Cathay Pacific is taking a giant leap forward in its efforts to digitalise cargo processes and services with a new freight booking platform and the successful trial of the track and trace technology with the use of API.
Last week the Hong Kong flag carrier rolled out its latest digital innovation, called Click & Ship, on its South West Pacific network. The booking platform offers a fast, intuitive interface that mimics the passenger ticket-booking experience.
Looking to remove paper and manual processes, the airline said it has been working with its technical provider and IATA e-freight partner, Global Logistics System HK Co Ltd (GLSHK), to update processes and data links within the wider airfreight industry.
Whilst the booking platform is exclusively available to its registered customers, Cathay Pacific said the underlying digitisation work will enable dynamic pricing in the future and will make its pricing available to other users via third-party platforms.
The demand for greater supply chain visibility intesifying, the airline has been working with stakeholders to add more visibility to shipments using technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) and APIs (application programming interface).
Using IATA ONE Record API developed by GLSHK, Dimerco Air Forwarders (HK) Ltd was able to access and monitor data from Cathay’s track and trace service, which uses IoT technology to transmit shipment information such as GPS location and temperature in near-real-time.
The API was also able to report additional statuses specific to special cargo, such as temperature, humidity, shock and light conditions.Dimerco’s shipments of semiconductor thermal paste between Singapore and Cebu via Hong Kong proved the effectiveness of the standard, the airline noted.
Dimerco was provided with the sandbox to trial, with support from GLSHK in various testing rounds before the actual shipments. Eddie Law, general manager at Dimerco Air Forwarders (HK) Ltd said the most important benefit of the API is ‘the ability to have it up and running very quickly, with industry-standard system securities in place.’
API integration represents a straightforward way of opening up the shipment journey to all stakeholders, without the complication of clashing systems. ‘No-one would want to go back to the old days and use the traditional way of interfaces,’ says Cathay Pacific’s head of cargo digital, Clera Lam. ‘That’s just so complicated.’