Shypple - the Booking.com of intercontinental sea freight. This digital freight forwarding platform was founded in 2016 by Jarell Habets. It connects more than 3,000 companies worldwide. "We're a travel agency for international freight traffic. We put companies in touch with carriers and arrange customs clearance and transport from ports," he says.
"Our platform's users can track their containers, just like an online order. They can also communicate with Shypple via the chat function. Users can contact other chain parties too. Even our clients' suppliers or customers." Last year, Shypple was voted Sprout's (a Dutch business media platform) Startup of the Year. And the company raised €7 million in a Series A funding round.
“The tale began in 2015 when I was studying in Rotterdam. I started working for a freight forwarder in the port there. I learned an awful lot from my boss. And my passion for the intercontinental logistics sector ignited. As a consumer, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. The market is so much bigger and more dynamic than it first seems," says Jarell.
“The market's complexity surprised me. I was also astounded at the amount of work still being done manually. There's a lot of communication with the customer, by phone and e-mail. That takes up a lot of time. After sending an e-mail, the information is often outdated. So, by definition, clients are behind regarding information provision. Compare the logistics and travel sector. Last-mentioned is far more efficient and is much better positioned digitally. I thought I could do something with that. That's how Shypple was born."
Now, about five years later, Shypple has 3,000 users. Of these, 400 are paying clients. "It's not only import and export companies that can use the platform. Suppliers or growers can also enter their data," Jarell explains. There are some major advantages. Customers can track their shipments. They can see what's in the container. And who they can communicate with in the chain.
"For example, a few weeks ago, the Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal. Our users could very quickly see where their containers were. And whether they'd be delayed. Some saw that their containers were on the Ever Given, or on one stuck behind it. They could immediately tell their customers that certain products would be delayed. Information is so important nowadays. And it will only become more so in the future."
Fruit and vegetable sector
This year, Shypple will introduce a fruit and vegetable sector-specific service. "Information provision is vital in this sector, even more so than for dry goods," says Habets. "Refrigerated cargo is often expensive too. We've already been approached many times by people in the fruit and vegetable sector."
"They want to know if the platform's also suitable for them. We've had to deny these requests because our platform's not yet ready. We're working hard to make Shypple suitable for the fruit and vegetable sector. We hope to tailor the platform specifically to this target group this year. So keep an eye on us," concludes Jarell.