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Simplifying Overseas Logistics for Small Businesses with Ship4wd | EP. #139

June 26, 2024 | Author: Andrew Maff























For small businesses, just the thought of logistics and operations can be overwhelming and when it comes to ocean shipment allocation? Good luck. That is, until Ship4wd entered the scene. On this 139th episode of the E-Comm Show, Andrew Maff interviews Carmit Glik, CEO and founding member of Ship4wd.

In this episode, Carmit Glik dives into the world of overseas logistics and its biggest service gap: small businesses. From digitizing the process and being the one stop shop for businesses to manage their shipments. Ship4wd makes it super easy for small businesses to find, compare, and book shipping. How? By understanding the unique needs and limitations of small businesses.Watch the full episode below, or visit TheEcommShow.com for more.


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Simplifying Overseas Logistics for Small Businesses with Ship4wd


Andrew Maff and Carmit Glik

CONNECT WITH OUR HOST: AndrewMaff.com  |  Twitter: @AndrewMaff | LinkedIn: @AndrewMaff 



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  8. Carmit Glik



    Carmit Glik, CEO and founding member of Ship4wd, has over two decades of leadership experience in international freight. This includes 17 years at Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, managing operations for various regions including South China, where she established a regional branch of the organization, and the Mediterranean. She held several senior logistics roles, such as Israel Country Manager, Italy SAP Regional Implementation Project Manager, and eventually Global Head of Sales, responsible for 1,200 salespeople across 200 locations. She also established digital freight forwarder Twill within Maersk’s Damco group. Despite working with multiple renowned clients throughout her career such as Lenovo, Walmart, Nike and Huawei, Carmit’s passion has always been SMBs and ensuring they get the access and treatment they deserve, believing in the contribution these businesses can bring to the global economy.


  3. To this end, she left Maersk to join Indian startup Cogoport, a platform supporting SMBs to grow and trade internationally, as Europe CEO and Managing Director. In 2021, she set up Ship4wd, backed by global carrier ZIM, and has been at the helm for almost three years. Ship4wd is a digital freight forwarding company built to make international freight easier and more affordable for SMBs.


