Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, today celebrates its position as a market leader in the air cargo digitalization and innovation space six months after migrating to a new technology platform, achieving a remarkable step change in the way it runs its operations and engages with its customers.
Last year, the carrier embarked on a strategy that saw the introduction of several transformation programmes across its fleet and network, commercial and operational processes, and its physical and digital infrastructures. This culminated in the carrier’s successful front-end systems migration to the market leading IBS iCargo solution in October 2018, and celebrated the launch of its Online Booking Portal www.etihadcargo.com.
Today, six months on, Etihad has managed a major distribution channel shift and proudly accepted 14.4% of its total bookings online since the October 2018 “go-live” milestone. Additionally, March 2019 has recorded the most successful performance yet with 16.4% of monthly bookings coming through the online portal, surpassing all records for similar portal launches for any other cargo carrier within the same period. Etihad Cargo now has over 6,000 unique registered users making online bookings every month, and the numbers are continuing to trend upwards (18.2% of the bookings were made online during the last week of March).
Building on this initial digital investment, round the clock work within Etihad Cargo continues with the carrier successfully completing trials for another major distribution channel, using automated Freight Forwarder Messaging (FFR) to instantly allow bookings to be made and confirmed. These pilots were undertaken with DHL Express and DB Schenker and completed successfully in March 2019, and are in the process of being progressively rolled out across their global operations as well as to other key forwarder customers.
Rory Fidler, Head of Technology and Innovation, Etihad Cargo, said: “Etihad has made great strides in implementing the first phase of its digital ambitions over the past 18 months. We placed investments in digital transformation and innovation at the core of our new strategy, underpinning a renewed customer-driven culture within the organization. The fruits of that investment and hard work are transforming the way we interact and do business with our customers, and are opening up a multitude of future opportunities.”
Another innovation will soon make booking with Etihad Cargo even easier, with the development of a new distribution channel featuring Application Programming Interface (API) along with Web Services, which will provide customers with quote-to-booking functionality before the start of the third quarter.
In addition to the real-time insights afforded by the IBS iCargo platform, the ongoing implementation of market-leading Customer Relationship Management software Salesforce, and use of Enterprise Business Intelligence will provide unprecedented visibility and insight into customer and market trends and developments once fully implemented later this year, allowing the business to remain agile and relevant to customers around the world.
“Within such a short period of time we have gone from being a very conventional air cargo operator, to being the most digitized air cargo carrier of our size globally,” added Fidler. “As we move forward, we will continue to invest in technology and seek to put ourselves at the forefront of the industry’s drive for digitalization”.