Australian team launches online freight market

CargoHound is looking to quickly build its memberships of both buyers and sellers of freight

Australian team launches online freight market
Ian Smith (left), Kim Mauch, and Pete Johnson are the brains behind CargoHound


A group of Australian entrepreneurs have launched what could be described as the "Uber" of international freight.

CargoHound has been in development for three years, with CEO Ian Smith and partners Kim Mauch and Pete Johnson formally launching the service around the country this week.

Smith says CargoHound is the "first true online marketplace" for exporters and importers looking to secure freight contracts.  They enter the details of their cargo to request quotes from freight forwarder members.

At this early stage, membership has been restricted to a group of known, reputable freight forwarding businesses. Smith says more will be invited in as the membership of freight buyers increases.

"We’ve got to balance the number of sellers to the number of buyers – it will build up over time," he says.

Each side of every CargoHound contract is able to review the other, with the results publicly available. In this way Smith and his partners hope to create a vibrant, engaged marketplace online, saving both sides of each equation money and time.

Smith says Mauch was the key developer of the CargoHound concept, having worked at the "coal face" of export and import for over 25 years.

"As a long term buyer of international freight, I could see where the efficiency and transparency was lacking in the sector and knew exporters and importers were crying out for a better way," she says.

"We have been able to develop a user-friendly website that we know the industry needs, not [just] what we think they want."

Smith says the sheer size of the market for international freight demands an innovative solution for connecting the two sides of each transaction.

"In Australia alone, total merchandise trade totalled $525 billion in 2014, and the number of importers and exporters has grown rapidly to over 100,000," he says.

"By our estimates, capturing just 0.75% of this market for air and sea freight will equate to revenues of over $100,000 per month for CargoHound within 12 months."

As part of its national launch, CargoHound is sponsoring the Export Council of Australia’s national roadshow this week.

The Managing Freight Costs series of workshops will stop in Canberra tomorrow, Sydney on July 23 and Melbourne on July 24, having started in Brisbane yesterday.

Events in Perth and Adelaide are scheduled for August 18 and 19 respectively.

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