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Freightos’ WebCargo makes it a hat trick as IAG offers air freight

Online quoting and booking platform signs third major air carrier offering critical mass to marketplace.

Freightos will offer real-time quotes and booking on Europe’s third-largest air carrier as part of the company’s growing online freight marketplace.

IAG Group, the holding company for British Airways and Iberia Airlines, said Freightos’ WebCargo is the first third-party platform to offer access to rates and capacity for air freight on IAG flights.  

WebCargo is the latest iteration of the Israeli company’s goal of becoming the “Expedia or Kayak” for freight transportation. Through application programming interfaces to the carriers’ pricing and capacity data, WebCargo provides forwarders access to over 370 airlines.

The deal with IAG follows similar booking channel arrangements with Europe’s two largest commercial air carriers, Lufthansa and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.

WebCargo specializes in air freight shipments under 2,000 kilograms, or 4,400 pounds.

Jesse Cohen, FreightWaves Market Expert for air freight, said the move to offer “belly cargo” capacity through third-party platforms reflects what the major airlines have done with passenger booking through third-party platforms.

The air freight industry is “getting more digitized and finding tools to offer bookings online,” Cohen said. “Airlines are always looking for efficiencies and ways to cut costs. A lot of reservations for belly cargo can be automated.”

“One development to watch will be the degree to which the major airlines will seek to optimize all of their cargo pricing through WebCargo or just use it for already published tariffs,” he added.

The airlines could offer “ad-hoc pricing as well as their published tariffs,” Cohen said. “Up to 50 percent of their capacity is offered on a spot basis, and that’s stuff off-contract.”

Manel Galindo, the Chief Executive for WebCargo, said the addition of IAG to the roster of other carriers offering air freight capacity through the platform provides critical mass for customers to compare prices.

Carriers also benefit from the platform because it will allow them the chance to offer dynamic pricing on air freight, he added.

“This is an important step for WebCargo,” Galindo said. “Customers can search one origin-and-destination pair and compare the prices for the three carriers.”

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.

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