Easy Engineering: What were the main changes the 2020 health crisis brought to the freight market?
TIMOCOM: During the Corona crisis, there were significant fluctuations in the transport market in the first quarter of 2020.
The uncertainty about the course of the Corona crisis led to a sharp increase in freight offers on the European transport market in March. Many companies have brought forward orders with the prospect of border closings and other restrictions in the wake of Corona.
The turning point of the upward trend will be marked by the Europe-wide lockdown from mid-March, which has largely led to a standstill of production facilities and – with the exception of the food retail sector – to a collapse in delivery volumes. Despite increasing transports in the food sector, freight volumes across Europe fell by more than two thirds from mid-March to the end of March.
As a result of the pandemic, there was a sharp drop in transport services across Europe even in the traditionally high-freight months of April and May. Overall, our transport barometer recorded a decrease in freight rates of 45 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year.
Europe’s road freight traffic increased significantly from July to September of this year. The freight offers for the third quarter of 2020 determined by the TIMOCOM transport barometer made up for the very weak second quarter of the current year caused by the corona pandemic. And the numbers even exceed the previous year’s values in 2019 in every month.
The turbulent Corona year was further conciliatory in the fourth quarter. The TIMOCOM transport barometer, which is calculated with the freight entries from 44 recorded European countries, shows 9% more freight entries than in the previous quarter of 2020.
Added Datas from the transport barometer:
From January to March there are still slight increases compared to the previous year’s figures;
April and May fell the most at around 40% compared to the previous year;
A normalization can be observed in June;
As of July, the numbers are again consistently above the previous year’s values.
Easy Engineering: What were the first signs of the crisis for TIMOCOM and when did they arise?
TIMOCOM: Overall, the number of freight entries increased by 8% in 2020 compared to 2019 – despite the massive fluctuations due to the pandemic.
Best month of 2020
On December 15, 2020, one million freight and loading space offers were entered in TIMOCOM’s Smart Logistics System. This value marks a high not only shortly before the start of the new lockdown. Never before have so many offers been available on the freight exchange in a single day.
Easy Engineering: Did you introduce new functions or optimized existing ones in 2020?
TIMOCOM: We have made the HO workplaces flexible for our customers.
Otherwise, we mainly worked on improving the performance and reliability of the product through technical measures.
E.E: What are the most requested requests from customers for Services that you would like to see on our exchange and that we have not yet introduced?
TIMOCOM: A customer survey has recently been carried out in which we asked customers from all countries about their desired functions. We adapt our innovations to this.
The most important of these was factoring, means driving with payment guarantee. The fast and guaranteed payment of executed orders is offered by the JITpay™ payment service. This is now also linked for TIMOCOM customers in the Smart Logistics System.
As a contractor, you can transfer your invoices directly to the payment service provider after the orders have been completed. JITpay™ then pays you immediately for a small fee.
In the near future we would like to introduce the following developments:
Map based search.
E.E: Freight forwarders most often complain that exchanges cannot help them with debt collection problems. Or if yes, only with plus fees. What solution do you have to make the transactions as secure as possible?
Our debt collection department is the fast implementation of the receivables management with simultaneous neutral appearance towards all parties. If there are differences between contractual partners, especially national and language borders, we help so that they can still meet professionally on the market tomorrow. For our customers it is a relief to know that there is a trustworthy partner at their side who can overcome these hurdles.
E.E: How do you assess the current market situation with regard to competing freight exchanges and how is competition developing with the interfaces created by large forwarding companies?
TIMOCOM: The market is generally very fragmented and that is unlikely to change in the future.
Digitization continues and further platforms / digital solutions are emerging from it. These are not always direct competitors and tend to offer potential for networking. This creates common advantages such as the cooperation with Bargelink.
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