Freightos has expanded its online marketplace that the logistics technology company hopes will revolutionize the freight market. After launching the Freightos Marketplace in January 2016 in “closed beta” mode, providing fast freight price quotes for some of the world’s largest forwarders, the company has broadened its scope to allow small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access global rate quotes in real time for air, land and sea transport.
Since Freightos’ goals for the Marketplace are similar to what priceline.com did to the consumer travel market, Freightos brought Robert Mylod on board from priceline.com as an investor and director. “Booking a flight has been electronic for 50 years,” Mylod explained, “but the cargo on airplanes, trucks and ships is still booked manually. This cannot continue. Growing global trade, e-commerce B2B [business-to-business] sales and sprawling dynamic supply chains demand the transparency and efficiency of online freight.”
The company’s platform allows customers to search for and compare all-in pricing for air, ocean and trucking freight quotes across multiple providers. Automated pricing cuts time for shippers, who previously could wait days for quotes, Freightos said. After deciding on a quote, customers book it, and enter their details, at which point the selected forwarders get be in touch.
The freight industry is famously antiquated, the company said, with many freight companies across the platforms using technology that dates back decades. Siloed information, lack of pricing transparency, and analog documentation all translate into costly delays for freight quote and overpaying, which Freightos said sometimes reaches 40 percent.
Freightos points out that SMEs make up 97 percent of U.S. importers, and that these waiting periods and high prices limit their growth. “The logistics industry is the backbone of global trade. At US$4 trillion, it accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s GDP. But this foundation of the international economy is slow, opaque and offline,” said Zvi Schreiber, CEO and founder of Freightos.