FreightBro recently became the first Indian company to integrate Maersk Spot on its digital platform for freight forwarders. FreightBro is a freight-tech start-up digitizing sales and operational processes in forwarding. Keeping in sync with Maersk’s intent to make shipping seamless through Maersk Spot, FreightBro moves a step ahead in realizing its own mission of digitizing global trade through the democratization of technology.
The woes of the Shipping World
The Shipping Industry has been largely dictated by manual and complex booking processes and it is only now when digitization has gained momentum in the industry that these deep-rooted inefficiencies in the system are becoming visible. Essentially comprising of a lot of back and forth communication between various stakeholders, booking equipment or space on vessels can be a real pain to a forwarder.
If we delve a little deeper, there are three most significant challenges that the industry faces.
Overbooking: The ocean carriers have been keen on replicating the airline-like booking model for a long time because of the evident two-way commitment. While booking an airline ticket there is an understanding that if you do not show up for the journey there is a penalty that you end up paying. However, in the shipping industry, there is no such governance adhering to no show. A significant downfall ratio is prevalent which means as a liner you have very little idea of what cargo is going to turn up for a particular voyage. This is why carriers overbook cargo on vessels and are rarely accurate with the levels of variance within downfall. This makes breaking the vicious cycle of rolling cargo, moving cargo and proper communication to the customers all the more difficult.
Less reliability for customers: From a customer point of view it forces you to make bookings with multiple carriers which essentially diminishes the customer experience. There is an immense uncertainty of a carrier carrying the cargo at all.
Price Uncertainty in terms of validity, price can be a challenge owing to the current economic and dynamic conditions of the market.
How Maersk Spot on FreightBro platform fits the bill?
Earlier in 2019, Maersk came up with its online product, Maersk Spot, that essentially simplifies bookings for customers. It also curbs the cycle of overbookings while guaranteeing cargo loading. This is a revolutionary step ahead in simplifying supply chains and enhancing the overall booking experience in shipping.
FreightBro’s initiative to integrate Maersk Spot into its digital platform takes this revolutionary product directly to the forwarders and makes their lives easy. The forwarders using the FreightBro platform will be able to reap all the benefits that Maersk Spot entails.
Additionally, Maersk Spot aims to address the three main challenges heads on and this is how the shipping experience is meant to change on the FreightBro platform with this integration:
1.Guaranteed Loading and Equipment availability: On the FreightBro platform with Maersk Spot, forwarders can expect guaranteed equipment availability and cargo loading on Maersk and Safmarine services irrespective of the peak season at a fixed price.
2.Price Guarantee: With the transparency of prices what you pay is what you get thus making the entire booking process more efficient and effective.
3.Two Way Commitment: You show up, your cargo sails on time. You don’t, you pay a penalty which is fair and square in all means.
4.Better predictability: As a customer, you would want an assurance that your cargo sails on time for the destination. With Maersk Spot, you are guaranteed just that!
5.Convenience: With Maersk, Spot APIs integrated within the FreightBro platform now simply click and book your shipments in barely 30 seconds.
6.Enhanced Efficiencies: Forwarders can now book in real-time thus simplifying the booking process and enhancing efficiency.
FreightBro’s take on Innovation and the Integration
Speaking about the integration, Mr Kathiresan Eswaramurthy, COO, FreightBro, mentioned, “Maersk Spot is indeed a game-changer and our customers can benefit not only from the rate discovery, but they can also search, compare and book instantly, with guaranteed equipment and space on the FreightBro platform.”
“Maersk Spot on the FreightBro platform surely is a sustainable product. In an industry that is quite dynamic, such integrations bring about the much-needed reliability a customer seeks. With guaranteed loading and equipment availability, two of the biggest woes of a freight forwarder are automatically addressed. Overbooking and visibility challenges that the industry faces will be eliminated over a period of time. All in all, it’s a win-win scenario for the line as well as forwarders.” said V Anand Babu, Head of Partnerships, FreightBro.
FreightBro aims to double its digital rate deliveries and online bookings while providing a very simple airline-like booking experience to the forwarding industry. FreightBro has enabled 500+ freight forwarders to sell online using their proprietary digital platform. Maersk Spot is definitely a way ahead for FreightBro to continue to enable more forwarders to take their businesses online.
The Indian logistics industry in 2019 was valued at around $160 bn and is anticipated to grow to approximately $250 bn in 2020. With digitization gaining momentum in the industry, technology and innovations are a tested method to provide the required impetus to the drive.