Hong Kong: Container shipping has managed to duck under the all seeing eye of the web customer for so long. Zvi Schreiber, ceo of internet firm Freightos, is determined to offer shippers more choice and greater transparency in pricing – bringing box shipping onto a par with air travel, for instance, where potential flyers can see a whole host of prices on their screens at the click of a button. Box shipping’s mysterious and opaque pricing system is under threat from this internet start-up.
Freightos uses big data, advanced software routines, and cloud technology to give what Schreiber describes as “a more connected supply chain”.
There is no doubt in his mind that international freight services will undergo fundamental changes as sales go online.
“Sourcing flexibility, like that introduced by Alibaba, together with shorter product cycles and rate volatility are pushing retailers, exporters, distributors and manufacturers to embrace faster, more agile shipping patterns,” the tech executive maintains.
Schreiber founded and led multiple high-tech companies, including Tradeum (acquired by VerticalNet), Lightech (acquired by General Electric), Unicorn Solutions (acquired by IBM) and G.ho.st. Freightos was founded in Hong Kong in 2012, kicking off thanks to funding from equity crowdfunding site OurCrowd.
Expectations from logistics customers are also changing, Schreiber notes. “Procurement managers are people and in their private lives they order clothing online, stream movies in second and order taxicabs from cellphones. They will not tolerate slow responsiveness or a lack of control in the way they move goods. Carriers and forwarders will need to adapt to instant transparent pricing, or be left behind in this competitive industry,” Schreiber says.
Freightos enables carriers, shippers and forwarders to automate online routing, pricing and booking.
The result, Schreiber claims, is a more efficient rate distribution for carriers and forwarders, and forwarder to shipper, lowering their cost of sale and potentially helping alleviate unfilled capacity, while making supply chain planning more efficient, cost-effective and agile for shippers.
“More effective information transfers between the major supply chain components translates into more effective freight movement,” Schreiber insists.
Freightos is working with dozens of customers across the entire supply chain including leading global 3PLs and forwarders, regional forwarders, and global retailers.
With a firm eye on the seesawing graphs that are container freight rates, Schreiber is in a good position to cast his eye on the outlook for box shipping in the year ahead.
“The global economy has voted with its containers – imports and exports continue to grow,” he says, adding: “Indicators point to a possible slow-down in emerging economies and flat-line in Europe, but key economies like the US and India will continue to rely more and more on global shipping. However, overcapacity will continue to adversely impact prices and high volatility will continue.” [02/02/15]