Kuehne+Nagel and Air France KLM in ‘industry first’ system connection
Freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) and airline group Air France KLM have directly connected their cargo booking systems in what they say is an industry first, reports Air Cargo News.
“Customers will benefit from a seamless experience with both companies’ full digital offering, including ad-hoc quotations, capacity availability inquiries, dynamic pricing and real-time e-booking functionalities,” Kuehne+Nagel and Air France KLM said in a statement.
“It is the first time that an airfreight carrier and a global logistics provider create a direct system-to-system connection that transforms manual quotation and capacity booking process into a digital automated solution, fostering collaborative relationships and next-generation supply chain practice.”
Rollout of the service will start in Europe and South Asia following the successful conclusion of a proof-of-concept to test the host-to-host connection of the systems through an application programming interface (API).
The connection offers a “system-based, integrated and interactive match between available capacity and demand”.
The development of digital booking offerings has been developing at a rapid pace over the last few years, with forwarders and start-ups launching services.
However, it is only recently that forwarders have been directly linking their customer portals and systems into the airlines’ system to offer real-time digital booking connections that instantly update as supply and demand fluctuate.
AirBridgeCargo, CargoLogicAir, IAG, Finnair and Lufthansa have previously hooked their systems into booking portals through APIs, although these are neutral booking portals rather than full service freight forwarders as is the case with K+N and Air France KLM.