Logistics Trends & Events

Experimenting our way towards the evolution of logistics

With customer expectations continuously on the rise and as technological progress continues, logistics companies need to explore new ways of innovation. As we kick off our joint Freightos.com x Twill experiment, we share our thoughts and initial observations with you.

09 March 2021

9th March 2021

Co-authored by Rebecca Wright (Head of Marketing, Twill) & Eytan Buchman, CMO Freightos Group)

There’s a line that is taken out, dusted, and used far more often than any line should be in logistics - it takes a lot longer to turn around a container ship than it does a speedboat. That’s true.

But far too often, this line - or others like it - are rolled out as an excuse for sluggish change. “Sure, we’re working on digitizing that part of the experience, but it takes time.” After all, the global logistics market is gigantic – worth over 5.5 trillion euros in 2018, according to Statista - and it does take a long time to turn around a container ship, business objectives, or an R&D roadmap. Which makes moving quickly hard but not impossible.

Taking a page from the startup textbook

The startup world has perfected the art form of a faster experimentation loop - assessing options, validating them quickly and then, and only then, starting to turn around the ship. Maybe the ship doesn’t actually even need to turn around. Heck, do we even need to be on a ship?

While experiments are great, experimentation between different organizations is even more interesting. And with the rise of more interconnected supply chain tech stacks - the result of APIs, standards, and an experimentation mindset - we anticipate them happening more and more frequently. It’s precisely in this area of experimentation and validation where both Twill and Freightos.com are happy to play and play together.

Building the Twill x Freightos.com collaboration

First, some context. Both of our companies are grand experiments.

Twill is a Maersk innovation offering digital logistics services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), while Freightos.com is the largest digital freight marketplace.

Both companies have dealt with their fair share of self-exploration to find the best way to drive value to customers. So, when the opportunity came up to experiment, even with something that takes both companies out of their comfort zone, it was hard for easy of us to say no.

In short, real-time container prices, including the Twill two-way-commitment, will now appear on specific trade lanes searched via Freightos.com. Clicking will bring users directly to the Twill website for booking. No, not the way either company has done it so far. Now, Freightos and Twill have teamed up to combine our knowledge and experiment together, so we can present our customers even more transparent schedules and prices on our platforms. 

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And that’s exactly what makes it such an awesome experiment. This collaboration emerged over a few months of conversations but, from a technical perspective, came together quite quickly. In order to help spread the experimentation love, we spoke to a few people within both of our companies to hear how they plan, prioritize, execute, and analyze experiments.

“At Twill we are on a mission to level the playing field for smaller businesses, ensuring nothing stands in their way when it comes to international trade. Solving this challenge for our customers requires us to take a new and different path. Using modern cloud-based technology, co-creating with customers in high-paced iterations and embracing learning from failure are some of the most important cornerstones of how to solve our customers’ problems.

Most initiatives in Twill take the form of an experiment and the initiative with our partner Freightos is no different from that. Every two weeks we run a new sprint within our teams, featuring new experiments, all focused on valuable customer outcomes. The ambition of our partnership with Freightos is to come up with solutions together and implement them on an even larger scale, bringing Twill and our customers one step closer to a world
where products and services can flow freely for everyone.”

Jan Castelijns, Chief Technology Officer

And Rebecca Wright, Head of Marketing at Twill, further elaborates on the goal of experimenting at Twill:

“We are experimenting with the aim of developing a superior customer experience using technology. That means we are talking to our customers and get to know their ideas and feedback to complete their bookings in a seamless way. Our ambition is by putting the customer at the heart of what and why we do it, we can deliver the highest possible value to them.”

Rebecca Wright, Head of Marketing at Twill

Avishai Steiner, VP Product at Freightos.com:

“One thing I’ve learned about experiments is that when done right, they rarely test one thing. When done correctly, they create infrastructure that unlock a dozen more experiments. Our efforts to make global freight truly transparent and accessible for small businesses is the result of combining small, iterative experiments with larger, sweeping experiments. The tech version of teaching someone to fish being a better alternative to feeding them is building long-lasting infrastructure that improves the long-term ROI of experiments. In this case, spending a little extra development time, like exposing a Freightos.com pricing API instead of building a one-off external connector, will always pay off in the long-term, making nearly ever experiment a net win for us and for our customers.”

Eze Fiszerman, Director of Marketplace Supply at Freightos.com:

"We've developed a business model based on certain parameters...and it works. But we constantly need to find new ways to deliver value. Working with similarly innovative companies like Twill helps challenge our own assumptions of success. Teaming up with them really helps push us out of our comfort zone to provide shippers with better solutions. Every company has its own natural advantages and strengths; this is an experiment in finding the best of both worlds."

Where can I see the experiment collaboration in action?

We’re excited about where this could go, and equally excited about the potential for learnings along the way. For you, as a customer, this means you will now be able to see Twill’s routes and prices via Freightos. If you are visiting ship.freightos.com, you can exactly see what this experiment looks like and start booking via our easy-to-use platforms today.

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