Ms. Elena Padovano
Please tell us how an online booking platform actually works and what the advantages are for the customers? Let us assume that I’ve got a shipment of 2×40 flat racks from Gothenburg to Durban. What is my first step and why does it make sense to place the inquiry with you and not the ship owner (or freight forwarder) directly?
On our platform, you have the possibility to reach a wide range of freight forwarders and customers. If you place a booking as a customer, you will receive various offers from different freight forwarders. This means the best market rate will be provided. If you are the forwarder you can choose what you are going to offer, which means you can focus on your strengths and only answer requests in which are you really focused and interested.
In regards to your example, you are the customer and you would like to place a request for 2×40 flat racks from Gothenburg to Durban. Your first step is to open an account on i-freight24.com. (By the way, if you are a new customer, you will get five quotes for free). Afterwards just place your request with as many details as possible – how to enter is very self-explanatory. You can also enter a deadline by which you need to receive the response at the latest. If those steps are done, just wait until you receive the offer that best matches your desires and confirm it via i-Freight24 to the chosen freight forwarder. Afterwards, you will be notified by email and you can communicate with your chosen forwarder directly.
There are many booking platforms out there and in recent years there has been a significant increase in ‘alternative’ ways of procuring freight. What makes you stand out? Do you have any logistics/shipping background in the ownership of i-Freight24?
The high exclusivity and the possibility to offer the whole product platform on i-Freight24 is one of our most important USPs. In addition, our rates are very low compared to the other existing online platforms. Our focus is on rate exchange only and we don’t want to offer any other special topics (e.g. Tracking, Document upload etc.). This focus should reach our goal of getting the best rates possible and calculations will be done from request to request (it is a non-automated rate exchange per each instance). Also yes, the owners have more than twenty years of experience in freight forwarding.
Do you believe that online booking platforms will be workable for cargoes that are NOT standard containers or general cargo?
We hope so. Of course, we think that the commonly used standard modes will have a higher demand, but for special cargoes we presume that there is also high demand. For customers transporting special cargo, it is always difficult to find other forwarders beyond those they already know. On i-Freight24 they will get the chance to meet with freight forwarding companies that have been unknown to them so far. This means that there is a huge potential for future business.
Who are the owners of your online platform?
Two investors located in Switzerland own the rights, but the platform in itself is owned by an I.T. company in the US. I am the managing director and authorized signatory.
Can you provide some kind of statistics on how many transactions you have had on your platform, say, this year for example, or per month on average?
The current stats are visible on the platform directly (live). The following are the current numbers (which officially are live since June 1st 2018):
Quotations provided: 239
Uploaded requests: 74
How can someone reach you to learn more about i-Freight24?