Global forwarder Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) has created a specialized platform for intra-Asia shippers that mirrors a broader tool it offers customers to help them gauge transit times and freight costs instantly.
The site represents a more granular approach to one K+N and other large forwarders have taken the past two years to digitize transactional ocean freight business from quoting to booking to tracking and payment.
K+N’s own system, myKN, allows shippers globally to explore service options, get instant quotes, and book capacity. It also has a complementary product called KN Pledge that provides shippers a money-back guarantee if they fail to hit pre-established transit times for full container load shipments.
The platform the Hamburg-based company unveiled Tuesday, called eShipAsia, provides information and execution capability between 20 countries in Asia, covering sailing schedules and rates between 2,200 port pairings, 7,500 services, and 54 container lines, K+N said.
The platform is available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, and Greater China. It’s also available in local languages.
“The intra-Asia trade is a highly dynamic and fragmented market, characterized by transactional business models,” Casper Ellerbaek, senior vice president for Kuehne + Nagel Asia Pacific, Seafreight, said in a statement. “This makes it challenging and time-consuming for shippers to find and procure the best transport options.”
eShipAsia allows shippers to instantly receive quotes and book against those quotes, with templates available for repetitive shipments. The platform includes track-and-trace capability and a dedicated local operations team to provide offline support, K+N said.
Multiple container lines, notably CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hapag-Lloyd, and Maersk, have developed instant quoting capability over the last two years, while forwarders such as Agility, DB Schenker, Geodis, and Toll Global Forwarding, among others, have developed the ability to quote instantly from their internal universe of capacity for which they have contracted with container lines.
Questions remain as to whether all these players are actually quoting dynamic rates, or merely an instant version of a rate with a longer-term validity. But a first step for forwarders is arming themselves with the ability to provide rates digitally.