CharterSync, a startup catering to the air cargo charter market, launched at the Transport Logistic event in Munich, with the company demonstrating its innovative platform that helps businesses book air cargo charter planes on-demand.
FreightWaves spoke with CharterSync's founders Ed Gillett and Simon Watson, to understand the workings of the startup and how it plans to bring visibility into a niche segment within the air cargo market. "CharterSync is the quickest way to source an aircraft in the air cargo charter market. What we're looking to do now is leverage this new technology that we've developed and make freight forwarders charter an aircraft in a matter of minutes," said Gillett.
Both Gillett and Watson have spent considerable time as airline pilots, observing in close proximity, the inefficiencies within the current go-now booking arrangements. "Smart technology offers capabilities that manually are time-intensive and often cannot capture all suitable aircraft in the time available," said Gillet. "CharterSync is designed to maximize available air charter options, coordinate crew availability and optimize fleet utilization, and our system does this in real time, giving customers control and choice as well as simplifying the process."
Before getting down to developing the platform, Gillett and Watson met with airline operators and freight forwarding companies to better understand the current booking process and to structure a solution that addresses all the pain points and provides visibility into the market.
The founders proceeded to work with a software development firm for three months, where they drew out the blueprints for a minimum viable product. Watson, with a background in writing algorithms aside from his airline pilot experience, spent about a year and a half on building the back end of the platform – designing the algorithms that form the core of their offering.
"Our system is about freight forwarders sending requests and gaining quotes back from the airline operators as quickly as possible. We've designed our user interface in a way that makes sure that on our native mobile applications, operators can reply to a request and make a quote in a matter of minutes," said Watson.
As CharterSync is coursing through unfamiliar territory within the air charter landscape, the company had to develop all its procedures from the ground up – meaning, the platform and its affiliated smartphone applications had to be aligned with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are universally recognized as rudimentary to airline safety operations.
Nonetheless, to gain traction in the market, it is essential that CharterSync rides on the ever evolving behavioral attributes of consumers with regard to technology. Watson contended that time is of the essence, and that businesses are now opening up to the possibilities of technology in speeding up operations, removing inefficiencies, and even in procurement of commodities.
"The introduction of technology has been shown to speed up the procurement process for a variety of different commodities across a number of markets. At CharterSync, we want to combine sophisticated software with a knowledgeable and highly capable team," said Watson. "CharterSync truly is at the forefront of a dynamic change for time-critical air charter bookings."
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