Freight News, IT, Logistics, Forwarding

E-Gistics gets government grant to set up forwarder platform

[ February 12, 2021   //   ]

Freight forwarding technology company E-Gistics has received a government £131,000 cash injection for its new online distribution platform for vendors and independent hauliers, with the help of R&D tax consultancy Catax.

It allows independent hauliers, pallet members and forwarders to digitise deliveries by combinations of independent firms, priced and booked online, instead of relying on emails and phone calls. The software being used by new entrants to the market is typically still stand-alone, with little or no compatibility with other companies’ systems.

E-Gistics says that the UK freight industry is currently made up of over 300 UK-based pallet members, plus 3,000 freight forwarders but, until now, only the largest delivery firms with national and international operations have allowed pallet and parcel deliveries to be booked easily online.

No platform like this has been available to the industry in such a consolidated form before, it says.  Its work has qualified as research and development under the Government’s R&D tax credit scheme.

The pandemic has brought renewed focus on how technology may be able to increase that rate of growth among smaller operators. 

E-Gistics’ software now gives clients a transparent overview of their dispatches with pricing information for hundreds of combinations from hauliers, couriers and freight providers. Quotes can be provided typically within six seconds, regardless of the road, sea or air freight provider. These innovations have resulted in some clients making savings of more than 19%.

E-Gistics chief executive Fraser Harper, said: “The freight forwarding sector has a digitisation requirement but some companies have been unsure how to go about it. In the end, it was probably inevitable that a third party software specialist would bring them all together and that’s what we’ve done. 

“Digital freight is destined to become more like other areas of the transport sector where automation and digitisation have turned things on their head. Uber in the personal transport space is a prime example. 

“We knew we were investing heavily in technology and tax incentives like these make it so much easier to continue to do that. The Government was clever to introduce this scheme. It encourages businesses to invest in technology and if companies don’t embrace digital, they don’t have a great future ahead of them.”