A unit of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba said Tuesday it has launched three new services and products to help US small and medium-sized businesses get through the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the services launched, Alibaba.com Freight, will help American companies secure sea and air shipping for their orders. The service uses technology developed by Israeli startup Freightos, which has created an online market place for international freight that enables users to compare prices and manage their shipments in real time.
The freight service will help small and medium-sized businesses simplify organizing their bulk shipments, giving them “the ability to instantly compare, book, manage and track ocean and air freight in real time online, effectively modernizing the analog, opaque and historically slow process for arranging cross-border logistics,” Alibaba said in a statement.
“Alibaba.com Freight’s extremely user-friendly interface takes what is usually a daunting and extremely complicated task, and turns it into a simple, concise step-by-step process without allowing you to make any mistakes before you move on to the next step,” said Casey Heim, founder and CEO of Hoxie, KS-based WAKE 10, a manufacturer and seller of equipment in the wake surfing and boating industry and early user of Alibaba.com Freight.
Alibaba also launched on Tuesday Alibaba.com Payment Terms to provide businesses with cash flow control and Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows USA to connect US manufacturers and wholesalers with business buyers in an engaging and live online format.
“Doing business online is the bridge for American small businesses through this crisis and into the next decade,” said John Caplan, President of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com. “We are accelerating our transformation to get both sellers and buyers quickly set up for success and provide the critical tools and services that are required for growth — access to supply and demand, shipping and logistics, and working capital.”