Logistics for MSMEs: Deutsche Bahn Group’s logistics arm DB Schenker today announced the launch of air cargo services under its digital freight platform Connect 4.0.
Connect 4.0 is an online platform that enables its customers to book freight shipping from over 90 countries, get price quotes in real-time, and track their shipments from the time of pickup to delivery.
The firm had launched ocean services under Connect 4.0 last year. With the air cargo offering, customers will be able to choose whether they want ocean or air transport from a single platform. Connect 4.0 also offers the option to include last-mile logistics in the country of origin and the place of delivery so organisations can get door-to-door pickup and delivery of their goods from a single portal.
One of the biggest advantages, said Vishal Sharma, CEO, Cluster India and Indian Sub-Continent, DB Schenker, is the ability of the platform to give instant price quotations.
“In the freight forwarding industry, one of the biggest pain points is the time lag to receive the price quotation for an order, often extending by72 to 96 hours. This makes it very difficult for a small business owner to coordinate with multiple vendors, choose the right option, and place the order. With Connect 4.0, organisations can get a quote for the entire shipment in real-time,” Sharma told Financial Express Online.
He added, “We feel it is a game-changer for SMEs because, unlike large companies who have specialist teams, the promoter takes charge of the logistics requirements in smaller organisations and values speed and service delivery more than their larger counterparts.”
Currently, the platform does not offer multi-modes of transportation in a single journey. It is either ‘air and last-mile delivery’ or ‘ocean and last-mile delivery’. “However, as the platform becomes intelligent over time, that will be the next step of evolution for Connect 4.0,” said Sharma.
On future goals, he added, the aim is to get 10-15 per cent of the business from Connect 4.0 and significantly increase it to 25-30 per cent over the next five years.