Automated freight rate platforms reel in big names
The drive to automate the freight rate process took another step forward with Hellmann Worldwide Logistics announcing a global roll-out of the Freightos rate management and auto-quote system and M.E. Dey & Co. implementing the CargoSphere rate platform.
“For a modern logistics provider, efficient data movement is critical for efficient freight movement. Instant freight quotes, optimized routing and pricing and on-demand analytics will play a pivotal role in increasing efficiency for both Hellmann and its customers,” said Roland Wiedenroth, Hellman’s global business project manager for the Freightos roll out.
He said Freightos’s AcceleRate rate management and sales digitalization system was selected after an extensive vetting process. It is already optimizing air, ocean, truck and rail freight pricing and sales for Hellmann Worldwide offices globally, and as a result, Hellmann customers are starting to enjoy near-instant price quotes in an industry where days are the norm.
Speeding up the rate quoting is a cornerstone of the Freightos offering as it moves towards being the “Expedia for freight shipping.” The online platform characterizes itself as a “big data solution” that pools prices and fees together in one place for its customers.
Freightos is a Hong Kong-registered company with offices in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the U.S. and has been marketing its products to the forwarding industry for the last few years. Hellmann joins more than 30 freight forwarders that have signed up to Freightos, including logistics giants CEVA Logistics and Nippon Express, and retailers such as Marks & Spencer.
Competition to automate the freight business is heating up, and CargoSphere said M.E. Dey has a single database of systematized freight rates that allows them to access their direct carrier contract rates, and rates from three non-vessel-operating common carriers, the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America and their Asian partners to quickly and accurately create branded quotes for customers.
“The CargoSphere Rate Mesh allows us to access up-to-date rates online, which is fast and timely,” said Sarah Azar, project manager, certified customs specialist, M.E. Dey & Co. “Before CargoSphere we often would wait 24 hours to receive rates from our partner in China. It’s great that our quote turn-time is now timelier for customers.”
Another company active in this arena is Kuehne + Nagel, which has introduced KN Freightnet, an online platform for placing air freight orders that cuts down the time spent on obtaining quotes, placing bookings and tracking shipments.
Kuehne + Nagel Chairman Karl Gernandt told JOC.com last year that there has been a high acceptance rate among shippers since the product was launched in 2014.