OAG Cargo has announced the launch of its upgraded AFRA(air freight rates)application after three years of development work requiring“significant”investment by the company.
It says the application is a “completely rewritten and improved version of the cargo rates management tool that since its launch in 2003 has become a key rate and surcharge distribution mechanism for 920 airlines and 300 cargo GSAs,which together publish more than five million rates for AFRA’s 12600 individual users globally at more than 900 freight forwarding companies.”
Among the new features added to the application is “e-acceptance”to allow airlines and forwarders to communicate and record online rate agreements,reducing potential billing discrepancies.A second example is spot price capturing,which enables the recording of rates that have been agreed adhoc by telephone and email.Additional features include currency conversions of rates,zone-specific rates,as well as multiple pdf and excel templates for mass distribution of rates by email,it said.
Surcharges,particularly fuel,are said to also form an integral part of the newly launched rate management system.Plus various options to personalise the information for specific contracts or relationships are available,giving airlines control over which customers can see their tariffs,spot prices,and surcharges,supported by multiple levels of security to protect date.It also provides direct links from the rates results page to airlines’s own booking sites or preferred booking portals.
Said executive vice president Dirk de Rooij:“It is loaded with new features and benefits for airlines and forwarders of all sizes,and as a scalable web server solution it delivers improved performance and response times for general rates,promotional rates,customer contract rates and now also spot rates.
“Having a structured process around the communication of rates is recognised as an effective way for airlines to lower costs,offer a single access point for all rates and to quickly reach out to the international forwarding community.The addition of spot prices in AFRA reflects the fact that many booking are being placed on this basis.”
The new version of the application is also equipped with a standardised rate interface for airlines,so carriers can load their rates into AFRA from their system.