Parnity, a Brazilian freight forwarding startup, is creating a one-stop platform for forwarders to connect with fellow forwarders and manage their own network. Parnity’s platform accounts for over 7,000 freight forwarders, providing a public space where users can see forwarder profiles and custom search for partners based on their needs.
“Freight forwarders will also have a private profile under the My Network tab, which acts as a customer relationship management [CRM] tool for partners. Companies can manage all their partnerships there,” said Marina Felicio, the marketing director of Parnity.
Freight forwarders can select partners individually based on the countries they operate in, choosing their top partners and putting them on a priority list. “The My Network system allows them to add historical data on the partnership — meaning, companies will have an overview of the partnership, the business deals done in the past, and if there have been any instances of trouble during those transactions,” said Felicio.
Siloed functioning of freight forwarders in the market has led to a situation in which there is zero data exchange, making it hard for companies to foster partnerships — notably with forwarders that run operations in a different part of the world. Felicio explained that this lack of partnership data results in poorer logistics decisions across the ecosystem.
For instance, several freight forwarders that Parnity met with lacked any organization in storing their partners’ details, with many of them having it in unorganized spreadsheets and even recollecting details from memory.
“When forwarders go to networking events, they only connect with a few people. And these relationships are more linked to personal contact than it is to data on who would be the best fit,” said Felicio. “We are trying to consolidate all that partnership history that these companies have between each other to create a transparent platform for all.”
To improve trust among stakeholders in the system, Parnity has introduced “trust scores” that can objectively validate freight forwarders. Thais Faria, co-founder of Parnity, contended that trust was a major roadblock to developing new partnerships.
“We try to solve this with a concept of community. The forwarders give trust scores to their partners after a transaction, and this score is made available on their public profile. Now, forwarders can base their decisions off these scores,” said Faria. “Forwarders with good trust scores would be favored as the community validates them.”
Parnity was in beta mode from early this year, opening its platform to the public in April. All the tools that Parnity has developed are available for free and will remain so, Faria explained. However, the startup continues to innovate and develop new tools, some of which would eventually end up behind a paywall.
Faria noted that Parnity collaborates with users to gain feedback to improve its services. “All this while, forwarders did not visually manage their partnerships and did not use data to get a better picture. We look to improve the platform in a way that delivers more intelligence and value to them in developing and holding new partnerships.”
For now, the biggest challenge that lies ahead for Parnity is to get its freight forwarding community to use its tools on a daily basis. “We continue to educate people on the utility of our tools, and how they can save time and money by using Parnity. We are a free platform looking to change the status quo of the industry via modern tools. You could be a small or medium-sized forwarder and you could still go digital, modernize your process, and scale your business.”
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