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Freightos: Demystifying freight pricing promises benefits for all – with video (Update)

International freight is complicated but “not rocket science.”

John Larkin, operating partner of the Clarendon Group, interviews Ruthie Amaru, chief marketing officer of Freightos Inc. at FreightWaves LIVE Chicago on Nov. 13. (Photo: FreightWaves staff)

Editor’s Note: Corrects 11th graf to delete reference to Freightos partnering with FlexPort

Freightos Inc., the world’s largest freight marketplace, sees transparent freight pricing of international freight benefiting shippers and forwarders alike.

“International freight is complicated but it is not rocket science,” Ruthie Amaru, Freightos chief marketing officer, said in a fireside chat with John Larkin, operating partner of the Clarendon Group, at FreightWaves LIVE Chicago on Nov. 13.

International freight is moving quickly toward being digitally demystified, Amaru said. “That transparency is going to benefit everyone.”

Cost effectively moving air freight to another transportation mode — ocean, truck or rail — requires pricing to be clear at each step. Amaru said there are no unknowns, only unspokens.

“We needed to automate pricing,” she said. “We’ve created instant pricing in an Expedia-like way. The way pricing works is very opaque.”

The Hong Kong-based startup has been rewarded with nearly $100 million in investment, and a third of air cargo pricing is done through the Freightos quoting engine, Amaru said, adding that the company is “trending toward profitability.”

In September, China’s largest freight forwarder, Sinotrans (HKEX: 0598), said it would offer online quoting and booking for air freight via Freightos’ WebCargo logistics purchasing platform.

In July, United Continental (NYSE: UAL) said it plans to use WebCargo’s Horizon platform as the back-end system for on-demand booking, dynamic pricing and real-time updates for its United Airlines air cargo business. 

In June, IAG Group, the holding company for British Airways and Iberia Airlines, said WebCargo would be the first third-party platform to offer access to rates and capacity for air freight on IAG flights. Freightos earlier signed up Europe’s two largest commercial air carriers, Lufthansa and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.

“We have forwarders on the network who cover the entire globe,” Amaru said. 

In successfully applying freight technology, Amaru cited Flexport, the venture capital-based freight forwarder as an example of another company using a digital platform to help manage supply chain visibility.  

She also sees individual forwarder supply chain management platforms emerging at incumbent forwarders, like Kuehne + Nagel and C.H. Robinson.

Larkin asked Amaru when she sees wider adoption of Freightos’ services.

“Adoption is pretty quick,” she responded, placing the “adoption acceleration curve” at five to 10 years.

“At that point, Freightos will be a rocket ship,” Larkin said.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.