Giant Ship

It’s fair to say that 2021 has seen its fair share of challenges, from increased rates to capacity shortages across the board.

Challenges such as the volatility within the ocean freight market, which resulted in port congestion, while the unpredictability of the air freight market, mostly due to Covid-19, put further pressure on supply and demand. Bottlenecks caused further delays and concerns with a backlog of goods at ports that will likely continue to affect freight in 2022.

Also impacting market volatility was a demand surge, infrastructure in America, driver shortages China’s Zero Covid policy, and of course the unexpected Suez Canal blockage earlier this year.

In short, it’s been the obstacle course from hell for retailers, and we appreciate how resilient, patient and positive the teams we work with have been. As a year that has been full of volatility and uncertainty, we value your support.

Large ship on the sea

Tackling Challenges Throughout 2021

Throughout the uncertainty, here at Zencargo we’ve been working to help you adapt to this changing market and get the outcomes you need.

Something that we can all agree on is that space and rates were an ongoing challenge. Rates reached levels that have never been seen before. To tackle this we restructured our team and invested in extra personnel and experience in pricing and procurement to become more agile and stay competitive. Aligning tools gave our team the ability to understand our customers requirements as far in advance as possible – a vital component for such a fast-paced environment. This meant that not only could we find space at competitive rates across all modes, but we could also maintain fast turnarounds by being proactive in a volatile market.

As well as restructuring, we also concentrated on carrier relationship development. We already had key carriers that we worked with and wanted to strengthen these relationships to benefit our customers. Our team worked closely with carriers to build these relationships further, using tools and our platform to provide valuable data. By deepening our relationships, we were able to provide competitive rates and will continue to provide this in 2022.

It’s been a whirlwind year that has created so many questions, which is why we focused on helping you to manage day-to-day freight market volatility. A new customer care division has been developed to ensure that you have the support you need when the market decides to throw us another challenge. We also welcomed many of you to our webinars to discuss a range of pressing topics, such as managing cost volatility with forecasting and streamlining collaboration throughout the supply chain. We hope this helped many of you to plan for the unexpected and use your supply chain as your competitive advantage.

We were also so pleased to see many of you join us for the launch of Navigate, drawing together experts from across logistics, technology and retail to share thought-provoking insights and best practises. As the industry changed and faced new challenges day-to-day, more and more of you found value in our weekly market update containing a run down of major trade lanes.

Despite the volatile market, we are beyond proud to have achieved recognition and awards for providing visibility, developing forward-thinking technology and being one of the fastest growing businesses of 2021 – all of which could not have been achieved without your support. Awards we have achieved this year include:

  • Setting the benchmark for supply chain best practices with the Supply Chain Excellence Award for best-in-class visibility.
  • Deloitte UK Tech Fast 50, the fastest growing tech businesses in the country.
  • Shortlisted as a Financial Time Tech Champion, voted for by 500 readers from across Europe.
  • Sales Conference Top 50 SDR Manager Award, awarded for peak performance.
Deloitte Award

Additionally, Zencargo is now Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accredited for customs, giving you a further level of trust and security for your supply chain. This accreditation can also give you peace of mind heading into the new year as the next phase of Brexit implementation demands further custom controls. The accreditation shows that we comply with customs rules and drive faster movement of goods between borders, helping you to stay on schedule.

To top off the year, we raised £30million for our Series B funding thanks to the support of leading investors Digital+ Partners. This funding will be used to grow our teams to support changing markets and optimise competitive rates, and increase our global presence. To date, we have opened offices in the Netherlands and the US, and are opening our Hong Kong office in early Q1-22.

Our focus has been and will remain to be helping you to make your supply chain your competitive advantage, through the best rates and a transparent supply chain with end-to-end visibility, easy access to data and clear, easy supply chain communication.

We would like to thank you for all of your support throughout 2021, and we look forward to seeing what 2022 has to offer.