Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba will partner with US-Israeli shipping logistics startup Freightos to enable US merchants to compare rates, arrange shipments, and track ocean and air shipping in real-time, through its new product called Alibaba.com Freight.
Alibaba announced the new product and partnership as one of three new tools and services to help American small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) advance their efforts to digitize and pivot online as they “fight through the challenges of COVID-19,” it said in a statement.
Alibaba Freight had been in a pilot phase for a few months and will now be available to buyers on certain trade routes, the company said.
Founded in 2011, Freightos has been “keeping global trade moving” by releasing the world’s first daily freight index to help importers and manufacturers remotely maintain global imports/exports despite rapid supply chain shifts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The company has raised $92 million to date, including $44 million in a Series C round led by Singapore Exchange (SGX) in 2018.
The other products and services include Alibaba.com Payment Terms to provide cash flow control and Alibaba.com Online Trade Show USA to connect US manufacturers and wholesalers with business buyers in an engaging and live online format.
Alibaba said that the United States is its fastest-growing market and that US buyers on the platform have increased 70 percent year-over-year, while transactions involving US businesses increased 100 percent.
The Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation, the philanthropic organizations established by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd founder Jack Ma has been helping countries around the world, including Israel, during the coronavirus crisis by donating face masks, test kits, face shields and protective gear. In March, two cargo flights carrying medical supplies arrived in Tel Aviv from Shanghai.