top of page

Democratizing airport-to-airport shipment transparency: Cargo iQ's SME Solution

Since it was rolled out four years ago, the “SME Solution” by Cargo iQ (CiQ) has enabled small and medium-sized industry members to fill gaps in the airport-to-airport shipment monitoring process with CiQ member airlines. The following success story features user testimonials and the technology provider Cargo Start, the solution's developer – and sole provider.

Alltrans Worldwide Logistics (Italy); Alisped International Forwarding (Italy); Sogedim Transporti e Logistica (Italy); Thruex International Forwarding Agent (Italy); Unitransports (Italy); and Vector, Internatinoal Forwarding Agents (Italy), are all making use of the solution developed by Cargo Start.

With small and mid-sized companies making up 80% of the forwarding community worldwide, their engagement is crucial to the success of CiQ’s mission to improve quality standards in the air cargo industry.

In 2019, the IATA interest group launched a digital solution tailored to SME forwarders with the aim of broadening the number of shipments monitored under its quality standards by enhancing their planning and control options with member airlines.

“The SME solution was designed to give access to route map planning and milestone visibility to a larger number of industry members, who may not be involved in the carrier performance management but need accurate, timely planning and status information on the airport-to-airport portions of a shipment’s journey,” states Lothar Moehle, Executive Director, Cargo iQ.

Transforming visibility with Cargo Start’s route map

The solution was developed by Cargo Start, an Italy-based technology provider which actively participates in the CiQ working groups. With a team of professionals operating since the early 2000s in the air cargo industry, the company focuses on the development of innovative digital solutions to facilitate digital connectivity and shipment visibility.

To date, Cargo Start is the sole provider of the route map visibility for SME forwarders, the core functionality of an airport-to-airport route map on the Cargo Data Management Platform (CDMP), which is currently used by a large number of forwarders in several countries.

“The route map visibility improves shipment transparency and enables SME forwarders to fill the gaps in the monitoring process by providing status updates for individual air consignments in line with the common business practices and milestones set out in the Master Operating Plan (MOP),“ comments Gianni Mauri, Director Business Processes at Cargo Start.

By integrating into any Transportation Management System via API – but also being accessible as a web-based app – the solution was especially designed to fit SME organizations' workflows.

As highlighted by some of the current users, it serves as an important asset for their air cargo business units, by making their operational processes more efficient and by significantly improving their performance in a true Quality Management System.

Claudio Banfi, IT Manager - Alisped International Forwarding (Italy)

"Right after the first demo we were convinced that this solution was engineered around the needs of medium-sized forwarders. One of our biggest challenges is to keep the shipper up-to-date about the status of their air cargo shipments in “real-time”, especially in the age of e-commerce which has changed customer expectations tremendously. This easy-to-use solution has enabled a higher level of transparency, consistency, and efficiency for the airport-to-airport segment, with a very positive impact on customer satisfaction."

Paolo Susani, Airfreight Manager - Alltrans Worldwide Logistics (Italy)

“By providing a single point of access to shipment performance data with multiple CiQ member carriers, the route map visibility has reduced the time spent browsing multiple carriers' websites, improving our air freight team’s bottom-line performance tremendously.”

Simone Morelli, Chief Operating Officer – Overseas, Sogedim Trasporti e Logistica (Italy)

“The solution provided by Cargo Start seamlessly adapted to the workflow of our air freight unit by integrating into our TMS, and therefore it enabled our company to improve its tracking capabilities and operational efficiency overall, with no need for a major investment in a proprietary visibility platform.”

Vittorio Romano, CEO & Founder -Thruex International Forwarding Agent (Italy)

“One of the real assets of this solution is the top-notch notification system, which can be customized according to the most specific needs to “push” proactive real-time alerts about multiple shipment events to a variety of decision-makers, and enables us to react promptly in case of irregularities or disruptions – and, therefore, to “keep our promise” to the shipper.”

Paolo Maderna, President - Unitransports (Italy)

“This is the first airport-to-airport tracking solution based on data that is not “filtered” by airlines, in line with the milestones set out by CiQ. Getting a real-time overview of all the steps along the shipment lifecycle, as provided by the CiQ route map, allows our operational staff to compare the planned with the actual shipment milestones and enables users to monitor the performance of the CiQ member carriers we work with. Of course, this gives our company a competitive edge in the eyes of our customers – who are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to shipment transparency.”

Roberto Trezzi, IT Manager - Vector, International Forwarding Agents (Italy)

“Our company was one of the early adopters of the tracking solution by Cargo Start. Over the last few years, it has significantly improved the operational efficiency of our air freight business, by providing broader visibility and control over our shipments. Above all, we believe it is the notification engine that really makes the difference: the real-time push alerts enable early detection of irregularities, which is crucial for a company with a strong focus on vertical industries like fashion and pharmaceuticals, and shipments of special cargo like artworks or vintage cars”.

Global vision: implementing quality standards for the worldwide air cargo industry

The tremendous potential of the solution has been recognized in Italy, having been endorsed by the associations of freight forwarding agents FEDESPEDI and ANAMA who are working in close cooperation with Cargo Start to engage the local forwarding community.

Commenting on the commitment of the Italian community, Lothar Moehle said: “The endorsement of the solution is proof that the Cargo iQ model for smaller and medium size forwarders works for all stakeholders in the industry and that it will be extended to the international forwarder community via their global associations.”

“With the SME project, Cargo Start has played an important role in democratizing CiQ's mission of creating and implementing quality standards for the worldwide air cargo industry,” Moehle continues.

“By extending access to a larger community of players, we hope Cargo iQ will become an “ecosystem” where more such projects can thrive in the future and where all air cargo stakeholders can contribute to, and share the benefits of, higher quality data.”

“At Cargo Start we have been supporting air cargo players to tackle the challenges of digital transformation for over two decades, through a continuous and proactive collaboration with the main industry associations,” says Emanuele Vurchio, General Manager at Cargo Start.

“We are proud of this important achievement in cooperation with CiQ, and we hope it will contribute to promoting a more collaborative approach in the logistics industry.”

More information at

Story edited by  

bottom of page