The concept for Luxembourg startup, Easy4Pro, was initially met with skepticism back in 2015. Now, more than six years later, thanks to the support of investors and engaged teams, the idea is a reality. Not only that, Easy4Pro has become an internationally successful company, helping B2B companies optimise their logistics, saving both money and time.
Easy4Pro was born out of the willingness of logistics group, Redpsher, to leverage their knowledge as a large global freight-forwarding company. Easy4Pro’s Managing Director, Ignacio Tirado, was initially hired by Redspher to digitally transform the company, and quickly saw its potential to open up new markets. “Digitalisation allows you to think differently”, he explained.
To see the future of B2B, look at B2C today
Redspher identified the need for a way to compare different freight transportation options, a model that had been successfully introduced across a number of B2C spaces (commercial flights, hotels etc). According to Tirado, “if you want to know what’s going to happen in B2B in 10 years, you just need to look at what B2C is doing today.” This sparked the idea for Easy4Pro.
Easy4Pro is a digital platform that connects shippers and carriers all around the world in an easy and transparent way. Shippers request a service, and carriers submit their bids, giving options for efficient and cost-effective routes. They specifically work with B2B businesses shipping non-regular freight. That is, unplanned, often urgent shipments. Regular freight, in contrast, works on known, long-term volumes, allowing shipping slots to be booked far in advance.
When the company launched, the idea was still quite novel. Whilst there were similar products in Asia and the US, there weren’t many competitors in Europe. And the challenges faced in Europe, such as high transportation costs and complex labour regulations, meant there were more opportunities to optimise savings.
Major global events create opportunities
At this time, there was less demand for non-regular freight. In fact, it had negative connotations in the logistics industry, suggesting companies were disorganised if they needed to rely on unplanned freight shipments. Since then, however, major global disruptions, such as the pandemic and the blockage of the Suez Canal by container ship Everlast, have highlighted the benefits of more flexible logistics planning.
Even beyond these unpredictable events, manufacturers see positives in short-term planning. Not only can it reduce costs, but it can also help avoid expensive crises. For example, shipping on-demand removes the need for warehouses to store large volumes of product. And, by producing smaller volumes, any quality issues in a particular shipment can be quickly fixed, and new products manufactured without leaving huge volumes of unusable stock.
Easy4Pro was able to benefit from this shift in perspective towards non-regular freight during the pandemic. According to Tirado, whilst the overall amount of non-regular freight transactions went down over the period, the values being shipped were higher and the saving that Easy4Pro could help make for their customers went from 17-22% on average, to 36%.
Tirado expects the trend towards non-regular freight to grow over the coming years, as companies see it makes more economic sense. According to him, recovery in Europe has been hard. “It’s recovered, but not to 2019 levels in terms of transactions, however the value of the transactions is high”. And this just provides more opportunity to optimise for cost-saving.
Broadening the offer for customers
Easy4Pro is already looking to the future. Customer feedback on their tool has been very positive, however they’re looking for more than just software now. Customers are requesting additional services, such as customer care options, centralised invoicing etc. And the company is working on providing these. They will also work closer with carriers in future. They believe that empowering them will improve efficiency of the platform, helping Easy4Pro to achieve their main goals of productivity and optimisation.
This move away from a pure software solution towards a more ‘bricks and mortar’ company has led Easy4Pro to go full circle. They are currently evolving together with Redspher Group, marrying industry experience with cutting edge technology. Through this, they aim to provide a more complete offering for shippers looking to optimise their logistics strategy in future.