WebCargo, the world’s largest air cargo booking platform just got bigger. At the AirCargo Conference in New Orleans today, 17JAN22, Freightos Group announced its acquisition of the North American rate management company, 7LFreight. How much bigger? CFG wanted to know.
“7LFreight brings about 250 new North American freight forwarders to the WebCargo ecosystem. This represents about a 10% growth in forwarders on our platform,” Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo by Freightos, tells CFG, who asks, on the off-chance, whether it brings any new airline connections, too, to the world’s largest cargo booking platform which already connects over 30 airlines and more than 10,000 freight forwarding offices around the world: “The acquisition primarily expands our freight forwarder base, rather than airlines. We are, of course, immensely proud of our leading position in terms of the number and quality of airlines on our platform. Expect more very soon!”
It’s all about Digital Air Cargo, these days
“As more airlines embrace Digital Air Cargo, we’ve been able to give forwarders the digital tools to book cargo instantly, saving time and money,” he says. “7LFreight has been working towards that same goal and we’re excited to combine our experience and networks so more forwarders can offer quicker, cheaper and more predictable air cargo services while maintaining the highest standard of customer care.”
Over the past two years in particular, Digital Air Cargo (DAC) booking has literally taken off. Freightos refers it as “the gold standard for moving goods by air,” and publishes a 1,000% year on year growth in eBookings on WebCargo in 2021 which, by the end of last year, offered more than 29% of world’s air cargo capacity.
What is the gain for 7LFreight?
7LFreight, is “a leading North American rate management company whose solutions support hundreds of forwarders and over 10,000 transportation professionals worldwide,” the press release explains. 7LFreight’s CEO, Brennan O'Dowd, comments on the acquisition of his company: “At 7LFreight, our commitment has always been to simplify freight pricing and quote automation. This partnership is the next logical step in delivering on that promise to our customers. We've competed with WebCargo over the years, and I believe that by joining our data sets and capabilities, we'll be able to provide an industry-leading, comprehensive global solution to our customers. This acquisition makes a lot of sense for our customers as well as our employees.”
Before this acquisition, 7LFreight customers could access pricing rate data from a wide range of sources, like airlines, ocean liners, and a leading network of trucking carriers. While they will still have this capability, they can now also benefit from instant pricing and booking connections across WebCargo’s airlines, thanks to a native integration to WebCargo platform.
What happens now?
CFG wanted to know if 7LFreight will continue to keep its brand name. Manel Galindo confirmed that this would be the case for now: “7LFreight will keep its brand name with the addition of ‘A Freightos Group Company’ [in the logo, bg]. A key driver for the acquisition is 7LFreight's success in helping more forwarders digitize, so it's important for us to keep that same success going forward.” And its employees? “The 7LFreight staff are integral parts of the team who will be staying on, promoting our broader global booking platform vision.”
What is the set-up? Are there plans, perhaps, to establish 7LFreight as WebCargo’s North American customer support network? “No,” Manel Galindo explains, “7LFreight offers a product to freight forwarders and will continue to do so as a Freightos company, while WebCargo's booking platform will continue to be available to forwarders in the U.S. and all over the world. We will definitely seek to find long-term opportunities to help the company grow. For example, since our acquisition of WebCargo in mid-2016, the company has grown by more than 4x".
Who will be responsible for growing user numbers?
CFG wants to know which company will be the driver in attracting new users in North America going forward. “We've seen strong growth across our whole global booking ecosystem, including freightos.com, WebCargo, and Freightos Baltic Index, in both the U.S. and around the worldwide,” Manel Galindo outlines. “The simple answer is... both. 7LFreight and WebCargo are and will remain excellent drivers of growth, as they are both very good products that accomplish different things that we offer freight forwarders.”
January 2022 news, with more to come?
Commenting on the Group’s first expansion move this early on in 2022, Zvi Schreiber, Freightos Group CEO, declares “We’re extremely proud to be taking this step forward with 7LFreight. This acquisition helps us continue to build Freightos’ vision of creating a truly vendor-neutral global freight booking platform.”
It will be interesting to see who will be the next to join the Freightos Group family, and where in the world they are located, coming back to Manel Galindo’s “Expect more very soon!” opening comment.
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.