Digital air cargo charter business CharterSync has marked three years of operations of operations.
Since launching in 2019, UK-based CharterSync has carved itself a substantial share of the UK and European air cargo charter market due to its “disruptive, technology-forward approach” to air cargo charter.
Launched by two commercial pilots and flying enthusiasts – co-founders Ed Gillett and Simon Watson – CharterSync has delivered year-on-year growth, with the company passing the 3,000-charter milestone earlier this year. “CharterSync is growing fast, but we are scaling efficiently,” says Simon Watson, director and co-founder of CharterSync. “After achieving a six-figure turnover in year one of trading, our turnover has consistently risen by 84% year on year.”
“When we launched, digital transformation was long overdue in the air cargo charter market. Up to 2019, the air cargo charter booking process was 100% manual, and laborious for both freight forwarders and operators. Freight forwarders looking for air cargo charter services had no option except to make multiple phone calls to identify the best deal for their cargoes – and even when they did make a booking, price transparency was non-existent,” comments Watson.
“Digitization has transformed so many industries, and with experience of both commercial flying and charter brokerage, we realised how technology could be harnessed to do the same for air cargo charter. Technology is the key that is unlocking the full potential of air cargo charter, and that has made both operators and freight forwarders profoundly rethink their air cargo strategies.
“With continued disruption in air travel, as we have witnessed in spring/summer 2022, digital booking is moving front and centre into the freight forwarders’ toolbox. Forwarders who never previously considered using air cargo charter are now realising the viability and cost-effectiveness of using technology in the procurement of charter options. Efficiencies driven by digitization have enabled us to minimise spiralling air cargo costs for customers, and helping to keep clients’ supply chain costs to a minimum when faced with sharp rises in fuel prices, inflationary pressures, and airports beset by congestion and ground-handling disruption.”
Much of CharterSync’s initial growth can be attributed to the demand for pharmaceutical/healthcare equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic; the company played a key role in keeping vital equipment flowing into the UK and Europe, flying more than 350 flights of PPE and test kits ex-China from 2020-22. In parallel, the company has been diversifying into a range of time-critical sectors, including automotive, oil & gas, fast fashion and pharmaceuticals. Sectors operating just-in-time (JIT) logistics, in particular, are increasingly embracing how technology can help power their inventory management strategies, especially when they require accelerated transit times, or require 100% confidence on delivery dates for time-critical shipments.
Explains Watson: “Efficiency, price transparency and our focus on end-to-end logistics have kept freight forwarders and operators coming back to CharterSync, while dematerializing all documentation shaves valuable time off processing times. Since 93% of our air cargo charters are delivered on time, we can remove unwarranted uncertainty and stress from the supply chain process.”