By Riley Kaminer
The pandemic taught us all a lesson about the importance of supply chains. One of the major lessons: the logistics industry woefully lags in the uptake of digital services.
Catalina Machado saw this firsthand during her almost two decades in the freight brokerage industry. So in 2016, she teamed up with veteran tech consultant Fernando Correa to build Cargobot, a platform that is bringing freighting into the 21st century.
“We saw a lot of inefficiencies – a major lack of communication and information sharing,” CEO Correa told Refresh Miami. Coming from a background of bringing digital optimization to businesses at scale, Correa had trouble believing that such a large and important industry could lag so far behind. Correa and Machado saw that by organizing and centralizing the relationship between shippers and carriers, Cargobot could bring visibility, transparency, and –most importantly – efficiency to the market.
Seven years later, Cargobot’s team of 70 employees globally (about 11 of whom are based in Miami) are making this dream a reality through a variety of offerings. In all, Cargobot serves approximately 20,000 carrier companies and 30,000 drivers, with access to more than 500,000 carriers via their API integrations. This is particularly impressive of course given the Covid-related turbulence the shipping industry has experienced over the last few years, as well as new regulations requiring the use of electronic logging devices in trucks. Cargobot has raised more than $7 million in venture capital over the years, according to Pitchbook’s data.
Solutions include Cargobot Direct, an online platform that forges direct relationships between inland shippers and carriers; Cargobot Pool, which helps customers move dry, refrigerated, and frozen commodities more efficiently by consolidating partial truckload freight for multiple users; and Cargobot SaaS, a digital platform connecting carriers and shippers outside the US.
The thread tying all these products together: connecting dots. Correa also emphasized the platform’s focus on simplicity, streamlining operations in a context of many fragmented tech platforms. “We adopt digital minimalism,” Correa explained, providing the example that Cargobot centralizes API integrations through its platform.
Right now, Correa is laser focused on one thing. “Growth, growth, growth,” he emphasized. “We are activating technologies and different tools to provide a great value proposition for shippers.” Correa, a Spaniard who has lived in Miami on and off since 2001, plans to leverage his extensive network across Latin America to lend a hand to logistics professionals across the region.
The Cargobot team has also taken part in Endeavor Miami’s ScaleUp program. “It’s an amazing organization,” Correa said of Endeavor. “It helps entrepreneurs follow their dreams, supporting them through a few different – and very selective – programs. It’s an amazing community for entrepreneurs; especially in Miami, where we’re playing a part in growing the tech vision of Miami. I highly recommend Endeavor to everyone who is interested.”
Looking forward, Correa hopes to double down on the core principles that have gotten Cargobot this far: “simplicity, efficiency, data, and partnerships.”
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is the all-in-one interpretation of their shipping business,” he said. “A simple interpretation of everything.”
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
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- Pro Platforms raises $4.7M to build the digital tools to bring the construction industry into the 21st century
- This Boca startup is on a mission to save Christmas – or at least drive supply chain efficiencies
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