July 18, 2023

Kontainers founder launches Ship Angel, acquires WaySync


The past few years have seen container shortages, soaring freight rates and unprecedented geopolitical events intensify market volatility, creating massive challenges for global shippers.

These obstacles have persuaded FreightTech entrepreneur Graham Parker to reenter the global logistics space. He launched container rate platform Ship Angel on Monday after successfully exiting the industry when his digital freight platform Kontainers was acquired by logistics software provider Descartes Systems Group in 2020.

“[Shippers] couldn’t get the cargo on ships. Sometimes they didn’t know where their goods were. I thought the next time around it would be really cool to build software for shippers to help with these challenges,” Parker told FreightWaves.

He explained that in initial discussions with shippers, he found a lot of technological tools being implemented throughout their businesses, but they lacked plug-and-play software for their importing and exporting operations.

“Ten years ago an enterprise resource planning tool or transportation management system was able to manage rates, but now international shipping rates are changing almost every day on some trade lanes. No one knows exactly what surcharges are and it’s very difficult to manage,” he said.

Further, while working directly with shippers, he found immense amounts of historical rate data sitting in Excel sheets, not being utilized to help predict rates and delivery times utilizing machine learning tools.

Acquisition of WaySync

Ship Angel also announced Monday it has acquired WaySync, a New York-based FreightTech firm developing AI solutions for managing fluctuating ocean freight rates.

Parker was introduced to the team in the early days of building Ship Angel’s technology.

“They were working on something similar for freight forwarders. … They started training [WaySync’s] systems to read all these different Excel sheets of trade data so there was an opportunity to join forces,” he said.

“It was a great experience building Kontainers, but this time we really want to build a big business and a great brand and I think this acquisition sends the message to the market that we are here to add real value.”

Now out of stealth mode with the combined engineering teams and global logistics experience, Parker expects to “go wider” with Ship Angel’s available products, including building trucking and airfreight rating tools by the end of this year.

“We are quite keen to listen to our customers’ feedback on future products. If you fast forward to this time next year, we will have at least one more product on the market with an overall goal to build plug-and-play-style solutions that deliver value to our customers,” he explained.

Ship Angel has bootstrapped its way to its current success but plans to complete a funding round within the quarter, Parker confirmed.

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