Booking air cargo is a cumbersome manual process and is done by freight forwarders, who organise shipments and supply chain for shippers. They fire emails to airlines on a daily basis to get offers for freight services sans comprehensive visibility of the available services and wait for the replies. They then sift through the quotes for the best price. But the process involves long wait times, inefficient use of cargo space, and high transaction costs.
Simplified air cargo booking
Berlin-based tech startup cargo.one simplifies the process by building an operating system for air cargo to streamline and simplify the fragmented market. The company works with the mission to build the global operating system for air cargo and its intuitive digital platform makes booking shipments quite simple just like booking a business trip or holiday.
Founded by Mike Rötgers, Moritz Claussen and Oliver Neumann in 2017, cargo.one links directly to the airlines’ systems. It is the first such product that provides real-time visibility of available capacity and costs along with additional quality parameters such as temperature control. This Berlin-based startup serves over 1500 freight forwarding offices including the global leaders.
Raises €16M funding
In a recent development, Berlin-based cargo.one secured $18.6 million (nearly €16 million) Series A funding. This investment round was led by global venture capital firm Index Ventures along with participation from Next47 and previous investors such as Point Nine Capital, Lufthansa Cargo, and Creandum. The others who participated in the funding round are angel investors Tom Stafford of DST Global and Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (current Chief Operating Officer of GoCardless and former Chief Product Officer of Skyscanner).
Already, the company serves Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways, Finnair, Etihad, AirBridgeCargo and TAP Air Portugal among its 12 partner airlines and helps them boost their financial performance to handle the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The investment will be used for the next phase of its growth and its expansion to North America and East Asia. This way, cargo.one will be able to fulfill airlines’ desires and serve freight forwarders all over the world. It will also build tools that will use the data for airlines to offer more dynamic pricing, predict demand in volatile markets, and engage in better route planning.
“The new era of air cargo is being driven by universal access to real-time data.” said Oliver T. Neumann, co-founder and Managing Director of cargo.one. “It’s essential that the industry has access to tools that allow players to both respond and anticipate market dynamics. From day one, cargo.one has provided freight forwarders with an outstanding user experience and access to real-time data. We now plan to accelerate the release of major product additions that will increase the connectivity between freight forwarders and airlines, and empower them to work more effectively together.”
“The airline sector relies on operational excellence, but its back-end infrastructure is stuck in the dark ages,” said Max Rimpel, Principal at Index Ventures. “cargo.one’s platform doesn’t just help to bring air cargo bookings into the 21st century, but lays the foundations for a complete overhaul of how the air cargo industry operates, leveraging data to help both airlines and freight forwarders to run their cargo operations more efficiently.”
All set to tackle COVID-19 challenges
Right now, there is a rise in the COVID-19 challenges and cargo is becoming an important part of passenger airlines’ business model. Now, the speed of air cargo makes it a crucial link in the global supply chain, especially for industries that ship essentials and life-saving products such as pharmaceuticals. Given that the number of passengers has plunged resulting in a dent in the passenger airlines’ revenue due to the pandemic, airlines are relying more on cargo.
Main image picture credits: cargo.one