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DHL Global Forwarding is the latest logistic service provider to offer an online air freight quote and booking platform.
In response to the growing number of third-party booking websites, the freight forwarding industry – with varying degrees of alacrity – has begun the fightback.
Kuehne +Nagel launched FreightNet in 2015, while Panalpina announced it was trialling a platform in September.
Interestingly, K+N launched its platform when Tim Scharwath was its head of air logistics; he is now CEO of DHL Global Forwarding.
DHL GF’s offering, Freightquote, offers door-to-door, airport-to-airport, or a combination. The quote and booking service connects to DHLInteractive, the online customer portal where shipments can be tracked and reports distributed.
The service is available in 40 countries and covers key tradelanes and point pairs. Designed for “any business”, the service gives an immediate quote for general cargo up to 2,000kg, and offers two transit speeds.
“Customers are provided with a comprehensive quote, based on the pick-up and delivery location, plus their shipment details including weight and dimensions,” said DHL. The quoted door-to-door all-in rate can also include import and export customs, as well as cargo insurance.
“International shipping doesn’t need to be a complex task, said Angelos Orfanos, global head of marketing & sales. “From searching for the right supplier through to getting a competitive price, this should be easily available online.”
And it is. Third-party websites are cementing their position and expanding their existing offerings.
AgreeFreight, which offers container freight rates live, directly linked to a vessel’s sailing, is developing its services, planning to take on the Asia-US trade routes with two new platforms: nvo2nvo.com, which will launch in early 2018; and multimodal platform userforwarder, in the summer. It will also launch routemar, another multimodal platform in spring.