Forwarders could face charges for ‘low show’ or ‘no show’ cargo if airlines follow the example of Air France-KLM, which has successfully introduced penalty fees for unreliable bookings. In a bid to increase efficiency throughout the supply chain, the carrier took the bold decision last year to impose fines on customers that didn’t fly cargo as booked. As a result, it is now celebrating a 4 to 5% rise in booking reliability.
In a move that the nay-sayers insisted would send forwarders rushing to other airlines instead, the carrier has “put booking reliability on the agenda”.
“The threat of invoicing was not liked, but nobody is boycotting us and the topic is on every agenda,” said Mattijs ten Brink, SVP of sales and distribution. “We focused on the main problems and it was less than we anticipated. It’s a carrot and stick – they need to be done together. But we weren’t soft, and we didn’t go back on it, but dealt with it in a mature way. Most of our forwarder partners have embraced it and started to look at their own processes.”
The carrier, which last year said it would be “extremely happy if we never sent out an invoice for a no show or low show,” issued fines of about €1 million during the year. “It is completely irrelevant to our revenues. Where we did invoice, the case was so clear that everyone agreed.”
The idea is to drive efficiencies throughout the supply chain by helping forwarders understand the root causes of not flying as booked.
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