Cargo.one launches new platform to speed up import bookings

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Cargo.one has today launched a new platform that allows agent-to-agent bookings to speed up the process of making import bookings.

The new cargo.one pro platform allows importers to compare and book rates instantly through verified forwarders.

The platform will speed up the import booking process by removing the need for back-and-forth emails and eliminate issues caused by time-zone differences.

The platform will offer “instant confirmation, routing and air waybill details”, cargo.one said, as well as a payment protection service.

So far 50 forwarders have signed up for the platform and around 6,000 quotes have been retrieved from around 120 countries.

The platform starts at a monthly price of €99 per branch.

Mortiz Claussen, chief executive of the booking platform, told Air Cargo News that the new portal was developed after feedback from forwarders that import bookings were often a slow manual process.

“If a company wants to import something they have to find a partner agent abroad to help them to do that,” he said. “There are time-zone differences, it takes hours or days to get offers in. And if I am the partner agent, I receive hundreds of these requests every day – it is a pretty slow process.

“With cargo.one pro we are introducing agent-to-agent bookings with the same mantra of having real-time quotations and instant bookability, which is new and hasn’t been done so far.”

Claussen added that offering payment protection through cargo.one protect is an important part of the platform as it removes concerns around not being paid.

“We have backed all of this up through cargo.one protect through which we are enabling our users to do business not just with agents they have already done business with but also with new agents without having to worry about payments not happening.

“We can do that because we have this rather large set of data on 1,000s of forwarders that allows us to actually verify them.”

Moritz Claussen

Moritz Claussen. Photo: cargo.one

The company has been working on developing the platform for the past two years and around a year ago employed Edward Handscombe – ex-Airbnb – as vice president forwarder.

Handscombe and other members of the cargo.one team spent time in freight forwarding offices to better understand how processes can be improved.

He said that on the export side, putting together quotes for potentially hundreds of requests and then winning at most around 10% of shipments was a major pain point.

On the import side, waiting for quotations overnight and potentially losing business due to the time lag was a major concern.

By automating the process, the platform hopes to speed up quotations and remove the manual work behind putting those quotations together.

“They are quite flabergasted that they can now quote their local customers in 30 seconds rather than having to wait 12 hours for a quote to be returned,” he said.

He added: “Trust is really important – if someone is going to book a shipment with me, how do I know they are going to be good operators and most importantly that they are going to pay me once I have delivered the shipment?

“That is why we developed cargo.one protect, leveraging all the propriety data we have and all the history of bookings so we can offer payment protection and remove concerns about being paid.”

Edward Handscombe. Photo: cargo.one

Freight forwarders that have used the new platform also provided feedback.

Tennesa Chetty from Swift Worldwide Logistics said: “We often approach three agents and two agents come back the following day. There’s a clear advantage for an agent on cargo.one pro because they are basically the best to meet our turnaround time for quotations. That’s why we do lots of bookings with them.”

Hauke Langert, chief executive airfreight at Skyline Express International, also said the speed of the platform was a big benefit: “By using cargo.one pro on both the import and export sides, instead of sending an email to a partner in Asia for example, we are now able to send quotes to clients or to agents within seconds.” 

Cargo.one aims to create differentiation in online booking

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]