Cargobase.com reported soaring quarterly logistics traffic as customers have increased their usage of the platform to automate spot-buy freight, shining the spotlight on how the Coronavirus pandemic has fuelled demand for logistics solutions equipped to manage ad-hoc cargo.
The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of global supply chains: Companies have proven ill-prepared to deal with supply chain disruptions of this scale, ranging from factory closures to lane disruptions to supply/demand spikes. Operating on Just-In-Time models and with tight inventories has exacerbated this impact. As a result, demand for spot-buy freight (anything that falls outside of regular freight agreements between e.g. manufacturer and logistics provider) has surged, along with the need for richer analytics to maintain visibility on cost and performance.
The Singapore-based logistics platform said that transactions on its platform have grown 240% and revenue has risen 273% from a year earlier – by far the highest on record ever in its seven years since inception. Cargobase’s key customers include Fortune500 Companies in Electronics, Automotive Manufacturing, Medical Equipment and Oil & Gas, such as Continental Automotive, Siemens and Bosch. The surge in activity reflects the central role of a platform like Cargobase plays in a logistics crisis, helping to automate manual procurement processes necessary to fulfil global supply chain demands. This pandemic saw an increase in Cargobase users, freight frequency, urgency, complexities, and volumes.
“The main reason for this surge is that shippers (e.g. manufacturers, etc.) either can’t get or can’t rely on agreed long-term rates anymore due to the changes in capacity. The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased rates and transit times. In May 2020, Cargobase observed airfreight quotes between China and the US fluctuating between US$3 and US$30 / kilo. These disruptions in the supply chain have forced shippers to procure freight services on-the-spot at high cost, whilst keeping an eye out for the next most cost-effective solution – a key feature the Cargobase team has mastered in our platform with our unique quoting mechanism.” shared, Wiebe Helder, CEO & Founder of Cargobase.
In response, Cargobase launched a new version of its – Cargobase On The Go! – mobile app, helping shippers and providers to move away from emails and work at a faster pace. Cargobase has also been working to increase connectivity capabilities with its customer ERP and Data Visualisation Systems, to increase efficiency, improve visibility, and reduce duplication of information. Cargobase is also currently expanding its staff team to include Key Account Managers, Data Analysts, and Marketing Personnel, to keep up with its “ready-to-ship-in-under-two-weeks” commitment to new users and will soon launch a Freight Tender Module in anticipation of the global economy adapting to the “New Normal”. The bulk of the growth is seen in Q3 2020, which doubled from Q2 2020. Cargobase expects the number to grow as the pandemic continues and looks to keep bringing increased cost avoidance and profitability to both shippers and providers.
Cargobase has also published a paper “Freight Procurement in a Pandemic – a COVID-19 Special” and blog posts like “Getting Freight Quotes Faster” to share with the industry, insights and business case studies on best practices in times of crises.
“The current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and capability of Cargobase’s suite of solutions. It is the most challenging time the industry has ever faced, and we are proud we can help our clients navigate these times” said, Helder.
Anticipating the global economy entering its next phase, Cargobase will soon launch a pilot version of its new customisable “Freight Tender” solution – currently in beta mode – to be able to support its shippers for when mid/longer-term freight procurement can happen again.
The Coronavirus crisis is likely to have a permanent effect on global supply chains and the logistics industry. Technology solutions such as Cargobase offer a way for companies to be more resilient and agile in their logistics processes: both in the short term as the world grapples with the pandemic, as well as the longer-term where we enter and adapt to the “new normal”.
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