The freight forwarding industry forms the backbone of global trade and the world economy, underpinning the transportation of goods we consume daily across the globe. Yet, despite its immense scale, a significant portion of the process involved in moving cargo from point A to point B remains offline.
Freight forwarders rely on antiquated procedures to secure the best prices and schedules for goods transportation. This often involves sorting through spreadsheets, PDFs, a deluge of emails, and multiple websites with non-standardized data. These manual processes are time-intensive, often requiring hours or even days to complete.
This is where Portuguese startup Cargofive steps into the landscape with a mission to modernize and streamline these processes. Leveraging advanced technology, the platform facilitates the quick identification of optimal routes and competitive prices, and generates customer quotations with just a few clicks. By digitizing and automating these traditionally manual processes, Cargofive effectively reduces time-intensive tasks to mere minutes.
Cargofive just raised a €1.8 million funding round led by venture capital firms Lince Capital and Shilling, with participation from angel investors and funds from the European Union (PRR) as part of the Nexus project.
“International shipping has remained largely offline until recent years, causing products to cost more and arrive later than needed. We launched Cargofive to transform this reality, aiming to simplify how freight forwarders operate, and make them quicker and more cost-effective,” says Sebastian Cazajus, CEO and Co-Founder of Cargofive. “This funding will enable us to continue innovating and improving our product, invest more in marketing and sales, double our team size, and expand our operations in Europe and beyond.”
Founded in 2018, Cargofive has been growing at a rapid pace, tripling its sales over the past year, with around 100 clients in more than 10 countries. Cargofive’s growing roster of clients includes industry leaders such as Romeu & Cia -part of the logistic holding Grupo Romeu-, and IContainers (Agility). Many of these freight forwarders have been with Cargofive since its beginning, advocating for digitalization within the industry and driving positive change.
“Maritime cargo transportation is currently responsible for around 90% of the total volume of goods circulation worldwide”, says Vasco Pereira Coutinho, CEO of Lince Capital. “However, the sector still operates in a very traditional and inefficient way, so the digitization of this industry is essential for the global economy, and Cargofive is very well positioned to benefit from this movement”.
According to Cargofive, the digitalization of the logistics industry is inevitable as the market demands faster and more efficient processes than before. Only visionary companies will be the only ones prepared for global challenges within the industry in the short and long term, they add.