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Asia-Pacific air freight carriers to launch internet portal 

Travel News Asia 4 February 2003

Four key Asia-Pacific air freight carriers have announced they will expand their e-business capabilities by partnering with a new Internet-based cargo portal.

Cathay Pacific Cargo, Japan Airlines Cargo, Qantas Freight and Singapore Airlines Cargo recently signed a memorandum of understanding to be partners of the new portal, which currently has the working title Air Cargo Exchange*. The portal will start operating by the middle of 2003.

At the heart of Air Cargo Exchange will be a joint operation provided by two of the industry's most innovative cargo community systems Cargo Community Network Singapore (CCN) and Global Logistics System Hong Kong (GLSHK), also known as Traxon Hong Kong which are working closely with the airlines.

Initially, customers will be able to make allotment and free-sale bookings, conduct tracking and tracing, and review flight schedules on the four carriers before additional capability is added within 12 months.

Customers will reap additional value through the ability to select information and book space with multiple carriers on a single site, making bookings quicker and easier.

Cathay Pacific Cargo's General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang said: "We have undertaken considerable and careful analysis of all available options and strongly believe e-enablement is the direction to take."

The President of Japan Airlines Cargo, Mr Juntaro Shimizu, said: "We are working closely with the other carriers and the developers on an initiative that we are confident will provide efficiency and value to our customers."

President of SIA Cargo, Mr Hwang Teng Aun, said: "In an increasingly price sensitive and competitive industry, this internet-based initiative will provide fast and easy access for customers at a sustainable cost for both the forwarder and the airline."

Qantas Airways Group General Manager Freight Peter Frampton said: "We have all invested in e-business functionality on our own web sites to add value for customers and our business. This venture is a natural extension of these developments and will provide customers with greater choice and access."

Air Cargo Exchange will initially be launched in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore and is expected to expand globally with other carriers invited to join.

* The formal title is to be announced prior to the portal's start of operations.

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