    I think SME is always looking for, you know, quick, easy solution, right? Because, by nature, they are very lean, Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of The E-comm Show. I'm your host, Andrew Maff, and today I am joined by Carmit Glik, the CEO of Ship4wd. Carmit, how you doing? Ready for a good show? I'm very well and happy to be here. Thank you, Andrew, awesome. I'm very excited to have you on the show. All of our listeners are very, very aware at this point that I am horrible at operations and fulfillment and inventory anything in that realm. So having someone like you on the show is awesome. I love getting to kind of learn a little bit more. I always like to start these out there the very stereotypical way, and I apologize for that, but just tell us a little bit about your background, where you've been, you know, how you started ship Ford, and we'll take it from there. Okay, okay, so I also didn't think I will end up with logistics as a career, to be honest. I guess it's nobody's dreaming on it, but I kind of stumble upon a time job very early in my 20s, at the Maersk agency. And Maersk is one of the largest logistics and shipping company, and kind of thrown into the deep water, blue ocean. Let's call it off of shipping and logistics, very early days, and I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with the International. I fell in love with the fact that I lucky to work and live in six countries around the world, including China, Hong Kong, all over Europe, and working in probably more than 30 countries in the world. And that's what this kind of domain gives you. The you know the world is, let's say, endless opportunity of discovering culture and discover amazing people around the world that actually handling with what others do not like to handle, like you have mentioned. So in one like, in one side, we are, like, I always said, the great people, yeah, in the background, handling all the movement worldwide and and the rest is enjoying and we created choices to to everybody's life and culture and whatever they choose to to to buy, to eat, to wear, and so on and so forth. So it's kind of was a love story from from my end, nice, what? Uh, so it's very interesting. So it was just a temp job, and now, now you are the CEO of a very similar company. Interesting, yeah, it's the longest temp job ever. It's been 24 years. So what? What What made you, what made you start chip forward, what was, what was the the hole in the market you saw? So, as I said, I started working in in a great company, a huge, a huge company in the in our industry. And at a certain point of time, it was a thing around 10 years ago that I realized that the gap in the market is actually with the small, you know, small to medium sized businesses. And while most of my career, I really serviced and enjoy working with, you know, 500 fortune brand and handling their supply chain logistics across the world, from the Apple to Nike to Tesco to Walmart and so on. I've realized that when we are looking at entrepreneur small businesses, this is where our I think domain is not doing well enough to serve their. Their needs and their uniqueness, I would say, and it's kind of throw me, let's say, into the segment. And I find my passion, with all my knowledge that I observed during my career, to focus really on the small businesses segment, and chief forward came after me working in a different startup, which today is a unicorn that started with the same approach of looking, how do we solve the gaps and the gaps are there. And on the other hand, you have technology that the logistics domain is not fully utilizing, and this is where we achieve forward, bringing this all together. So can you explain to me, and everyone else who has just has no experience in this field, what explain to me the concept of freight forwarding, like, what is, what's the benefit from an SMB, versus kind of the enterprise guys who can do this kind of stuff all day long, exactly. So you said it, right. I mean, enterprise. They have huge department of logistics. They have their experience, professional people that handle only logistics for decades, where, if it's supply chain, if it by air, by sea, by track, the department for for each mode of transportation. And they have a lot of systems to support them during so and when you are looking at SMEs, then the gap is that first the knowledge of of the industry. And it's not rocket science, but you do need to understand because it's involving legislation, it's involving customs, it's involving taxation, it's involving different laws of transportation in different geographies. So you do need to understand that, and that knowledge somehow is lacking in small businesses, because all their focus in on what they're passionate about which is their business, right? So not always that knowledge exist and from one side, and also the type of systems that allow you to manage various type of shipment, various type of transportation mode, a system that give you transparency operationally, but also on pricing and also on the ability to identify where things go wrong. And unfortunately in our business, things go wrong quite, quite sometimes, and this is where the small businesses have, I would say, less tools to use in our industry today. So when I was obviously, you know, looking through the site and starting to educate myself on everything before our interview today, one thing I noticed was like the process of how it works, it seems painfully simple, comparative to how I expected this to be. Like, it's very simple in terms of, obviously, you know, signing up all that fun stuff, but then you're just selecting the mode of transportation, whether it's air, boat, track, etc, and then you're essentially getting quotes, like, right then and there. How is that possible? Isn't everyone have like, like, aren't you getting like, I know they have to explain the product and the size and the shipment in itself. But like, I was always under the impression that, from a fulfillment standpoint, those cost structures were so there was, there was such a variable to them that some of these fulfillment centers which make them up for the most part. Like, how did you get it to a point where it's very much? Like, here's your quote. Like, as you're filling out this form first, I'm positively surprised you're the first one that I've been interviewed that actually went in and tried so plus a plus to you and a managerial feedback, because that's make it real, right? It's one thing that I will tell that story, but it's it's a different thing that somebody that, again, not from an industry, logging in, trying the process, and saying, it's simple, because this was our aim. Our aim was indeed to create a place where small to medium sized businesses can go in and easily get a quote, as you say, easily choose what their preference is, and more than that, we stick to our commitment. Price and exactly what you're saying. It's so difficult to do so because there are so many elements in every single, let's say, shipment out there you have between seven to eight type of various companies that handle it right. And this is what forwarding is doing. You give you the umbrella of the full solution to manage and monitor and allow you to to be more calm, let's say, in the process, not be able to try to manage all those players by yourself. And this is what we do, and it's super difficult and but on the other side, I think there are so many technologies today that allow us to get there, and that's what we are doing. And there are various ways that we are doing those type of on the background, let's say that allow us to present to the customer a quote and a price that we stick by, we actually guarantee that price draws the end of the shipment. Interesting. What's the so the freight forwarding side, especially for, you know, smaller businesses, what's the difference between that and, like, freight marketplaces, three pills, like that kind of stuff. Like, what's, I'm not even really sure what those things are, for the most part, like a freight marketplace I was looking through and then kind of, you know, as I mentioned, like, prepping for this, I was like, I've never even heard of that. This is what happens to marketing guys. Like, we get shoved in a corner and we just stay there. But like, what's tell me, like, what's the the difference between those things and how is that beneficial for an SMB, versus like these enterprise guys that just have it internal. So