Ladingo helps retailers ship what doesn’t usually fit

New logistics platform moves cumbersome goods anywhere they need to go

Shipping big stuff has long been a struggle for retailers. Furniture, appliances — anything large or heavy can be difficult and expensive to get into customers’ hands. And it isn’t just a problem for consumer purchases: Retailers serving the business-to-business segment encounter similar challenges on large orders, which often consist of multiple smaller items that together can become a logistical mess.

The team at Ladingo saw these problems and developed a system to streamline the process. The platform makes bulky orders simple, cross-border selling straightforward and the administrative side of shipping — tracking, cost controls and insurance — more efficient.

“We know in the world of shipping, there’s a lot of free air in the containers,” says Hagar Rips, CEO of Ladingo. Optimizing that available space can reduce the environmental impacts of transport and make shipping more cost-effective for sellers. The air freight sector has already done a good job aligning with the needs of retailers to utilize empty space, but ocean and ground freight hasn’t caught up.

“They’re still far apart, and it’s a limitation in the ecommerce world,” Rips says. Ladingo targets those shipments, taking advantage of the empty room to give sellers better price points and more options for sending bulky orders.

Some of the largest companies in the ecommerce realm have already put systems in place to deal with issues related to weight, size and geographic challenges. The systems are often restricted to only those sellers participating in their respective marketplaces, but not everyone wants to funnel their entire transaction load through those channels.

“Maybe you just want to grow by yourself,” Rips says. “When you offer a good enough logistics solution so they don’t need to work with what Amazon and others are providing, they can do it by themselves.”

Sellers conducting transactions across international borders must also manage their responsibilities as importers, finding cost-effective ways to bring merchandise in from other countries to meet the evolving needs and expectations of an increasingly global consumer base.

“They have a lot to deal with in a very old industry,” Rips says. She points to requests for faxed documentation as just one example of a logistics infrastructure that hasn’t been fully modernized against today’s highly digital retail world. There’s also a need to understand customs, taxes and duties; otherwise, she says, “I may end up paying more than I need to as an importer.”

Ladingo automates much of the customs process to streamline cross-border transactions, making it easier for businesses to purchase from other countries. “I’ll buy my commercial inventory from another country as easily as I buy an iPhone case on AliExpress,” Rips says.

The coronavirus pandemic and its effects on everything from manufacturing to global trade to consumer behavior demonstrates the value of digital commerce. “Many companies now realize they have to be online,” Rips says. “If they aren’t, many are shut down and not doing any business.”

Some sellers are also keen to not only purchase goods from other countries but also build their customer bases in new markets. The ability to manage the fulfillment and logistics side of the equation becomes even more important for those retailers.

Along with access to real-time shipping rates for international orders and heavy or bulky merchandise, Ladingo also puts tracking and insurance capabilities in retailers’ hands. To help sellers maintain the brand experience they’ve worked long to cultivate, the platform can even manage shipments all the way through delivery at the customer’s location.

“Ecommerce can’t work without fulfillment and logistics,” Rips says. “This is a key growth factor for online businesses.”

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