Many ecommerce merchants source goods from overseas and face a multitude of challenges in getting their stock back to the UK, or sometimes to warehouses in other countries ready to sell online. That’ where Shipa Freight comes in – designed for online retailers their solution is entirely digital from quote to booking a shipment. Whether it be a pallet or a container, Shipa Freight lets you get a quote and book 24 hours a day secure in the knowledge that the price you see is the price you’ll pay.
Understanding SMEs and their needs is key to Shipa Freight’s service – often you may want to get a proportion of your new in-season stock quickly so air freight is needed whilst the bulk of your stock arrives later by sea – Shipa Freight can handle both your air and sea freight.
We asked Toby Edwards, CEO of Shipa Freight to tell us more:
Who are Shipa Freight?
Shipa Freight is a new online platform from Agility, one of the world’s leading logistics providers, 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 LCL (Less than Container Load) and FCL (Full Container Load). Door to door and port to port movements are undertaken using Agility’s Global Integrated Logistics network and service is available in up to 100 countries worldwide.
What do Shipa Freight do?
Shipa Freight allows for an end-to-end shipping transaction to be completed online, including accessing a quote, making a booking, paying for the shipment and tracking where the cargo is. It is aimed at small and medium sized customers that want 24/7 access to rates, the ability to complete a full transaction online, want one place to go for instant access to all shipping information (including compliance and documentation requirements), and expect immediate answers to their freight questions.
In addition there are capabilities within Shipa Freight that allow for communication between customers and their suppliers, either to clarify shipping information such as weight or volume, or to assist with documentation requirements.
What have merchants told Shipa Freight they need?
Overseas markets are assuming an ever greater level of importance for SMEs and are no longer being seen as the domain of larger companies and Multi-National Corporations only. SMEs have realized that engaging in trade beyond their home markets is critical to long-term prosperity and success. SMEs that do business across borders are more robust and more successful than those that stick to their domestic markets.
As governments struggle to provide the support that these ambitious businesses need, logistics and technology providers and others can help to bridge that gap. According to Shipa Freight’s global study of 800 SMEs, 71% of respondents say they are concentrating more on international markets than on their home markets. Over 47% of the same respondents also stated that they lack the necessary expertise in international shipping and that the complexities involved in going global cause them issues
According to the World Trade Organization, 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 see Shipa Freight as facilitating trade by lowering many of the barriers that may have otherwise hindered smaller firms from engaging in global trade. A built-in compliance engine provides guidance for SMEs in how to successfully navigate the intricacies of global trade and ensures that their shipments move without problems.
SMEs are not typically served well by logistics service providers as their requirements are often small and knowledge of what is needed to complete a transaction low. Shipa Freight looks to overcome this by providing an always-on technology-driven platform that customers can access when they need to. This is supported by a global network of experienced operators. Access to competitive rates and time-saving benefits of getting rates online and being able to complete a transaction online are also significant benefits to customers. Shipa Freight is also designed to make it straightforward for customers to regenerate or modify a quote and to review the history of quotes. Reusing shipper and consignee details is also easy and can be managed via the profile setup page.
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, 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 you, the likelihood of customers’ freight being delayed is much reduced.
How Shipa Freight is designed for SMEs
Shipa Freight is born of Agility’s recognition of technology as critical to driving the future of the logistics industry. It addresses the need that customers want access to data on their terms, ie the ability to get a quote or make a booking when they want, not when an office is open. Communication via the website and the ability to get all tracking details on the website will also help customers.
Digital platforms are allowing smaller business to scale more effectively, and leverage market intelligence and new opportunities. Shipa Freight allows customers to address the aforementioned challenges, in order to keep up with a new market reality.
Shipa Freight is available in up to 100 countries worldwide. It is backed by Agility’s global network of more than 22,000 experienced employees in 500 branches and over 100 countries. It gives customers the support of a trusted global network and allows small and medium-sized companies to access the world’s growing markets.
What can Shipa Freight do for ecommerce merchants?
This service is currently for end user businesses looking to access a service to quote, book, pay and track freight online and the service is provided by Agility. It provides a global database of competitive rates that can be accessed whenever the customer requires it. It allows customers to complete a full booking online, including payment options. A compliance engine details the required documents for any tradelane.
This compliance engine was developed from Agility’s own operations teams who have extensive knowledge of what it takes to move freight around the world. Online payment options include credit card or Alipay plus the ability to pay by bank transfer or cheque or at a branch. Customers can also apply for credit on Shipa Freight.
What makes Shipa Freight unique compared to competitors?
- It’s a fully digitised experience from quote to payment with a global network and allows both air and ocean (FCL and LCL). Many competitors don’t have a global network and even some of those that do cant offer both air and ocean.
- Global rate database
- Taking the pain out of shipping
- No waiting for response
- Designed with small customers in mind with a simple user experience
How do I get started with Shipa Freight?
Shipa Freight is designed to help newcomers to international trade and make it easy for them to target new opportunities. Alongside the compliance database there is also a 24/7 team available online to answer questions and provide guidance.
Companies are already using it to ship to Amazon and helping them drive their ecommerce businesses.
It’s very simple, visit shipafreight.com and start getting quotes.