Kontainers, a UK-based e-commerce software provider for freight brands, is at the forefront of driving the digitalisation change of the freight industry with major shipping and logistics players.
Graham Parker, CEO of Kontainers, reckons the shipping and logistics industry is still in the early stages of digitalisation despite the pace picking up dramatically recently, and now the major market players including Maersk and Kuehne + Nagel are “all in” resulting in the sector passing the point of no return.
“As the pace increases it spreads down the food chain to the rest of the freight world and we see that with products catering for all sizes of shipping brands now. Trucking especially in the USA is quite advanced with near 100% automation. I think ocean is next and surprisingly air is slower with only a few airlines today, with API needed for real-time pricing and availability. As ocean is the largest mode of transport this is the one where we see a lot of new products driving change,” Parker observes.
Parker does not believe digitalisation will edge out traditional forwarders. On the contrary, he thinks the traditional ones will be more successful with their existing client base, global network and deep industry knowledge.
“The number of forwarders will shrink and some digital players will do well but the big winners will be tech-enabled existing players large or medium in size,” Parker says.
Parker says his company is an enabler for the industry, not a disrupter.
“A lot of platforms are trying to disrupt but we are enablers, easy modern suites of SaaS tools for freight brands to adopt with a fast go live,” Parker says.
Kontainers’ flagship product Enterprise has already signed with major shipping and logistics players Maersk, Toll Group and Ceva Logistics and Parker believes there is a pool of nearly one million freight brands that could benefit from an online offering for quotes and capacity.
Kontainers offers three digital, customer-facing freight execution platforms for global shipping brands: Enterprise for large brands, Edge for mid-size logistics/freight forwarding businesses and Essential for small forwarders, all designed to help firms accelerate their digital adoption and future-proof their business.
Parker claims more than 25% of the top 20 global freight forwarders now use Kontainers as their primary e-commerce solution.
“We will now announce a new top 20 global freight brand every month until the end of the year as the clear ramp up has accelerated for freight brands for their e-commerce capabilities to address customer demand to digitally engage and transact with business partners online. Kontainers software will power more than one million bookings in 2020,” Parker says.
According to Parker, the company’s goal is to allow freight brands to get access to the software they need immediately as SaaS tools in a pay as you go fashion, Parker states.
“Now any forwarder on the planet can have the same digital execution capabilities that up to now has cost millions and not been available to them. We think in the medium term this will actually move the needle in the eco system as now this tool levels the playing field and allows existing freight brands to create new revenue streams from technology, such as trade finance and online insurance. Freight brands are great problem solvers and revenue generators,” Parker concludes.