Logistics tech firm Freightos this week launched what it claims is the world’s first online international freight marketplace.
“Starting today, comparing and selecting freight providers is as easy as booking a flight,” the company said in a release yesterday. Freightos maintains that today’s freight industry is reminiscent of the travel industry in the 1970s: siloed information, lack of pricing transparency, and obsolete analog documentation, resulting in importers often having to wait days for a single freight quote and overpaying by as much as 40%.
The new Freightos Marketplace is designed to bring transparency to the trillion-dollar market of international freight
Prior to this launch, Freightos automated millions of freight price quotes for some of the world’s largest freight forwarders and supply chain companies. The same routing and pricing technology now powers the Freightos Marketplace giving SME importers and retailers the unprecedented ability to compare, book, and manage freight rates in real-time. Initially the Freightos Marketplace is focused on US imports from China, by air and ocean.
Zvi Schreiber, CEO and founder of Freightos, tells Maritime CEO that by bringing trade online, the Freightos Marketplace is addressing what he describes as “the final frontier in global trade”.
“You can source products online, you can sell products online and you can buy products online,” he says, “but freight shipping is the last, unautomated frontier, despite over $19trn in annual global trade.”
Schreiber points out that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be employed by millennials who have been raised on the “instant gratification of the digital economy”.
“These millennials will expect transparency and accessibility when it comes to shipping goods for their businesses, just as it is expected when booking a flight or ordering take-out online,” Schreiber maintains.
Why has it taken so long to get to this moment? Schreiber says it is because freight is complicated. There are an average of over 20 surcharges and fees in each freight quote.
“Freight companies are manual, which means that while buying seats on an airplane was automated in the 1970s, the cargo under the deck was still manual,” he says.
Concluding, Schreiber says in a hopeful, bullish manner: “Freightos is bringing the future of global trade online starting now.”