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How automation can transform the logistics of shipping perishable goods (with video)

Global Trade Tech summit: Transship CEO makes case for embracing automated freight for perishables

Amit Hasak, Transship founder and CEO (right), talks with Brian Laung Aoaeh, co-founder of REFASHIOND Ventures during American Shipper’s Global Trade Tech summit. (Photo: American Shipper/FreightWaves)

Transship founder and CEO Amit Hasak’s vision for the future of transporting perishable goods across the world involves fewer phone calls and emails and a lot more automation. The result: potentially knowing that a malfunctioning reefer unit spoiled that shipment of frozen pork long before someone opens that container at a Chinese port. 

“We provide that information in real time,” Hasak said during a virtual fireside chat at American Shipper’s Global Trade Tech summit on Thursday. He spoke with Brian Laung Aoaeh, a co-founder of REFASHIOND Ventures, a New York-based venture capital fund. 

Hasak founded Chicago-based Transship in 2017 after spending years owning and operating a cold-storage warehouse. The startup provides automated freight-forwarding services with an emphasis on perishable goods.

“We want to be the first smart cold supply chain company in the world,” he said.

Transship aims to solve a problem that Hasak said holds back traditional freight forwarders — the reliance on phone calls, emails and faxes over the life cycle of a shipment.  

Instead, the startup offers a platform that automates many of those processes utilizing application programming interface (API) and blockchain technology. Additionally, the platform provides real-time tracking of temperature, humidity and location. 

“What’s missing today with traditional freight forwarders is information,” he said. 

Through automation, Hasak said Transship is providing more real-time transparency about shipments. It opens the door for companies to boost their revenue to redeploy logistics personnel to sales and market. 

“It’s not meant to replace people,” Hasak said. “The service we’re providing is not so companies will fire their logistics staff.”

Hasak acknowledged that logistics automation “can be a hard sell” to skeptics, but “it’s meant to improve the whole industry and give people better experience.”  

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].