a freight marketplace is essentially like booking.com or the Skyscanner. They they search for you different solution, and they contact you to the logistics provider, so they only do the connection, so they are not responsible in the end of the day to that logistics supplier. Will he give you a good service or not? And you don't really know him, so you actually kind of take a leap of faith. Let's say that when you go into a freight marketplace and say, Okay, I'm searching something, I will find they will connect me to the supplier. And, you know, maybe it's good, maybe not. It's like, you know, Airbnb, when you choose something and then, and then, and then, maybe you see something else, right? But it's a kind of, let's say, a risk you're taking. We are not a marketplace, so we give the service. We are register NVOCC. We are licensed to provide freight forwarding services in us, in Canada, in Asia. So we are not kind of saying we fund you something, but you know you need to deal with with another party to actually execute the service. So we give, indeed, the full umbrella of services. We take the responsibility. We guarantee the price and more to that. We give 24/7, support, because human support, not the bots. Many ask me about that as well, because another point we have seen really studying the needs of small businesses is that they are very lean, normally organization, and they have so much to deal with in their day to day, with their customer, with the suppliers, with their own with their own business, and they find the time maybe to handle logistics. You know, after five even weekends, maybe something got stuck over holiday, and we are there to support them. So we build really, let's say, overall solution, looking really, really and studying really, really the needs of small businesses, because this is our focus. We are not interesting to serve corporates. It's not our, you know, bread and butter. We really build a system, a platform, all through service that allowing SMBs to feel comfortable and have the right support. How does that factor in from, like, a timing perspective. So like, I know you go through the system, you're able to get a quote. Okay, it's gonna go from A to B, and it's gonna cost me X, great. But in those quotes, does that also factor in, like, how long that may take, and then at what point does ship forward? Get involved in assisting on the timing of those things? So we provide an estimate time of how long the shipment is going to take, I will have to say that it's estimated, not because I don't want to give the real time. It's because there are so many variables that sometimes we are unable to predict. Exactly, you know, there could be a car crash and the trucker will be, you know, waiting in the traffic there. Could we weather condition? There could be a bridge that collapsed and no vessel can get into to various ports. So there are so many variables, but we do give estimate time, but this is exactly, I think, the importance. And you really ask a good question, because what happened when things go wrong? This is where you need to notify the customer. This is where it's important. So when things go well, within that time frame that you estimate, everything is good, but when things go wrong, we need to be the one that inform the customer. You should be aware that this is taking more time, and that's what we are really trying to achieve, is that kind of factor in, like, you know, there's obviously certain, like, geopolitical situations, obviously, during covid, that the ports were backed up for, like, weeks on end. Like, does that factor in some of that kind of stuff, of like, Hey, here's, you know, new estimates. Or, like, how does, how does that kind of aspect of that work. You know, it's it's very difficult, because covid was really extreme, and a situation that we as a world community have never experienced before. So of course, every kind of forecast looking at the past could not predict what will happen during this period of time. And interestingly enough, in today world, when 2024 was supposed to be, let's say, the most predictable year, we are seeing horrific things that really, really, definitely not that's really impacting our supply chain and logistics around the world. The time frame has been double or triple. We are in my 24 years, I think of five, I never seen that. Customer already moving now goes for Christmas. It's extremely early, but customers are seeing what's going on. They seeing the delay. They seen the geopolitical situation. And we are experiencing a huge peak, quite early than what we used to, you know, pre pre covid. So it's so difficult to predict this thing. It's really it's really difficult. Yeah, it's really interesting that, like, over the years, from a marketing perspective, I've seen that, and from obviously a fulfillment perspective, I've started to see that as well, where, like, people have started to prepare for q4 like, to your point, like, around now, like, from a marketing perspective, we start these conversations in like, mid to late July, August, and, you know, hopefully have things planned out and ready to go by September. And it's relatively a similar thing. From a fulfillment perspective, I'm very curious, over the next, like, five to 10 years, how some of these brands are just going to like they're going to be so reliant on q4 because they've spent so much time pre preparing that they're not focused on the now, which I think can also be a very interesting situation. I know another thing kind of a side note here that I know I wanted to ask you. Years ago, before I started blue tusker, I was in house, and I used to, every now and then, I'd sit in on meetings with the operations team, and they would walk in with, like, a pack of files and papers, and like, we would be calling people. And like it was just to me, it seemed wildly outdated for an E commerce business. How is it helped SMBs from, like, a, like, digitizing this whole thing and just making it a platform. Because, I know, to your point earlier, of, like, you know, these enterprises have all these people in house, like, Yeah, but they probably have like, 5000 filing cabinets that they're ciphering through stuff when, like, so like, how have you? How is, how has this made this like a platform, really helping SMBs kind of speed this stuff up. Yeah, because I think SMB is always looking for, you know, quick, easy solution, right? Because, by nature, they are very lean. So when you're entrepreneur and building a new company, you will always be looking out there for tools that make your life easy, right? I mean, whatever is accessible and that you can use, and I think this is just one of those, right? Because you don't want to have 1000s of files, or you don't want to, you don't want to waste your time on on doing things manual or calling and. On and so forth. So I think, by nature, I would say that the small businesses are really open minded, I think, more than those type of corporates not just have the resource. So when, when you have resource, you don't need to, maybe, you know, innovate or think outside of the box. But when you're very lean and you don't have all of that, you're really looking for, for solution. And we have one of our customers that she was saying that she was looking for something like she forward for so long, and also for inventory, for example. And she was like, so happy that she found us kind of online. So I do believe they're looking for this and you less. Need to kind of convince them, because they feel the value immediately. Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Carmine, I thank you so much for being on the show. I don't want, I don't want to take up too much more your time. It was today. Was awesome. I really appreciate all the insight. I'd love to give you an opportunity here let everyone know where they can find out more about you, and, of course, more about ship for it super. Thank you so much. I have a lot of fun and looking forward. Thanks. Yeah, not a problem. Website, ship, Ship4wd.com Correct, correct. Beautiful Garmin, thank you so much for being on the show. Of course, everyone who tuned in, thank you as well. Please make sure you do the usual rate review, subscribe all that fun stuff on whichever podcast platform you prefer, or head over to ecomshow.com for all of our previous episodes. But as usual, thank you all for joining us, and we'll see you all next time.



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