Freightos launches international online freight marketplace
25 / 07 / 2016
Freightos, the logistics technology developer, has launched what it describes as the world’s “first online marketplace for international freight”.
Freightos Marketplace offers users instant comparison of freight services and prices from multiple logistics providers, enabling users to establish "the optimal and cheapest method" for moving their shipments.
The new online marketplace adds to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) price comparison product, AcceleRate, that has been offered by Hong Kong headquartered Freightos for some time.
Freightos technology has helped freight forwarders manage their rates and automate their routing and pricing, both internally and on their websites.
Shippers and forwarders can leverage Freightos for instant, online quoting, introducing visibility and efficiency into the freight shipping process. Shippers can generate and book
instant, door-to-door quotes directly online, using their own internal negotiated rates or rates shared by forwarders online.
Freightos has automated millions of freight price quotes for some of the world’s largest forwarders, including Nippon Express, CEVA Logistics and Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, as well as some shippers’ own supply chain specialists, such as those of Marks & Spencer and Sysco Foods. That routeing and pricing technology now powers the Freightos online marketplace.
And, by this medium, users can compare freight rates from numerous logistics service providers, before then also booking their shipment via the portal.
The Freightos Marketplace has really been in development over the four and a half years since Freightos was established, explained the company’s chief executive, Zvi Schreiber.
Over that time, Freightos has developed the necessary critical mass of forwarders able to offer automated rates.
“The aim always was to have an ‘Expedia-type’ product,” Schreiber says, by which users can compare instant price quotes and then place their bookings, all in very short order.
Not all of Freightos’ current customers are expected to move across to the online marketplace. Some will stay with the SaaS option.
And, while the company initially thought that it would be the smaller independent forwarders who would probably prefer to use the online marketplace, there has also been strong interest from some of the big, global players, Schreiber reported.
The system deals equally effectively with sea-going as well as airfreight shipments. There has been demand from players active in both modes.
It is perhaps particularly useful for airfreight customers because of the time-criticality of air cargo shipping, Schreiber said; the Freightos Marketplace is also able to compare airfreight rates against ocean-shipping, usually less-than-container load (LCL) rates that might not always be as different as might be expected from those of airfreight rates. That will save the user phone calls to both the sea and air desks of any given service provider.
Amazon’s success and the more general expansion of the e-commerce sector have perhaps spurred demands for such an online marketplace as that offered by Freightos. Indeed, many of the smaller e-commerce vendors that are active in this environment have shown particularly strong interest in the online marketplace.
“This is quite a radical change for the industry,” Schreiber enthused, pointing to another particular benefit of the system – namely, that it will search all possible routes for a shipment. As such, it might find a cheaper option than one commonly used and known about by most forwarders.
The Freightos Marketplace has gone live on just one lane in its first phase – but it is perhaps the world’s biggest trade lane, that of US imports from China.
That is just the start, Schreiber promises. There are plans to extend the marketplace to the UK, to India and to go globally in time.
Given that the AcceleRate SaaS is global in scope, Freightos already has a worldwide customer base to tap into.
“Booking a flight has been electronic for 50 years, but the cargo on airplanes, trucks and ship is still booked manually. This cannot continue,” remarked Robert Mylod, an investor in and director of Freightos.
“Growing global trade, e-commerce B2B (business to business) sales, and sprawling dynamic supply chains demand the transparency and efficiency of online freight.
“Just like passenger travel went online to accommodate the demands of a growing freight market, Freightos is finally ushering in a much-needed marketplace for freight,” Mylod added.