Startup Of The Week

Startup Of The Week: FreightHub

FreightHub, a Berlin-based startup that handles shipping between Europe and Asia and Europe and the United States, wants to position itself as the digital freight forwarder for the 21st century. Its technology platform aims to make any form of shipping more transparent and quicker, cheaper and easier.

“Freight forwarding is a very old industry — it has been around for more than 150 years. The problem with most established players today is, that their processes and customer interfaces seem to be as old as the industry itself,” says co-founder and CEO Ferry Heilemann . “It is often a painful experience for customers to move containers over the globe. You have to call, get hold of the right person, explain what you want and then wait days to receive a manual quote. In addition there is no shipment or document overview and also the final arrival time of the container is unclear. ”

The startup, which raised a €20 million venture capital round in December, says its customers range from one man businesses that ship pallets only to large companies with multi-billion euros in revenue that ship more than 10,000 containers per year.

FreightHub’s fully digital freight forwarder offers instant quotes, booking and shipment tracking for container and pallet transport in real time and oncarriage (truck,barge and train) to the door. Quotations are created automatically within a few seconds and customers can chose between a range of about 150 different options for the duration of the transport, departure or arrival dates, departure or arrival port and price, the company says. Carrier rates are continuously queried on a daily to weekly basis and fed into the FreightHub database. To generate real-time offers FreightHub has developed its own search and route optimization algorithm to access the data.

The technology gives customers a choice of different routes, fastest or cheapest offer and immediate comparison of all transport modes (trail, truck, barge).

Going digital has other advantages. The startup’s online shipping management area promises to give customers a holistic overview of shipments with related documents, shipment history, shipment details and cost overview.

FreightHub handles all necessary formalities such as customers certificates and transport insurance, acting as a one stop shop for forwarders.

About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.