OAG Launches Cargo Unit

OAG Launches Cargo Unit

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

Longtime air industry data supplier OAG is branching into the cargo arena with the creation of OAG Cargo. The new Chicago-based division consists of a group of logistics professionals working on Internet-based products for the air, truck, ocean and express segments.

Rick Savage, vice president of cargo products, is leading the effort. "What I tell people initially is, this is not your grandfather''s OAG," Savage said.

The new division''s products are Internet-based and go beyond the typical OAG schedule and routing information with which the company''s users are familiar. The flagship cargo product is an Internet-based system that routes shipments and displays schedules from any origin to any destination in the world. The program takes into account size, dimensions and type of shipments and generates all the possible options for the route. It also quickly verifies shipping requirements such as container compatibility with the vehicles, door size, transfer from air to trucks, hazardous materials procedures and customs clearances, if necessary.

Users can book freight electronically through the real-time system as well, which is designed to proactively alert users by e-mail, PDA, cell phone, etc., of changes in flight status.

"We think we''re offering a unique value proposition both to the integrators, the forwarders, the truckers and the airlines," Savage said. "We provide a value-added proposition."

He said he sees the OAG product as complementary to booking portals, such as GF-X and Cargo Portal Services. The system is designed to work with the portals rather than to compete with them, Savage said.

Savage came to OAG from PROS Revenue Management, an aviation software development company he founded and then served as vice president of the cargo technology division. Before that job, Savage was an executive for Express One International, Continental Airlines'' Houston hub operations and American Airlines Cargo.

After four and a half years of development, the program is nearing the end of the production phase with the launch and announcement of the first client expected in the next couple of weeks.

OAG has three versions of the program targeted at different user groups. The first is aimed at large carriers and forwarders and is installed on their hardware. The second, an OAG-hosted router, is for midsize users. Those users would use OAG hardware. The final option is for occasional users, who can access the service through a web-based portal and pay on a per-transaction basis.

Savage said he expects forwarders to be the system''s main users. "We see it as an ideal venue for third-party logistics providers," he said. "We see it for logistics providers. We see it for integrated carriers that have freighter fleets."