Mr. Carlos Moreira
Co-Founder of CargoBid
What is CargoBid, Carlos?
CargoBid is an online platform offering cargo auctions for air, sea and multi-modal transport. Available in seven languages, it works as an auction marketplace and does not operate as a freight forwarder or carrier. It is a solely an intermediary between companies in the spot market. Its whole purpose is to contribute to green freight procurement and promote trade relationships between companies worldwide.
Basically, our customers act as participants in online reverse auctions. Any buyers of transportation (known in CargoBid as shippers) post auctions with freight requests and provide their cargo details. The suppliers of transportation (carriers) offer freight quotes by means of bids in those auctions.
Who owns it and whose idea was it to set it up?
CargoBid is owned and operated by Baumgartner & Moreira Lda. a privately owned and independent software company registered in Portugal. It has two managing partners, Mr. Guido Baumgartner and myself.
The idea to set up this platform came initially from me. I was not happy with the available freight exchanges upon which I could bid. I didn’t like their design or usability. They seemed very cumbersome and unpractical for the average freight salesperson.
There are nowadays many online platforms out there where you can offer your cargo for transport. What makes your platform different and what are the main advantages in your view?
Besides the usual advantages of costs reduction and quicker processes, I would like to highlight three features that I believe are critical and distinctive:
- Unlike other platforms, the shippers benefit from multiple award criteria. They can choose freight bids according not only to the freight rate, but also according to the transit time, service frequency and carbon footprint associated with each bid. These parameters are self-assessed by carriers upon bidding, which guarantees a higher level of commitment from any participant carrier.
- We are different from the usual auction marketplace model, because we practice a commission-free policy. Our service is based on monthly and yearly subscriptions. This means the more auctions you create, or the more bids you make, the cheaper it gets for users. We also provide a Platinum plan with unlimited auctions or bids. This makes our pricing plans very competitive.
- We have set up a dedicated identity verification process for Platinum users. In this way, we ensure they commit to following our Code of Conduct. Therefore, we prevent customer misconceptions that are traditionally associated with electronic auctions and users can trust on the CargoBid service.
How does it work in practice? Say that you have a shipment to make from Hamburg, Germany to Long Beach. The cargo consists of 2×40 dc containers and 1×20′ flat rack with 20cm over height. Could I, as a potential shipper, put this delivery up on your platform? Walk us through a typical example.
Sure, you could! The auction process takes shippers through an easy and intuitive five-step sequence. Each step takes a different full screen. Firstly, you choose your route and define the places of loading and delivery for your cargo and the inland transportation mode. Secondly, you define your cargo type, weight, volume and other variables, depending on whether it’s FCL, LCL, bulk or air cargo. Thirdly, you choose your commodity and whether it is hazardous or not. In the fourth step you define several important details, such as the terms of delivery, customs/insurance requirements and further remarks. The fifth and last step is the most interesting. There you can apply upgrades, such as Featured Auction or Urgent Auction, to increase visibility or speed up bidding. The most interesting upgrades are the Sealed Auction and Confidential Auction, which allow more bid quality and auction privacy, respectively. Currently, you can choose one cargo type (e.g. container type) per auction. Multi-type auction creation is a feature we aim to develop as soon as possible.
Carlos, what is your background? What made you and your partners decide to set up CargoBid?
My career is strongly based in the shipping and logistics industries, where I have been working during previous decades for some of the largest companies in the sector (e.g. American President Lines (APL), Kuehne & Nagel and more recently the ETE Group). In terms of academic background, I graduated in the University of Exeter with a degree in Humanities, a longtime interest of mine but not related at all with my experience in the business world, so I soon felt like I had to complement my education with more suitable skills. So, I took a post-graduation in Sustainable Development, again through Exeter.
After closing the Porto office of APL in 2012, I moved over to freight forwarding as a full-time salesperson, where I realized the difficulties sales people often face when selling freight. Finding exporters and importers with prospective cargo is not easy. That was the period when freight exchanges caught my attention. I found auction-based freight procurement an interesting gateway for sales people like me to participate and sell my freight over some cargo.
That was when I invited Mr. Guido Baumgartner, an experienced IT project manager and old friend of mine, to join me in building a different auction platform for freight procurement. After a lot of discussions, my partner was convinced by my passion for sustainability and the ‘greenification’ of international trade. We decided to focus on helping freight forwarders and exporters/importers around the world to promote more environmentally friendly supply chains. This was basically the start of CargoBid.
Let me add that I am also an enthusiast for web development and web design, which helped us a lot while developing our platform.
Where is the company registered and from where are you working?
Our company is legally registered in Portugal. The CargoBid brand is already a Europe wide registered trademark, now legally protected in all the twenty-eight countries of the European Union, under the EUIPO terms. We operate in two offices, one in Porto, Portugal and another one in Olten, Switzerland.
How to reach you?
I prefer to be reached by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. My direct mobile number is +351966406366. We currently look forward to upgrading our platform to the next level. Being a startup company, we really need funding now. We are searching for a strategic partner/investor to help us with marketing, sales and the further development of CargoBid. Any contact from an interested party with that goal in mind would be welcome!