ConsolFreight was founded in 2016 as a collaborative platform that uses breakthrough technology such as blockchain and IoT to help improve the logistics and supply chain current processes. In a very busy 2019, ConsolFreight has enhanced and better positioned the role of freight forwarders, helping them to grow their business and evolve with the current times.
The year began with a strong position as ConsolFreight management secured seed funding of EURO 600,000 amount in February. This funding was used to open operational offices in Barcelona and hire key personal including Francisco Montenegro (Business Development), Justyna Ward (Operations), Magda Torres (Community Manager) and Katarzyna Zaparte (Design / UX)
The CEO Ernesto Vila is also based in Barcelona where he can lead the team to reach a global audience.
The funding was also used to rebrand the company as it developed the first Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for its e-Forwarder product in May. Testing of the MVP e-forwarder progressed strongly with the addition of first e-forwarder paying clients in LATAM and Africa.
Using the success of the MVP and feedback from early adopters, ConsolFreight then entered into a partnership in September with EOS Dublin to build a Proof of Concept (POC) on the EOS blockchain to provide technical positives of immutability and transparency to the platform.
The POC was intended to provide liquidity, create new revenue streams, and ultimately advance the role of freight forwarders in the Supply Chain. Trade Forward is a new business model of collaboration amongst insurance companies, financial institutions, and logistics providers.
This model, where the freight forwarders are the centerpiece, brought the following benefits:
- SMEs financial inclusion
- Full oversight of trade asset movement
- Streamline data exchange between the multiple parties
- Risk mitigation and redistribution along the Supply Chain
- Optimized operational liquidity for exporters and importers
- Decreased paperwork and institutional bureaucracy
By October, ConsolFreight had successfully obtained a European TradeMark for e-Forwarder.
This led onto an ambitious POC with the support of Telefonica, who provided connectivity through Kite, their IoT connectivity platform. It also included the continued collaboration of key organizations such as EOS Dublin using EOSIO blockchain technology, the Florida Blockchain Foundation, and Anova Marine, which provided insurance coverage to the transported cargo.
This revolutionary test was carried out by a dedicated team of experts in blockchain, logistics, supply chain management, and finance. Members of the ConsolFreight ecosystem were conducting pilots along with companies like Telefonica and Anova Marine. These partnerships are allowing smaller players to get access to larger organization solutions, generating technological inclusion. The first TradeForward shipment was handled by freight forwarder Tech Cargo in the region of North America. The following shipments will be carried out by Freight and Transit Co. LTD to enable non-traditional trade finance in the African continent. Additional pilots in LATAM will be carried out by ADEKO Enterprises S.A., Globalog S.A., and Tree Logistics.
“Banks are short-sighted in determining and validating the value of the goods being financed. They have drawn a very distinctive line between Logistics and Financial institutions, where the value of the assets is entirely disconnected from the process. Thus, leaving an untapped market of unfulfilled credit demand estimated at $1.6 trillion,” says ConsolFreight’s CEO, Ernesto Vila.
“After the POC we attracted the attention of traditional and non-traditional financial institutions as well as world renowned Financial Risk insures and we are working on executing contracts for the proper escalation of several financial products such as freight invoice Finance,” he added.
Following hot on the heels of the successful POC, Vila presented a full report at the IoT World congress in Barcelona, gathering global attention for this disruptive and ambitious project.
Vila and ConsolFreight management have been on stage at many conferences over the year including SIL Barcelona, the Blockchain and AI summit in Malta, and Google Startuponomics. The company will continue to actively attend conferences to share the vision in the coming year.
Finally, as the year drew to a close, ConsolFreight announced the opening of new offices in America to host the ConsolFreight sales team.
In conclusion, CEO Vila says: “2019 has been an amazing year for ConsolFreight as we transition from startup to global business. We want to thank our many partners, clients and of course team members for making it happen. 2020 is going to be a rocket year as we commercialise our business and disrupt in a positive way the world of freight forwarding. Wishing everyone a very prosperous New Year.”
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