German start-up makes shipping a container as easy as booking a flight
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The Berlin-based start-up Forto has created a cargo-space booking platform. The solution brings freight transport to the next level and allows shippers to focus on their core business.
The Forto company, which until recently operated under the name FreightHub, was established four years ago by Ferry Heilemann, Erik Muttersbach, Michael Wax and Fabian Heilemann. Today, it has more than 2,500 customers and employs 300 people worldwide. The startup does not, however, own any truck or ship fleet for the goods transport. The company has created a platform that allows a comprehensive shipper service to cover the entire process chain from offerings, through bookings, document management and tracking, to supply chain data analysis.
According to experts’ estimates, approximately 200 million containers are transported each year around the world. However, the global cargo business has so far been infamous for its unreliability. At times, it has happened , for example, that customers who booked cargo ship transport simply did not show up. Sometimes, ordered goods were left in port, because the ship was already fully loaded – explained Michael Wax, one of the founders of the Berlin start-up, in an interview for “Morgenpost”. According to Forto, this was due to the low level of digitisation in the industry, among other things. Yet, with the platform created by the start-up from Berlin, this will change. The platform allows the transport to become timely, transparent and reliable. It also reduces the paperwork necessary for clients to a minimum.
We keep our promises about availability of transport capacity and delivery times, and show the customers very clearly where their goods are – Wax asserts the Berlin daily “Morgenpost.”
Erik Muttersbach, another of the start-up co-founders, pointed out that until now, the handling of each container required sending on average from 30 to 60 emails with the necessary documentation.
Shipping a container from point A to point B should be as easy as booking a flight. We just don’t want our customers to have to think about it anymore – explains Muttersbach.
By simplifying the transport management process this way, shippers can focus on their business without having to worry about logistics. Moreover, doing business overseas may be possible even for small entrepreneurs who have previously decided not to do so due to the procedures complexity.
Photo: Bartosz Wawryszuk