Alexei Shatunov, Searates General Manager, Searates FZE Board Member
Digitalization is changing industries worldwide by creating efficiencies through automation, collaboration, and visibility. And logistics is no exception. Like other sectors, Freight and logistics historically relied on manual processes for day-to-day tasks like booking, tracking, and managing global shipments. However, unlike other industries, logistics has been slower to introduce digital innovation in its processes even after the digital age. Many still rely on mail and spreadsheet for managing a substantial amount of their business. These manual procedures are extremely inefficient, especially considering the amount of paperwork and documentation needed for international shipments. They require a lot of time, are susceptible to human error, and lack oversight.So, there’s a pressing need for this to change.
Thus, to accelerate and digitize global shipping by automating the cargo delivery process, improving visibility, and ensuring a seamless customer experience, from origin to destination, SeaRates came into existence. SeaRates is a robust digital platform designed to help cargo owners and consumers looking to transport goods atthe best rates.The platform is supported by a suite of digital tools, which allow smart tracking and optimization of the logistics process, end-to-end. The quality industry tools offered by Searates enable freight forwarders to conduct their business more efficiently for tracking and visibility of cargo, Logistics Community Systems (LCS) documentation, and ship schedules.
The Prolific Journey of Searates
SeaRates.com was founded in 2005by Sergey Dzhashytov as a startup to help companies transport goods abroad.With innovative tools, a seamless booking experience, world-class customer service, and a growing community of cargo agents, SeaRates has quickly grown to be considered a trusted community marketplace for people to send goods around the world and a primary marketplace for freight forwarding companies. Today, SeaRates offers the easiest way for people to ship their goods overseas, or to offer free space in the container, airplane, truck, or vessel to millions of consignors. In 2020, SeaRates was acquired by DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators. Currently, it is a structural division of DP World and together, they founded the Digital Freight Alliance in 2020. DF Alliance is an independent freight forwarders association that provides members with web-based tools, networking, and commercial opportunities at sea, in the air, and on land.This brings freight forwarders globally onto one platform, giving them access to new tools, routes, and services, and enabling them to do more business anytime, anywhere.“We aggregate rates from thousands of logistics providers and independent freight forwarders through the Digital Freight Alliance (DFA). This is very much the backbone for all logistics services offered on our platform,” affirms Alexei Shatunov, Searates General Manager and Searates FZE Board Member.
Digitizing Logistics Since 2005
In 2005, SeaRates introduced the world’s first international freight marketplace, providing instant rate comparisons, distance calculation, booking, and freight management from a network of global logistics providers. A solution was also created to track the location of containers on a map in realtime, which supported 14 shipping lines. At that time, there was no simple way to compare shipping methods, times, and costs. So, global shippers had to research, price, and book each leg of a shipment separately. Tracking cargo was particularly challenging as each logistics provider has a unique system and does not share tracking information with different shippers. SeaRates completely digitized this process, streamlining the shipping process.It offered a simple online platform where they can visualize and book available shipping routes anywhere in the world. It enabled the user to order transportation online, instantly calculate the cost of delivery, optimize the location of the goods inside the container, and track it in real-time. “Like booking accommodation online, SeaRates allows customers to get prices online and book shipments directly from the website. The SeaRates.com helps to arrange the international cargo delivery from 1m³ or 50 kg till shiploads,” opines Alexei.
Serving Clients with Excellence
SeaRates has always focused on providing customers with nothing less than the best in class service and support with its in-depth experience and this is the reason it has grown enormously over the years. “We understand how important it is to support our customers while arranging their cargo movement, delivery, and customs clearance. Our Customer Care Service is always available to support on all issues relating to freight, weight, routing, rates, inland haulage, and documentation,” elucidates Alexei.
He further adds, “At SeaRates.com, shippers can instantly book the ideal delivery option. We do not charge a booking fee, and if the client finds a lower price, we can update the rate. Customers can contact the SeaRates.com support team at any time and receive assistance in more than 20 languages.”
Besides 24/7 support, SeaRates also provides its customers with smarter freight options through digital technologies. It provides a variety of delivery options, including large shiploads, cargo consolidation, and container shipping. It offers freight rates from the world’s leading logistics providers, shipping lines, and other vendors to destinations around the world.
Continues Improving the Cargo Movement Process
Advancing into the future, SeaRates believes that the digital revolution in the logistics business is closer than it seems. Thus, playing a key role in this transformation, it aspires to continue digitizing and improving the cargo movement process while playing the trumpet of success across the industry with its excellent customer service and strong knowledge base. With its best practices and customer-centric approach, it continues streamlining global shipping while working on further improvement of its service level and quality.