cargo industry, and we are convinced that cargo.one360 is going to be a key driver of this.”
cargo.one has today announced the release of its new product, cargo.one360. cargo.one360 is a real-time data and analytics product that provides cargo.one partner airlines with unique insights to maximise their sales performance in digital channels. It helps airlines to accelerate their adoption of best practices in digital sales, delivers valuable customer insights, and reflects market changes and trends to facilitate better tactical and strategic commercial decision-making.
As the Boston Consulting Group recently noted, data based steering can boost net profits by up to 12% in the first year.
cargo.one360’s easy-to-use analytics dashboards provide transparency on key digital sales metrics from day one. Real-time data feeds enable airline teams, from revenue management to sales steering, to integrate live information into their systems and workflows. In addition, market-leading insights on customer behaviour and benchmarks provide context to improve offer design and conversion rates.
Need for transparency
Though the trend predates the pandemic, Covid-19 has spurred on the need for transparency, real-time data and insights in the industry.
“Volatile schedules, constrained capacity, and disrupted pricing mechanisms sent customers seeking transparency on offers, and instantly confirmed bookings,” explains Moritz Claussen, co-founder and managing director at cargo.one.
“We saw a lot of disruption, partly due to processes relying on manual inputs and data exchange by email or phone breaking down. As a result, cargo.one saw some of the largest week-on-week surges in online searches as the pandemic unfolded.
“One thing we can state for certain: once users gain access to reliable, transparent, real-time information, they have no desire to turn back.
He adds: “That holds true both for forwarders and for airlines. cargo.one360 takes this a level further, providing transparency on market developments and new, digital sales-specific metrics to our partners. This will continue to improve and accelerate the outcomes of digitalisation with broader customer reach, and better customer experience.”
Don’t get left behind
The harsh reality is that players that don’t adopt the digital now will get left behind.
“We live in a digital age. Just consider how your own habits have changed over the past five to ten years, and how much you personally do online. Our expectations as online customers have also increased: we want immediate information, confirmation, and delivery. So, the air cargo industry has to keep up with these trends,” Claussen tells ACW.
“Given the current capacity constraints, cargo flights are full, and some airlines might not see the need or feel they have the time to invest in digital sales. Yet, those who continue to rely only on manual sales, booking, and customer service processes, will lose out to airlines with a data-enhanced understanding of the market, changing customer expectations, and their own performance.
“Investments in digitalisation which, incidentally, are no longer as astronomical or complicated as they may have been in the past, pay for themselves many times over: digital sales channels are not only efficient and cost-effective, they also provide a vastly improved customer experience and broader customer reach.
“The air cargo market is changing, and metrics such as digital sales performance will play a key topic in more and more boardrooms.”
“The realisation that real-time data transparency and information are paramount to providing market-relevant services and matching customer expectations, took hold pre-pandemic already, and leading airlines started to adapt,” says Claussen.
“Our existing partners, such as ANA, Finnair, Lufthansa and TAP, all already use cargo.one360, and have been instrumental in defining the current product that we are now delighted to share with a larger audience.
“cargo.one360 has been actively adopted across different business units, from sales steering through to revenue and channel management. Users can set proactive alerts that enable them to act quickly if these are triggered.
“Thanks to the intense co-operation with our partner airlines over the past months, cargo.one360 has developed into a powerful tool that forms a reliable and intelligent foundation for an airline’s digital sales performance management, enabling better strategic planning with a clear customer focus.”
Simson Demmer, senior director airline products at cargo.one notes that product feedback has differed depending on how far along the partner is in its digitalisation journey, and what role the user has within the company.
“cargo.one360 has been developed to support different departments: from sales to revenue management, to pricing, whose data requirements and KPIs may vary,” says Demmer.
“We are very grateful for all the feedback we received and continue to receive, as this has led to the creation of cargo.one360: from its ready-made and easily customised dashboards that can be leveraged from day one, to real-time data feeds that can be directly integrated with existing or new airline systems.
“Everyone is keen to better understand, however, what “good performance” in digital sales looks like, what best practices are, and where airlines stand in relation to others: from win rate to cancellation rate, API speed, and other intriguing benchmarks.
“It highlights there is a paucity of data in these areas, and we are delighted that we are able to generate unique insights for our partners, fill some of the knowledge gaps, and develop a differentiated product based on their needs that improve their overall user experience and product value.”
The air cargo industry deals with masses of data on a daily basis, yet has large potential for efficiency improvements.
“The gap to what is already technologically possible is perhaps larger in air cargo than in other industries. Data processing in air cargo is fragmented and often still reliant on manual action, and the scope for intelligent data application is extremely broad – from product placement to sales, all the way through to operational delivery,” explains Claussen.
Demmer adds: “Wherever we lack data, we cover with learned behaviours, we build in buffers to account for uncertainty, and we act on gut feeling. This is inefficient, and often binds resources that could add more value elsewhere.”
Claussen believes that digitalisation requires a mind set change. When users can see the benefits of data, they are more likely to disrupt the many processes that have largely remained the same over the past decades.
He says: “We are at the start of a core digital change in the air cargo industry, and are convinced that cargo.one360 is going to be a key driver of this.”
Better data leads to better decision making, so how will the industry change as a result?
Demmer says: “With better data, and a strong command of how to use it, we can focus our energies. Transactional processes can be automated. Teams can focus on delighting customers, on improving processes or on service recovery, instead of transposing quote requests between emails and systems.
“And with better, more near-time data, we can quickly measure if our actions had the desired effect and reinforce positive lessons. Finally, real-time data will increasingly allow us to look forward rather than back. Predictive analytics can help flag issues and signals that allow us to be proactive.
“Organisations that embrace this will be many learning iterations ahead, with better processes and a broader skill base: to sell digitally, to run a more efficient operation, ultimately to deliver a better customer experience and bottom line.”
Demmer notes that the beauty of digitalisation and innovation is that there is always a way to do things even better. “Better data drives better decisions, in a continuous improvement loop,” he explains.
“We have created a product with cargo.one360 that provides unique and highly useful market insights. This is thanks to the close collaboration with our airline partners. We are convinced that more and more airlines will see the benefits that real-time performance metrics can bring and will join us in improving cargo.one360 even further.
“As the air cargo industry becomes increasingly connected and digitalised, we will also have access to more and different data, which will yield an even better understanding of how to adapt and improve processes and systems.
“Moritz referred to digital sales performance playing a key role in airline boardrooms in the future. cargo.one360 will be a key data source for these discussions going forward. We are proud to be at the forefront of defining digital air freight with cargo.one360.”