Independent Charter Exchange Marks Second Anniversary

AirNow's OpenBid touts benefits for buyers and sellers of carriers' services

Bennington, VT — July 1, 2004 — Airfreight charter service AirNow this week marked the second anniversary of OpenBid, the company's independent charter exchange, touting the benefits to buyers and sellers of carriers' services.

Available only to transportation intermediaries, OpenBid immediately notifies its operator network of service requests. Operators compete for business through a neutral, open bidding process, viewable via the Internet.

Full disclosure of competitive bids is available to competing operators once they submit a rate, and operators have the option to re-bid.

"Our goal has been to build the premier independent freight charter exchange," said Robin Outwater, OpenBid business unit manager. "Our independent platform and open bidding promotes greater buying power and unique selling opportunities."

According to Outwater, OpenBid currently is the only independent request-for-quote (RFQ) system in the airfreight charter industry. Unlike proprietary systems, which provide only a single source of business for charter operators, OpenBid allows multiple buyers to use the system as if it were their own.

"Consolidation of demand on one, easy-to-use site and full disclosure of costs opens up a broader range of new business opportunities for operators and service options for customers," said Outwater.

OpenBid was created two years ago by AirNow, an airfreight charter service that has been in the transportation business since 1972. But David Corey, president of AirNow, emphasized the charter exchange's neutrality.

"Since OpenBid is an unbiased, independent system, AirNow has no financial interest in the outcome of the transaction," Corey said. "Charter buyers simply see more cost-effective options, faster, and operators see more flying opportunities."

Currently OpenBid can be integrated into a company's own current operating platform through a secure XML interface, or it can be used as a standalone, Web-based tool, according to AirNow.

"We are very pleased with our progress and remain committed to providing added value to both buyers and sellers," Outwater concluded.

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