Cargo shipping is a vital part of our global economy, as goods need to be picked up and delivered by boat in many cases. However, the shipping of cargo usually relies on centralized services and companies as well. But if tech startup Fleet has a say in the matter, they will decentralize the freight forwarder business altogether.
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Fleet – The Yelp For Global Cargo Shipping
Most people don’t realize this, but international cargo shipping is an absolute nightmare, for both people looking to get goods shipped, as well as the freight companies transporting goods. Something as “mundane” as moving packaging from one continent to the next can become quite the tedious task, especially if you are ordering in smaller-sized quantities. Small business are facing enough uphills battle to stay in business, and not getting the best bang for their buck when using cargo shipping isn’t helping matters at all.
To make matters even worse, international freight shipping is a very costly business. Especially if you are running a small-to-medium-sized business, you will soon find out just how much of your “budget” is going to cargo shipping. The reason for this is quite simple: most freight forwarders charge outrageous fees on top of the pricing by third-party service providers such as warehouses and customer brokers. But these cargo shipping companies do not always break down the costs properly, and bill everything to their clients.
Fleet is trying to shake up the cargo shipping industry, by offering a rating and review platform one the one hand, and its booking and payment platform on the other hand. With over 6,000 freight forwarders listed on the review platform alone, shippers can easily sort these lists by pricing, rating, shipment lanes and location. The booking and payment platform is scheduled to go live by the end of 2015, and will be similar to services such as Expedia and Kayak.
Fleet Founder Max Lock told the media the following:
“Currently there is about a 60 percent churn rate among small- to medium-sized businesses in the freight forwarding space. If a shipper has a bad experience with a forwarder, the only place they can go to find a new one is through Google.This changed slightly from our original idea of working directly with the service providers. Instead, we want to focus on the technology and leave the operational execution up to the freight forwarders that exist today.”
Decentralizing The Way Cargo Is Shipped
Fleet is one of the latest companies to join the decentralization revolution. Even though they will offer a platform through which companies can look for cargo shipping, they also connect all individual companies with each other. Rather than sticking to a handful of options, Fleet will give its users a few thousand options to choose from. All of which will, in turn, benefit all parties involved, as well as the consumer. And who knows, maybe someday blockchain technology will be implemented in some way, so we could track every cargo ship at every time.
What are your thoughts on Fleet and how can they further improve their idea? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Fleet and Shutterstock