Capacity crunches, while demand for air cargo soars
The funding round comes as demand for air cargo capacity continues to soar, with e-commerce sales projected to grow between 25% and 35% this holiday season compared to last year’s 14.7% increase, and with air cargo parcel volumes already doubling over the last decade. The industry is also mobilizing a rapid response to global distribution requirements for COVID-19 vaccines, which are highly temperature-sensitive and necessitate logistics on a scale never witnessed before: providing a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 7.8 billion people worldwide would fill 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo aircraft.
Against this backdrop, national lockdowns and restrictions on international travel have already dramatically reduced the global air cargo capacity from pre-COVID-19 levels by more than 24% compared to 2019, resulting in the biggest global air cargo capacity crunch on record.
Surging demand for digital platform drives remarkable growth
In such a volatile market situation, and despite relying more heavily on air cargo to support their bottom line, airlines are struggling to distribute their capacity effectively, resulting in freight forwarders being unable to access vital cargo space. The current long and cumbersome manual process of booking and selling cargo further adds to inefficiencies.
2020 has been a challenging year for the air cargo industry with increased demand for efficiencies and cost savings from all parties. This demand is reflected in cargo.one’s growth. “Between 2019 and 2020, we increased our user base by 300% with 2,000 freight-forwarding offices now using the platform in Europe to book real-time offers in the highly precarious market situation - in that time bookings have grown by more than 700%” commented cargo.one Managing Director Moritz Claussen. “To date, cargo.one has distributed more than 18 million offers to freight forwarders, serving 347 destinations around the world, and has delivered shipments to 122 countries."
“The results are outstanding,” adds Michael Droesch, Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners. “cargo.one provides a fundamentally better way for freight forwarders and airlines to book freight, leading to rapidly growing adoption and bookings across the industry. The company has had a fast and successful start in Europe, and we are excited to support their expansion into North America, which represents a large and attractive market for cargo.one’s differentiated platform.”
The series B funding round of $42 million is led by Bessemer Venture Partners who are joined by existing investors Index Ventures, Creandum, Point Nine, and Next47.
“Soon every freight forwarder in the world will be able to access cargo.one and benefit from the advantages of digital booking. We will use the funds raised to build on our success in Europe, onboard more airline partners, grow our user base of freight forwarders globally, and deepen the expansion into North America and Asia,” commented cargo.one Managing Director Oliver T. Neumann. “And, as global distribution of the vitally important COVID-19 vaccine ramps up, we are expanding our product offerings to make all pharma shipments bookable across our partner airlines as the first multi-airline platform to ever do so.”