WebCargo marks digital air cargo milestone


Freightos Limited, a leading vendor-neutral booking and payment platform for the international freight industry, has announced that WebCargo by Freightos now enables digital interlining. The first booking, a test shipment by Qatar Airways Cargo on an ITA Airways flight, is a significant first step towards Freightos’ vision for streamlined interlining.

In a post-COVID world, interline activities have become increasingly relevant. As airline networks continue to respond to a much-changed operating environment, airlines are putting greater emphasis on their partnership activity.

In order to further improve capacity utilization and efficiency, airlines are looking to streamline interlining with WebCargo by Freightos, the leading cargo booking platform that supports hundreds of thousands of air cargo eBookings a quarter. In this significant first step, a test shipment was booked by Qatar Airways Cargo on an ITA Airways flight.

In the passenger travel industry, close to 10 percent of all itineraries contain code-sharing. However, the process for cargo interlining is manual and frequently takes 24-48 hours to complete. Because of this friction, interlining is underused in cargo. With digital interlining, airlines can improve capacity utilization, broaden global coverage, and create new business opportunities.

According to a spokesperson at ITA Airways, “Digital interlining means efficiency, which is sorely needed to accommodate air cargo demand. It means offering increased network opportunities for customers and easing interline agreements’ full implementation, as well as enhanced, faster capacity access. ITA Airways is fully committed to introducing new digital solutions for cargo, and to improving and facilitating shipment management and customers’ booking experience. We were proud to be WebCargo eBooking adopters for forwarders, and are now excited to be pioneers of digital interlining.”

“Waiting two days to price and book cargo that can circle the globe in under a day simply does not work” said Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo by Freightos. “This new functionality brought together two carriers with no recent record of interlining together, which demonstrates the power of the new product. We’re privileged to collaborate with so many leading airlines, tapping digitisation to support global supply chains.

Faisal Karamat, Vice President Cargo Customer Experience at Qatar Airways Cargo, added, “at Qatar Airways we are consistently investing in cutting edge-technology and at the forefront of advanced technology and innovative solutions to enhance our operational efficiency, visibility, security, and improve our overall performance. The WebCargo eBooking platform highly complements our existing services. The functionality is transformative and innovative, allowing us to efficiently extend our already extensive network.” Further, Karamat added, “this platform provides us access to additional routes that further enhance our global coverage and enable the teams to book it instantly. It has been designed with a user experience mindset hence allowing for increased efficiency and speed which is crucial for air cargo.”

In addition to ITA Airways and Qatar Airways Cargo, IAG Cargo played a crucial role as a design partner, helping to identify and structure a platform-supported eBooking process. “We’re proud to have played a driving role in conceptualizing interlining,” said Jonty Brunner, Head of Strategic Alliances at IAG Cargo. “We’re excited for the potential efficiencies this will introduce for both airline relationships and their forwarding customers.”

Interline eBooking on WebCargo is available to all airlines, even those not yet offering eBookings on WebCargo. Interested interlining teams can request access here. Existing WebCargo partner airlines can reach out to their relevant account representatives for expedited access.