Most merchants in South Korea track their international shipping logistics via email until your cargo arrives safely at its destination. This includes all administrative processes, from shippers to importers, and covers logistics, customs, charges and transportation booking.
Portlogics, a South Korean digital shipping company offering a robotic process automation-based forwarding management system, wants to help merchants track international shipping logistics and get status updates on shipments by digitizing the process with its shipping tool. software.
Portlogics CEO Hyoung-chul Choi is a serial entrepreneur who first noticed the inefficient way of tracking international logistics when he managed his first startup, YLP, a half-mile logistics startup that T-Map Mobility, a subsidiary of South Korean telecoms SKT, acquired in 2021.
During the pandemic, the price of freight fluctuated constantly, so shippers could not anticipate loading rates. Realizing the urgency of digitally transforming the freight industry, Choi and three other co-founders started Portlogics that same year, developing a web-based freight management and business order management system for merchants that they can now use if their products are being shipped on a boat, or transported by road or rail.
More than 26 companies now use Portlogics’ software tool, Choi said, adding that they include major logistics companies and carriers such as GS Global and Hyundai Bioland, which produces materials used in cosmetics and health supplements.
That kind of traction allowed the Korean startup to receive $1.6 million (2 billion won) in pre-Series A funding from investors including K2G Fund and strategic investor GS Global, owned by the Korean conglomerate GS Holdings.
Portlogics, which now has 19 employees (six in R&D), will use the new capital to further develop its platform, including hiring additional staff.
The startup also plans to introduce artificial intelligence and machine learning that can make sense of the data the company has been collecting and empower it to estimate booking and shipping costs, Choi explained. In addition, Portlogics is in talks with B2B SaaS security companies to help it protect customers using its software and bolster its own data security measures, Choi added.
Portlogics currently focuses on South Korea’s freight industry, but intends to open offices in Southeast Asia and the US after 2024, Choi said, noting that there is still a lot of market share to be gained.
According to an estimate by research firm Allied Research, the The global digital freight forwarding market is projected to grow to US$ 22.9 billion in 2030up from $2.92 billion in 2020.
“Global supply chain management and logistics have been reorganized (due to increased tension between the US and China), and more companies are restoring the US by building chip and battery factories,” Archi Kong told TechCrunch. “In this paradigm shift, more Korean suppliers are participating in global supply chain management ecosystems, and it appears that freight transactions from South Korea to the US and globally are increasing. Therefore, the K2G Fund believes that the timing is great as there would be considerable upside opportunities for freight forwarding companies based in South Korea.”