International Finance
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Start-up of the Week: The ‘Forto’ revolution in commercial shipping

Through its integrated and automated systems, Forto has been able to provide high volume capacity through its business partners and operators around the world

With a presence across Europe and Asia, Germany-based Forto, which came into being in 2016, has become a significant player in the domain of commercial shipping, by promoting a highly transparent, frictionless and sustainable shipping supply chain.

The venture, which supports over 2500 customers in over 50 countries, has staff strength between 501-1000, apart from being backed by 13 investors including Global Founders Capital, Northzone, La Famiglia, Cavalry Ventures and Iris Capital. Today’s episode of the International Finance “Start-up of the Week” is all about the venture.

Forto designs logistics solutions, powered by cutting-edge technology and supply chain veterans, to help its customers run high-performing and sustainable supply chains in a transparent, frictionless, and sustainable digital manner. These logistics solutions are also scalable, resilient and flexible as per the operational requirements of the clients.

Knowing Forto In Detail

The venture is winning minds through its digital freight forwarding solutions, which combine accurate and transparent real-time data with reliable human operations, to ensure clients achieve business successes, apart from saving time and effort with purpose-built technology. Through its integrated and automated systems, Forto has been able to provide high volume capacity through its business partners and operators around the world.

Forto is all about digitising its customers’ logistics to ensure that the latter stays competitive and drives better business decisions. It gives the businesses more visibility, reliability and sustainability in their operational fields.

The German start-up’s purpose-built logistics technology removes friction from the customer’s supply chain, apart from helping it to evolve with its business and customer demands.

Forto’s ‘Digital Platform’ takes care of the consignment booking to its delivery with the start-up’s easy-to-use platform for digital logistics management. The platform, designed and run by a team of 130 plus Forto engineers and product managers, follows the highest data security standards and is data-driven, which gives the customer the control to improve its operational productivity.

The innovative digital logistics platform compares transport options in real time with itemized shipment prices and helps the client venture to place its online bookings in a few clicks.

The platform can be integrated with the client’s enterprise software, with features like reduced update delays and minimum manual errors with system integration. The integration happens through public APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or custom exchanges to make your daily logistics operations easier.

The innovation is all about automating the shipment-related information flow through a singular digital platform, which frees up the client’s time and helps it to focus on value adding tasks. Using Forto’s booking API; the client can create and book its shipments on their own business portals, apart from receiving real time updates of the shipment status through the “Event API”.

Forto’s ‘Technology for Service’ represents a customer team powered by logistics management solutions made by the start-up. Workflows, automation and digital checklists keep these teams lean and efficient, while integrations with main transport providers reduce manual workload and improve data quality.

Forto designs and builds its own integrated internal toolset for its operators and by following “Smart Automation”, it reduces the situations forcing customers to make reactive decisions in the case of shipment disruptions.

Allround Package Of Solutions

Forto provides freight solutions for sea, air and land. Talking about the sea one, the start-up provides both “Full Container Load” and “Less-Than-Container Load”, along with pre and on-carriage, customs and insurance. The freight contracts can be on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, based on the client’s recurring volume shipments. Forto also ensures profit for clients from immediate spot bookings.

Talking about the “Less-Than-Container-Load”, the clients can opt for partial loads for extra flexibility. The transportation here will be climate-friendly, without charging additional costs.

Forto’s air freight solution comes with instant quotes for over 100 air freight carriers, backed by a reliable partner network for capacity on premium carriers. The start-up has warehouses in China, Vietnam and all German airports, while carrying IATA, LBA and AEO licenses. Forto provides a reliable blocked capacity via its own set-up and an extensive partner network, which is envisioned as a fast, flexible, and more dependable one.

The rail freight is dubbed by Forto as the “perfect mix of speed and economy for shipments to and from Asia”, which takes care of the FCL and LCL services travelling between China and Europe. Not only has transit time from China to Europe been reduced by up to 10-15 days, with excellent reliability, the rail freight is also cheaper and sustainable than its air counterpart.

Forto also has proven expertise in logistics-related fields like customs brokerage, insurance and pre and on-carriage services. The “Pre and On-Carriage” part takes care of the trucking commitments during a shipping activity, apart from adding door-to-door delivery for all transport modes directly with Forto.

The “Customs Clearance” part deals with the digital document management part during the shipping phase, while “Insurance Coverage” protects the consignments for a fraction of the price, compared with the similar service provided by its industry peers.

Scoring High On The Environment Front

Forto is also helping its clients looking to make their supply chains more sustainable. The venture’s logistics solutions reduce and compensate for transport emissions with complete visibility of the outcomes for both the client and the planet.

The customer can future-proof his/her business and translate complex sustainability questions into actionable opportunities through Forto’s expertise, as it helps the ventures to have a detailed view of their transport emissions with complete reports. After bringing down their carbon footprint through Forto’s assistance, the customers also get certificates for their climate contributions.

Forto provides its clients with CO2 emissions data for sustainability reporting.

“You can now offset your transports with Forto across transport modes, with a click. What’s more, the emissions of your LCL shipments with Forto are always 100% compensated at no additional cost. We work tirelessly to grow our network of sustainable service partners and develop a range of logistics solutions that make the sustainable choice accessible, economic and effortless,” the venture stated.

Forto is arming the sustainable supply chain with alternative fuels to further reduce maritime emissions, by involving third party certified methods involving advanced high quality biofuel. The clients are getting access to the highest quality second generation biofuel, as Forto takes utmost care in selecting its industrial partners to ensure that its sustainable practices maintain complete transparency and accountability.

Forto also has its “Ocean Plastic Prevention” programme, under which the client company can offset the plastic’s environmental impact by compensating with collected and processed plastic from rivers, apart from creating jobs and educational programmes, while enhancing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. The initiative also ensures that the clients get verified information on waste collected and offset for transparent stakeholder communication.

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