Freight France KLM Cargo take actions towards digitization

  • AF KLM

Air France KLM Cargo is improving its customers’ “commercial digital journey” with two customer platforms: myCargo and What Counts, the latter being designed specifically for small and medium sized agents. myCargo was launched mid-2017.

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Marcel de Nooijer, executive vice president of AF KLM Cargo, states that these measures are the first steps on a long journey. He expects digitization to change supply chains from the originating shippers towards their end-customers. The carrier’s vision are fully transparent cargo operations with real-time data.

“The customer is completely informed, every step of the way, about what is happening with the shipment. It is about exchange of data, it is about knowing exactly what is happening. If you are an end consumer and you order a pizza at home, you can see that the driver is going to arrive at your home within ten minutes. So why on earth would you go for less in a business environment where you have shipments worth much more than the pizza?”, de Nooijer said.

At first, the two carriers’ legacy IT systems had to be brought together. Completion of the joint platform is planned for 2021 but the results are already showing. With joint inventory and single booking systems, both boxes now ticked, with a joint carrier and handler system mixed shipments run partly by AF and partly by KLM have doubled which increases the carriers’ opportunities towards customers. Then, in 2017 myCargo was launched.

Now, after only one and a half years, the myCargo channel accounts for 15 percent of all turnover. Looking at the statistics of October 2018 it shows that 41 percent of AF KLM’s customers are active with a myCargo account. myCargo had 200.000 visits to myCargo compared to 790.000 visits to the website, and 460.000 track and trace visits. 28 percent of air waybills were booked online.

Co-operations are an important part on the digitization journey. The carrier states the importance of openness to make digitization work across the industry.

“What is important is that you don't do it completely on your own. We live in a complex world and digitisation is not about the outside world developing certain things and then we think: how are we going to make use of that. Nor should we look at every process from an internal aspect and start to develop IT in our own silo. Digital is the most beneficial when the outside world is combined with the inside world,” said executive vice president de Nooijer and continued to explain that the two-dimensional approach to partnerships – either being a partner or a competitor – is going to change through digitization.

By implementing application programming interfaces (API), AF KLM Cargo will be able to link myCargo to third party portals. There is a strong need for a high pace of innovation and this pace, de Nooijer stated, will only be held up through co-operation.

Complementing the digitization process, AF KLM Cargo still wants to stay in close contact with its customers.

Christophe Boucher, senior vice president sales and distribution at AF KLM Cargo, says: “Our ambition is to cover the entire end-to-end journey, from the quotation to the delivery and then to the after sales. We want to be easy to do business with. But it is also very important for us to balance the digital and the human side. Digital is being anytime anywhere, 24/7availability and transparency, with real time updates.
On the human side, the personal attention is still very important and because some of the topics are so complex, only our experts can deliver. Local knowledge is very important, and we are present with our own staff at 130 stations and we still believe that proactive action makes a difference, building the trust and relationships is still very important.”

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