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Yesterday both companies announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding and that Delta plans to begin transacting with GF-X as soon as talks have concluded.
Delta spokeswoman Emily Wharton said: "We're committed to providing an easier, more cost-effective booking solution for our customers. GF-X puts us on a neutral, global Internet platform for the air cargo industry."
Wharton added that the move puts Delta on the same platform as Air France, one of Delta's alliance partners. Two years ago, Delta Air Logistics, Aeromexico Cargo, Air France Cargo, Alitalia Cargo, Czech Airlines Cargo and Korean Air Cargo formed SkyTeam Cargo, a global alliance established to provide complete air cargo services to customers.
GF-X spokeswoman Fiona McKinnon said that adding Delta Air Lines to its carrier list strengthens the exchange's position in the US. She believed the airline's decision to join GF-X would encourage more major freight carriers to join.
McKinnon said GF-X helps carriers save money because forwarder queries are handled by the system, reducing time-consuming calls and faxes; booking requests are sent electronically, and booking responses (confirmations on a requested option or alternative options) are returned electronically to the forwarder.
She said freight forwarders save money because bookings can be transferred electronically in bulk from the forwarder system, removing the need for faxes to be prepared and sent manually. Booking options can also be determined without carriers having to be called.