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Contxto – Brazilian logistics startup Fretefy raised R$5 million (little over US$1 million) in 2019. However, news of it only surfaced this week. The investor was Rio de Janeiro-based Lorinvest.
As a result, Fretefy will use the funding to expand throughout Brazil as well as hire staff in São Paulo and Curitiba. And this is one ambitious startup because it now aims to grow 10 times what it had planned for 2020.
Related article: 5 startups from Monterrey developing logistics technology solutions
“Where’s my stuff?!”
Just as you and I eagerly wait for our purchase from Mercado Libre to arrive, in the logistics industry this is taken to the tenth power. As there are people called freight forwarders who lose their wits trying to keep track of the freight they’ve been charged by the cargo’s real owner (like Walmart) to move.
And keeping overseeing the shipment of a load from any part of the globe often means poor communication and a disjointed process. That leads to forwarders emailing, calling, and looking everywhere looking for answers.
“Is the cargo still stuck at customs?” “Where’s the trucker?” “Was the load damaged?”
These are the questions that haunt/stress their day-to-day. It also helps to explain the existence of logistics startups like Fretefy.
It began operations in 2018 and offers a platform that gives visibility to stakeholders and fleet managers. Real-time tracking, notification delays and downloadable reports are also available. Forwarders can schedule shipments with truckers to add more efficiency to their planning and save a few pennies along the way.
The startup even developed an app for drivers. Through it they can arrange their own pickups or drop-offs directly with the cargo’s owner, without the middleman (the freight forwarder).
Related article: Colombian logistics startup, Quick, reaches Chile
Latin America’s lackluster logistics industry
Throughout the world, people working in freight have reluctantly adopted innovative approaches. But the industry in the US and Europe is beginning to catch on. However, that’s not the case in Latin America.
The World Bank’s International Logistics Performance Index measures a country’s efficiency in trade, customs clearance, infrastructure, tracking, among other factors. And from its list of 160 countries, no place from Latam makes it even among the top 20.
Here are the five highest-ranking countries from the region:
- 34th place: Chile
- 38th place: Panama
- 51st place: Mexico
- 56th place: Brazil
- 58th place: Colombia
Underwhelming rankings, eh? Tech can change that. But only if the industry in Latin America opens up to it.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!