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SME Project


We have been shining a spotlight on one of our projects in each episode of our inSight series to give you an update on their progress, and to give a more in-depth understanding of what these projects mean for Cargo iQ and the membership.


This month, we’re focusing on the small and medium forwarders project, or when shortened, the SME project.


The Cargo iQ SME project was launched in spring 2019 with the aim of broadening the number of shipments covered under Cargo iQ’s quality standards. We wanted to enhance planning and control options for small and medium-sized forwarders who work with our member airlines on a small scale, or regional basis.


SME gives access to route map planning and milestone visibility for more localized freight forwarders, who may not be involved in carrier performance management but need accurate, timely planning and status information on the airport-to-airport portions of a shipment’s journey.


How was the project started?


The project concept was designed by a sub-Working Group which was then built by Italy-based technology company Cargo Start, with Cargo iQ focusing on creating use cases and reporting definitions into the Airport-to-Airport specification to support the mechanism.


Cargo Start is currently the sole provider of route map visibility for SME forwarders. Supporting their solution is the Cargo Data Management Platform (CDMP) functionality of Germany based Riege Software. Through the inter-CDMP connection Riege has with the Cargo iQ airline focused CDMPs, Cargo Start has access to route map plans and milestone updates from the Cargo iQ carriers.


A specific mechanism has been designed and supported, to allow the carrier CDMPs to recognize and correctly attribute route map plans belonging to Cargo Start forwarders.


An implementation plan was put in place to help CDMPs airline side to get up to speed with the required developments, with broad support for the product rolled out in 2020.


How has the project progressed?


Now, the first customers of Cargo Start are officially live on the SME solution, with more to follow. The foundations are set for more solution providers to come onboard, with interest expressed by a few already. We are now finalizing the last ‘pillar’ of implementation, the audit requirements. This pillar is designed to make sure there is a clear responsibility for quality in the solutions provided and to make the distinction between the SME solution and the full CDMP functionality used by Cargo iQ members.


We are also focusing on shipment coverage by plugging the gaps in booking data and offset data (which are used to create route maps) and in event status data (which is used to measure milestones). This benefits not only SME forwarders, but also existing members, because the more route maps we can create and the more shipment data we have at our disposal, the more intelligence we can provide back to the community in the form of analytics, KPIs, and benchmarks.


What does this project mean for the industry?


The SME solution provides access to Cargo iQ standards – in the form of quality shipment planning and control – to the multitude of specialist forwarders who form the backbone of air cargo movements. Finally, they can get full visibility on their shipments from Airport-to-Airport and can forecast reliably the availability of the goods to the consignee at destination.


The process of implementing the solution has also provided valuable takeaways to aid our members in their continuous improvement of key focus areas – shipment coverage, reliable planning, and real-time process control.


How does the project fit in with Cargo iQ’s strategy?


The SME project helps Cargo iQ to deliver all three of its ‘basic’ strategic objectives:


One truth for all shipments: Cargo iQ aims to offer reliable planning and control for 100% of its members shipments, including those where the forwarder cannot become a Cargo iQ member given the size of their operations. To make sure our tagline ‘visibly better’ also means visibility for small, localized forwarders, this project aims to create an option to provide planning and control information to SMEs that are not a Cargo iQ member. Real business, real targets: this means that the milestones planned need to reflect the real services sold and the true operational capabilities of our airline and GHA members. The SMEs need to be able to reliably predict when their shipment will be on hand at destination, so there is a huge emphasis placed within our membership on offset management which enables that reliability.


Service delivery management: for SME forwarders, service delivery in real time rather than post-shipment process quality evaluation, is key. It’s a key reason why Cargo iQ members focus on providing up-to-date shipment planning and event status information, visible in real time.


A key additional focus is to develop the membership. The standards we develop are for the benefit of the whole industry, so what benefits specialist forwarders, in the end greatly benefits Cargo iQ members and the wider Air Cargo community.



We have been shining a spotlight on one of our projects during each episode of our inSight series. To look back at previous project spotlights click below:


· Service Parameters

· Exception handling code procedure


Project spotlights coming up in the series:


· Warehouse-ramp handover events

· Care Mapping


Story edited by meantime.global