Top 8 Reasons to Use a Freight Marketplace for Ocean Freight Shipping

Updated on July 18, 2023

freight marketplace for ocean shipping

Online freight marketplaces are designed to simplify the container shipping process, by instantly connecting shippers and importers to a vast network of ocean carriers.  Marketplaces offer transparent pricing, professional, digitized support, and direct integrations for insurance and financing.

Below are 8 reasons a freight marketplace is advantageous over traditional ocean freight procurement processes and a handy infographic at the end. 


Process Traditional Procurement Freight Marketplace Procurement
Quoting Tedious RFQs – often includes waiting days or weeks for a verified quote. Provides options in seconds— you simply enter shipment requirements to find carriers with confirmed capacity.
Pricing Relies on historical data and current market conditions to predict freight costs. Assumes capacity will be available at a given rate but does not guarantee it. Presents verified available capacity at a confirmed rate to provide accurate pricing. There is no guessing at market rates, and no buffer in hidden margins.
Freight Rates Subject to current contract rates & market conditions. Offers below market rates for unexpected capacity — great for:
- Backlogged freight
- Spot freight
- Less-than-container (LCL) shipments
Carrier Network Limited to current network or lengthy onboarding for new forwarders and carriers. Diversifies your carrier network easily, while mitigating associated risks.
Offers a single point-of-contact to manage multiple carriers.
Trade & Freight Finance Not integrated into the process. Shippers must source and purchase financing for goods (trade) or transportation (freight) independently. Trusted, vetted trade and freight finance options offered directly within the marketplace platform.
Insurance Insurance coverage varies among carriers and terms can be difficult to navigate. Shippers may unknowingly put shipments at risk with inadequate coverage. With insurance options presented at booking, you can feel confident that your freight is fully covered.
Customs Clearance Customs processes can be confusing and tedious, particularly for new or infrequent shippers and importers. Provides optional services to handle customs filings on your behalf.
Digitization Fragmented, analog communications and systems leads to increased use of staff time and errors. Limits miscommunications by mediating between you and your vendors. Reduce errors, manage shipments, digitize payments online.

BONUS: How Carriers & Forwarders Benefit from a Freight Marketplace Partnership

Digital freight marketplaces offer substantial benefits to suppliers (forwarders, NVOCCs, carriers) as well. A digital platform functions as an  online shipping marketplace for freight forwarders and offers a wide range of benefits:


  • Ability to control costs and adjust rates according to shifts in the market. Freight marketplaces allow you to upload and update available capacity and valid rates in real time — rather than requiring pricing commitments that may not be realistic should the market change suddenly.

  • Access to a larger, more diverse pool of shippers and importers fills space in LCL containers and FCL vessels. This is particularly beneficial for filling unexpected, last-minute capacity. 

  • Quicker, more manageable payment terms and simple invoicing. A container marketplace manages the invoicing process and collects from all customers, making it easy to access a broad customer base while lowering associated risks.

Learn more about the benefits of a Freight Marketplace for Container Capacity in our full article here

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