Israeli Startup ‘Freightos’ Takes Centuries-Old Shipping Industry Online
This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
Today, travelers can get quotes for airline travel online; taxi passengers can order rides with an app; and drivers can get up-to-the-second data on what routes to take and which ones to avoid. But in the international shipping industry — a business worth about $4 trillion — things are done today as they were decades, even centuries, ago.
“It’s totally inefficient,” said Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Israeli start-up Freightos. “Unlike with air travel, for example, where passengers can get quotes on multiple airlines and order tickets in a matter of minutes, it takes days to get a price quote on shipping cargo. Agents are the go-between to locate ships, determine routes, figure out pricing, etc.”
There’s no reason why shipping, like so many other things, can’t be automated, Schreiber believes — so he started Freightos, a company that is determined to bring shipping into the 21st century.
By utilizing big data, advanced software routines, and cloud technology, Schreiber believes he can modernize shipping to the point where companies or individuals that need to send cargo overseas will be able to track down the ship set to sail from the port where their cargo is located, and its destination port, with automated price quotes for shipping, insurance, lading, and anything else involved in moving goods from point A to point B.
Schreiber, a serial entrepreneur, has a number of very successful tech exits under his belt, including Tradeum (acquired by VerticalNet), Lightech (acquired by General Electric), and Unicorn Solutions (acquired by IBM). He was also the brains behind G.ho.st, a cloud-based operating system and computing environment that has a lot of similarities with Google’s Chrome OS. But he preceded Chrome by about five years, “before the world was ready for such a virtual system,” claimed Schreiber.
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