Hamburg, January 17, 2023 – To be successful in today’s supply chain world, there is no excuse for global freight forwarders – they must make that quantum leap towards digitization. As a software developing company believing in continuous learning, cargonerds is helping in particular small and medium-sized freight forwarders to optimize themselves in the digital age. Making its mark, cargonerds offers easy-to-use, hand-ready solutions that any freight forwarder cannot only quickly adopt but also afford. In this interview, you will get to hear on how this is revolutionizing logistics business from Conrad Franchi, Managing Director, and Dennis Albers, Product Manager, at cargonerds.
Give us an overview of cargonerds. What is your company offering?
Dennis Albers (DA): cargonerds is a software developing company that’s offering solutions for global shipping freight forwarders to digitalize their booking, quoting, tracking, and reporting. Many of those companies – especially the small and medium sized freight forwarders – don’t have the time or the resources to achieve this on their own, so they need a partner on their side. This is what cargonerds is all about. You can think of us as a digital angel for air and sea freight forwarders who want to take a short-cut into the digital age.
Conrad Franchi (CF): We believe that all existing offerings are either too complex or too expensive to be handled by SME freight forwarders. That’s why we have developed a plug-and-play solution, so that no IT skillsets are required from the freight forwarders. cargonerds will handle everything including the tech implementation.
Why is this so relevant and special?
CF: What makes our products so unique is that freight forwarders can easily build a global digital network using our offerings. We’re not limited to a legal entity. So basically, it works like a messaging service, like WhatsApp. You simply connect your friends and suddenly, networks of independent freight forwarders – having agency contracts in place – can exchange data. Of course, this methodology also works for global logistics companies that have overseas offices.
DA: It works because we have experience with our existing customers, and for them, our solution has been working since day one. A major obstacle for many in the market is that you get a tool, but nobody is there to make it work for you. But we’ve got this together – we can tell freight forwarders what they need to do; in just a few steps and boom! You’re in the digital age of transportation and shipping.
CF: Dennis is right! It’s superfast in terms of implementation. People are really surprised that the kick-off is no longer than forty-five minutes. It’s super easy to work with our tools. We get a lot of positive feedback like: ‘We were surprised that it is that simple’, yet we were able to address the pain points of the freight forwarders. So, it adds value immediately.
What is your set-up like?
CF: We have a team in Germany supporting thirty countries around the globe. Our solutions are very simple to maintain, so Dennis and the other guys are supporting customers globally. We speak multiple languages, including English, Spanish and German. Most of the time we work remotely – there’s no need for us to have different offices around the globe.
DA: Right now, the complete core team is supporting customers. So as a customer, you get the best service you can have because you really work with the people that have the deepest knowledge of the tool.
What benefits does your solutions bring to the logistics market especially in USA (Singapore / Australia)?
CF: We are basically following the logistics trends of the world considering where freight business is controlled and where major commodity flows go, like the USA, Asian markets, Europe and Australia. Freight forwarders in those markets need a solution.
DA: We have a completely global approach. Our offering is so simplified that it works everywhere. If there’s a certain change for a country required, we are always interested to develop a solution for it, but essentially our solution works around the globe already today.
How did you bring cargonerds to life?
CF: The idea has been driven by the demands of customers, initially by our main account Röhlig, because there were no solutions to connect systems available on the market. With Röhlig as our customer, we know what thirty countries around the globe need. The experience makes us very confident that our solution is working. We have been finding out what shippers need and what freight forwarders need. That is where it started, and that’s why Dennis and the team talk the language of global shipping.
DA: We really believe in an iterative approach, in continuous learning. We try to keep our solutions as simple as possible. When you must manage around thirty different countries and requirements, you can easily get lost in all these single cases. We really boil it down to the minimum requirements. Now, we improve our offering day by day and make it better and better. So, that’s what we really believe in.
Did you always want to be an Entrepreneur?
DA: I wouldn’t say that, but I think that I always wanted to work on our solution because I think it’s super necessary. It wasn’t obvious to me that we would come up with a completely new brand and company, but it was the best move that we could make. I think cargonerds is the best set-up to develop the solutions.
CF: The idea to create cargonerds initially came from the team itself. Today’s team was confident to say: what we do is such a reliable solution. We kept listening to the team to find the set-up, basically the right set-up, and now we’re here.
How do you see the future of cargonerds? What are your vision and goals?
CF: As an initial step, we are hoping to onboard hundreds of customers within the next two to three years – namely freight forwarders from around the globe.
DA: Our purpose is not to develop products to compete with other large software companies. We’re focusing on the link to bring different solutions to life. That’s why we partner with other companies like Magaya or Webcargo. It’s not about being smarter than them, it’s just really taking the best solutions in the market and bringing them to life. That’s the mission statement. To make it work for the SME freight forwarders.
cargonerds is a German software development company based in Hamburg offering digital solutions for booking, quoting, tracking, and reporting. Founded in 2021, the dynamic team of 30 employees and contractors gives small- and medium-sized companies the opportunity for fast and efficient digitization. It positions itself as a shortcut to digital logistics. cargonerds aims at reducing complexity, time, and costs for the implementation of log-tech solutions to make freight forwarders ready for the digital requirements of customers and carriers.
Conrad Franchi, Managing Director, cargonerds
Conrad, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Röhlig Logistics and Founder of cargonerds, has extensive experience in corporate & digital strategy, freight forwarding as well as data & technology projects. After joining Röhlig Logistics in January 2016, he founded cargonerds as a Röhlig spin-off in November 2021 to help SME freight forwarders to successfully compete during the digitalization phase of the industry. Conrad holds a master’s degree in Economics of International Trade & European Integration. He started his career in PricewaterhouseCoopers, worked as a senior management consultant at IBM and as an associate partner at Horn & Company.
Dennis Albers, Product Manager, cargonerds
As product manager, Dennis is responsible for the technical development of the firm’s innovative solution. As part of his role, he is also an important contact for customers for onboarding and all support enquiries. Dennis started his career at Röhlig Logistics during his studies as an IT Business Analyst and worked as product owner before fully becoming part of the cargonerds team in December 2021.