A one-stop cargo delivery website sounds like a concept from the dotcom era when there were no real success stories to tell as the technology was not robust enough to process an enormous amount of data.
As global ecommerce thrived in recent years, the logistics sector should have moved ahead too, leveraging the Internet of Things and automation to boost productivity. On the contrary though, the global supply chain is still grappling with disconnects in information and operating systems. Many processes are still being done manually, which means productivity is not being optimised and costs are not lowering.
Pooling commercial and technology expertise to upgrade the global supply chain
Enter HKSTP Incu-Tech incubatee FreightAmigo, which has built a one-stop global logistics matching platform consolidating logistics, information flow and capital flow, and an experienced team with extensive industry connections and the know-how to take advantage of modern technology.
FreightAmigo’s founder Jimmy Chow and director Ivy Tse were keenly aware of the inefficiencies in the logistics industry. For example, email quotations, telephone orders and paper filing were still regularly used for cross-border deliveries. They saw instances of companies not responding to a customer’s request for a quotation for more than a week, which to them was unthinkable. The duo were experienced managers with multinationals and saw an opportunity to address the gaps in the industry. So, they co-founded FreightAmigo in 2017 and moved into Science Park in 2018 to capture new business opportunities and contribute to upgrading the global supply chain.
Platform devised to promote logistics productivity
The core functions of FreightAmigo are to automate price comparison and supply matching for “door-to-door” services. The 7x24 platform enables instant quotations, container reservations, real-time tracking and documentation management via its website or mobile app. It supports air, sea and land freight, warehousing, courier, trade financing, insurance and other services. A customer needs only to input required information and the system will generate a list of the best quotes. After choosing the right option, the customer can track freight status throughout the journey to facilitate planning.
The platform offers enterprises, ecommerce traders and freight forwarders savings in time and resources compared to traditional freight arrangements. The process is transparent and precious manpower resources can be deployed for other value-added work.
Developing technology and business networks in tandem
Ivy says that the team knows the key to success lies in maintaining the efficiency of the platform with technology and providing a diverse range of services for customers with its marketing capabilities.
FreightAmigo uses Amazon’s AWS cloud platform to ensure the company has the flexibility to deal with different customer needs on different scale from different parts of the world. On the other hand, the team develops its own algorithms for its artificial intelligence engine to provide the right service matching functions.
Jimmy says that more than 30 logistics suppliers have joined the platform as partners, and more than 1,000 enterprises have registered online in the expanding customer network. Every quarter, the platform processes an average of 40,000 real-time freight quotations, and monthly transaction volume is growing at double-digit rates. The team is in contact with more than 100 potential customers daily to understand their needs and enhance the company’s service delivery.
HKSTP helps the company achieve sustained growth
Jimmy and Ivy believe that HKSTP’s support has been instrumental in getting them to where they are today. After its admission to the Incu-Tech programme, FreightAmigo joined manufacturing sector exhibitions, financing seminars and startup workshops through Science Park. They attended the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2019 in London in April to explore local and international collaboration opportunities.
They are channelling FreightAmigo’s resources into FinTech R&D in 2019 and 2020 to optimise service quality and system performance and improve the speed and access of its one-stop service experience. Commercially, the company will focus on business development in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia, targeting e-commerce enterprises in the regional online retail market. They also look forward to connecting with more corporate clients and business partners in different parts of the world and establishing long-term supply chain financial collaboration.