Digital is a given, so adapt, says AF-KLM

AFLKMP executive vice president Marcel de Nooijer

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) says 15 per cent of its revenues already come from bookings via its MyCargo digital gateway.

The online booking service was rolled out in 2017, but the carrier says it is pleased with the degree of acceptance thus far and expects the percentage of bookings to grow sharply.

MyCargo forms one leg of AFKLMP’s digital strategy which was discussed at a press event held near Paris CDG on 15 November. Headlining the event, AFLKMP executive vice president Marcel de Nooijer, said digitisation was both a challenge and an opportunity for everyone along the air cargo value chain.

“Digitisation will change supply chains from originating shippers towards their end customers. But there still is a lot of work to do,” he said. “Digital is a given. But adapting and transforming our organisation is a choice that all of us in the cargo business will have to make.”

The Franco-Dutch carrier is setting out its stall to be one of pioneers in digital cargo processes having moved on from a period of cutting unit business costs to cope with the over-capacity that beset the industry some four or five years back.

Now the emphasis is on growing revenues. However, de Nooijer said that just restructuring the company is not enough; it requires a new business model that combines the accessibility and transparency of digital technologies with the expertise and personal attention of the carrier’s staff.

“But the lesson also has to be ‘don’t do it on your own,” de Nooijer added. “Even competitors can be partners in certain aspects, with both sides benefitting. The successful cargo companies will be those that are open to working with others, be they airports, handlers, logistics providers or forwarders,” he said.