SHANGHAI: The city is catching up with Tokyo to become the top station for Cargo Portal Services (CPS) bookings, a leading electronic booking and shipment management service for the air cargo industry.
US-based technology service company Unisys says Shanghai is close to breaking through the 1,000 confirmed new bookings per week level, even though Tokyo has been the top location for bookings with the service since 2004.
The electronic air cargo booking business continues to grow rapidly around the world, primarily in Asia.
In 2005, Tokyo broke the 1,000 bookings a week threshold, and throughout 2006 it has averaged over that level on a weekly basis.
The two top Asian cities demonstrate the global appeal of CPS, despite the fact that the service doesn't currently use the flag carriers of those countries. It also illustrates the pattern of the rapid adoption of CPS, which is greatest in Asia, followed by North America.
"All across Asia, we have been impressed with how our customers have quickly and thoroughly embraced e-booking," said Jim Friedel, president of Northwest Airlines Cargo, speaking on behalf of all the CPS carriers.
"We thank our Tokyo-based customers for leading the charge, and we look forward to seeing other stations passing the 1,000-weekly-bookings milestone."
Christopher Shawdon, Unisys vice president Logistics Solutions, added that "CPS continues to grow very rapidly with the number of confirmed bookings up more than 35 per cent in the last four months."
Shanghai, the most important economic hub on the mainland, has pledged to build itself into an air transport hub for the Asia and Pacific as well as a key link in the world's aviation network.
According to a strategic plan from the Shanghai Airport Group, the city will achieve its target by 2015 in three phases. From 2005 to 2007, the two international airports, Pudong and Hongqiao, will be able to handle about 50 million passengers and 3.1 million tons of cargo each year.
In the 2007 to 2010 period the two airports will expand until they can handle 84 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo a year.
And by the end of 2015, Shanghai will handle 110 million passengers and 7 million tons of cargo a year.
Unisys-operated CPS, a leading electronic booking and shipment management service for the air cargo industry, now offers a 30-day advance booking on all CPS member carriers.
As a result, freight forwarders can check both confirmed and queued bookings and view the status of their shipments.
A booking window is the time before a flight when an airline allows forwarders to book space. It generally varies from seven to 30 days before departure, depending on the carrier.
(China Daily 10/11/2006 page11)