In conversation with: Toby Edwards, Shipa Freight
Toby Edwards, CEO, Shipa Freight, discusses the features and advantages of the latest online platform offering by the Agility group.
- Tell us about Shipa Freight and the purpose behind launching it.
Shipa Freight is a new online platform from Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. It offers both air and ocean freight, including less container load (LCL) and full container load (FCL). Door-to-door movements are undertaken using Agility’s Global Integrated Logistics network and service is available in up to 100 countries worldwide.
Shipa Freight is aimed at small and medium-size customers that want 24/7 access to rates, the ability to complete a full transaction online, want one place for instant access to all shipping information (including compliance and documentation requirements), and expect immediate answers to their freight questions.
According to the World Trade Organisation, the majority of SMEs that import or export goods (89%) see technology transforming the logistics industry and believe it is “levelling the playing field” for SMEs to operate globally. We recognise and value our customers’ needs and the significance of enabling SMEs to improve and enhance their operations.
Technologies such as Shipa Freight are designed to cater to those needs and to provide customer service excellence. To put it simply, Shipa Freight is born of Agility’s recognition of technology as critical to driving the future of the logistics industry. Our services have always been underpinned by the best that technology has to offer, and we recognise that the market has been reshaped in recent years, characterised by varying customer expectations, real-time response, and a slew of new innovations to engage with them at various touchpoints. With this in mind, we are extremely excited about Shipa Freight and all that it has to offer.
Furthermore, Agility customer support is available 24/7 to help them book and manage their shipments, or to get rates for routes not quoted online. The ability to use technology and combine it with Agility’s global network make it a compelling service for customers to use.
- How does Shipa Freight intend to tackle the issues associated with compliance, customs requirements, and cross-border bureaucracy, for SMEs?
According to Shipa Freight’s global study of 800 SMEs, small and medium-size companies said they needed the complexity taken out of compliance, customs requirements, and cross-border bureaucracy if they were to consider engaging in more international trade. Shipa Freight helps customers overcome these aforementioned issues by providing a compliance database with information on the documents required on all trade lanes, and helping them navigate the legal and regulatory requirements that are obstacles for many small businesses.
When a customer chooses to ship freight between two countries, Shipa Freight notifies the customer what documents are needed to move that freight. This database of knowledge is built from our global network of operators and experts. With Shipa Freight’s compliance database to guide them, the likelihood of customers’ freight being delayed is much reduced.
For a small business going global, having the confidence that their logistics provider is with them every step of the way is paramount. In addition, our global network of experts is available to provide practical support when needed.
- How does Shipa plan to use Agility’s global network to support its acceptance and growth in the market?
What gives users of Shipa Freight a great advantage is that the service is backed by Agility’s global network of more than 22,000 employees in over 100 countries across the world. Shipa Freight gives customers the support of a trusted global network and allows small and medium-size companies to access the world’s growing markets. The knowledge and expertise of this global network is contained within Shipa Freight and allows customers to go global with a trusted partner.
- Technology is the way to go; how does this fit into the overall ideals of Agility?
Technology is playing a key role in Agility’s development and Shipa Freight is an example of how we have utilised technology to build a new platform for customers.
In addition to Shipa Freight, Agility is looking at and deploying technology in many other areas. These include blockchain, IoT, data sciences, and the re-engineering of our operational software. For data science, we are looking at both our ability to participate in integrated customer supply chains and also customer service and pricing solutions.
In addition to these trends, logistics-on-demand services are also expected to see more traction in the coming years. At Agility, these changes are factored into our day-to-day operations as innovation is the only way to move forward in a rapidly changing landscape. With this in mind, we developed Shipa Freight, the first fully integrated online freight service which caters to a new breed of customers in real-time.
- Will the software only be available to Agility customers?
Shipa Freight is an open web-based platform that anyone can use. Users can generate a quote very easily and once they sign up, they have access to many more features that will help them manage their logistics.
Read more about Shipa Freight here.