Shippers warned to prepare for freight tendering tsunami

11 March, 21

Shipsta (, the data-driven platform transforming logistics procurement, has seen inbound sales enquiries rise 75% quarter-on-quarter as shippers look to digital technologies to help manage rising freight costs. The company is also seeing greater urgency and shortening sales cycles as shippers prepare for problems in freight tendering as a result of historic levels of disruption and volatility.

“We are seeing much greater urgency from logistics teams as they seek to avoid major bottlenecks in their internal sourcing and procurement process. Even for the largest enterprise customers we’ve seen sales cycles shorten to less than three months,” comments Christian Wilhelm, founder and CEO at Shipsta.

Amid a shortage of capacity and elevated shipping rates, many businesses have postponed tender activity while they focus on spot buying. But logistics teams are likely to come under extreme pressure when tender activity is resumed due to the reliance on manual processes and the need to procure and compare rates from a larger number of carriers in order to control costs.

With much of the logistics industry still working offline on spreadsheets, the process of comparing freight rates – with complex rate structures and hundreds, or even thousands, of shipping lanes – is a slow, fragmented and onerous task. Shipsta’s end-to-end platform connects shippers and carriers to ensure a frictionless procurement process for spot and contract buying, entirely online.

“The traditional tendering process is looking increasingly antiquated and, frankly, is no longer fit for purpose. Those that depend on manual processes face an Excel tsunami when tender activity is resumed, with a massive loss of efficiency and unnecessary costs,” comments Thomas Mielke, CEO at logistics consultants Metroplan Process Management. “In this climate businesses need agility, which means digital processes and complete transparency of data. The technology available today is more advanced, more specialized and more accessible so there is little reason to delay.”

Shipsta’s intuitive digital platform allows procurement managers to create, amalgamate and analyse tenders from hundreds of carriers in minutes instead of days. It also integrates long-term contracts and short-term spot orders – for air, sea and land freight – all on the same platform. Founded in 2015, the company has an enviable customer base including some of the largest businesses in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and automotive industries. Shipsta’s founder and CEO Christian Wilhelm previously worked as the Global Logistics Partner Manager at Kuehne+Nagel.

“Digital transformation in logistics is long overdue. This is a massive sector yet much of the industry still depends on manual processes,” comments David Waroquier, operating partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, an investor in Shipsta and one of Europe’s most successful venture capital firms. “There is a huge opportunity to boost productivity, increase efficiency and give companies significantly better visibility and forecasting ability, in a time where multi tier supply chains and agility are becoming the new norm.”

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