Executive Briefings

Ocean Transportation Remains 'Too Manual, Inefficient and Opaque'

While sensor-laden containers, smart ships and 3D printing have grabbed the headlines, the start-ups making the biggest inroads are those working on something more basic - streamlining the interaction between shippers, freight forwarders and those actually transporting the goods.

"This is way up there on the list of insanely complex systems with enormous impact on the global economy," says Trae Stephens of Founders Fund, which recently led a $65m investment round in Flexport, a start-up focusing on providing logistics services and data.

"We believe doing this in a more efficient way can really move the needle on every part of the economy," said Stephens.

Container ocean trade is likely to grow no more than three percent over the next few years -- at a compound annual growth rate -- compared to 10 percent in 2000-05, and five percent in 2005-10, according to Seabury, a transportation consultancy, and McKinsey predicts shipping oversupply will stay above 20 percent this year and next.

Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos, a Hong Kong start-up that offers Expedia-like quotes for end-to-end freight shipping, says the shipping industry is "manual, inefficient and opaque."

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"This is way up there on the list of insanely complex systems with enormous impact on the global economy," says Trae Stephens of Founders Fund, which recently led a $65m investment round in Flexport, a start-up focusing on providing logistics services and data.

"We believe doing this in a more efficient way can really move the needle on every part of the economy," said Stephens.

Container ocean trade is likely to grow no more than three percent over the next few years -- at a compound annual growth rate -- compared to 10 percent in 2000-05, and five percent in 2005-10, according to Seabury, a transportation consultancy, and McKinsey predicts shipping oversupply will stay above 20 percent this year and next.

Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos, a Hong Kong start-up that offers Expedia-like quotes for end-to-end freight shipping, says the shipping industry is "manual, inefficient and opaque."

Read Full Article