The 1st Annual Digital Freight Alliance Conference Event Reviewed

The 1st Annual Digital Freight Alliance Conference Event Reviewed


The Digital Freight Alliance (DFA) was founded in 2020 and is today made up of more than 3,300 members. The alliance is made up of freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and logistics providers. DFA is a network association designed to connect freight forwarders to each other and to cargo opportunities. Uniquely among such associations, it is focused on offering the best in online tools, software, and access to cargo booking platforms as part of a fundamental digital transformation for its members to help make the transition from analog to digital. 

Parent company DP World has a strong belief in digital transformation as the future of freight forwarding, and expanding this opportunity to as many small businesses as possible is good for trade, good for economic growth, and part of the narrative that says innovation can help solve some of the problems that have been happening in international trade in recent years.

The vision is that by the end of 2022, there will be more than 5000 members and that there will be more interaction between members and on the booking platform, as well as policy development to help the members deal with supply chain issues. 

The Alliance held its first annual conference on March 10th-11th at Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE. The conference was attended by DFA members from 34 companies from 12 countries. This provided an opportunity for DFA members in the industry to come together and share ideas about how they can continue moving forward with digital transformation efforts.


The conference's primary areas of discussion

The Annual Conference is an event that brought together experts from the freight industry and its partners from 12 countries to explore the future of digital freight forwarding and facets of transformation.



Agenda - Day 1

The first day was dedicated to the topic "Digital vs. Traditional" and discussed how digital logistics is becoming a key part of modern supply chains based on advantages in faster delivery, lower costs and increased transparency.

The conference was opened with an introduction by Andrew Hoad, DFA President, and the theme of his speech was DFA's vision & strategy. He compared the impact of today's digital technologies on global trade to that of the mid-nineteenth century, when a rapid technological shift enabled trade growth by reducing the cost and time of importing. Also observed was the relative decline in global trade as a percentage of global GDP since 2008, and how bringing more SMEs to market through innovative digital technology could help offset this trend. The rest of the conference included various case studies on how DFA has helped clients with digital freight logistics. The speeches from different speakers, such as Julian Madsen, Head of Business Development at DP World Supply Chain & Logistics, Sergey Dzhashitov, Founder & Head of SeaRates Operations, Tejan Lakhia, Director at MCC Container Lines Pvt. Ltd., and Bharadan Madhan Mohan, CEO at GIVVEN Logistics were focused on how digital freight logistics will help shape the future of supply chains.



Then there were presentations on software and services that would assist our DFA members in digitizing their businesses and moving away from traditional business models.


SeaRates Software (LE, Tracking, Ship Schedules) 

SeaRates is a one-stop-shop for cargo booking, tracking, and planning.


Logistics Explorer

Logistics Explorer’s backbone is the RMS which allows one to manage rates. It gives a single source of information, and an easy and fast way to access rates. It allows one to search contract rates as well as those from agents and partners which have been subscribed to in a matter of seconds.

The Logistics Explorer can help the freight forwarder by providing a bigger shop window for his services in four main ways.

(1) As a standard member, integrate it into your website so that visitors may get an instant quote and place a booking with you online. 




(2) As a premium member who makes use of the Logistics Explorer widget, you may integrate your website's rate options with a select number of premium member partners and split commissions, increasing your business coverage in this way.



(3) As a premium member, you receive a great opportunity to advertise your instant rates to the platform's 20,000 daily visitors.



(4) As a premium member, use the account manager for lead generation.



Container Tracking

An ultimate cargo tracking system, which works on any desktop or mobile device. Let your customers know where their cargo is and view it on the map without calling you!


Ship Schedules

Whether you are planning container bookings or analyzing vessel movements, we have the most comprehensive sailing schedule database. Complete, accurate and updated continuously, our schedule data is available to logistics professionals - anytime and anywhere. Search our extensive routes to find the right schedule which fits your supply chain. is enabling trade for domestic and international cargo owners looking to break into Africa and beyond.




Vendor Benefits:

  • Benefit from multiple DP World solutions/products as a customer
  • Access to previously closed or hard to penetrate markets to sell or source goods/raw materials
  • A trusted global logistics partner handle logistics from the factory floor to the end customer
  • Make use of DP World partnership & enjoy exclusive marketing benefits
  • Special rates & solutions built on a global scale if required – such as warehousing & distribution in other markets
  • Convenient Payment Solution
  • Trade Finance Facilities


Buyer Benefits:

  • Benefit from multiple DP World solutions/products as a customer (buyer)
  • Convenient Payment Solution – Localized Options
  • Access to previously closed or hard to penetrate markets to sell your goods as well as connect with new suppliers at multiple price points & types of quality-selection
  • A trusted global logistics partner handle logistics from the factory floor to the end customer
  • Make use of DP World partnership & enjoy exclusive marketing benefits such as:
    • Trade Finance Facilities 
    • Full Professional onboarding – Cataloguing
    • Professional Account Management  
    • Highly Competitive Rates/Fees




  • Currently working with multiple freight forwarders such as SSL, RSA Logistics, Globe link West Star, Consolidated shipping service, etc.
  • Option to ship goods by different incoterms, i.e. DAP, DDP & CFR
  • RORO & Containerized; with service providers such as Gallega logistics
  • Working with DP world companies like Delex & Cargoes to provide India logistics solution
  • First & last-mile delivery available either directly or via partners


Affiliate programs

  • Join the affiliate program to earn a profit share on customer sales on DUBUY.
  • Enjoy last-mile delivery exclusive to your sales/transactions coming from the AP as well as earn a healthy commission.
  • Be a part of DP World & DUBUY as a partner across your preferred geography.


Regular rate integration

  • Integrate our system with your system and feature shipping charges for the enabled routes on
  • This ensures that the volatility of the calculated charges is controlled as the rates are given will be real-time.




Cargoes Finance

CARGOES Finance is a new finance platform providing importers, exporters, and logistics companies with access to financing solutions to support them in driving global expansion seamlessly.

CARGOES Finance connects enterprises with financial institutions to avail credit for Trade & Logistics Finance

  • Innovative and new communication channel to reach multiple institutions.
  • One-time upload to a data repository for all needed documentation.
  • Ability to digitally sign and exchange credit facility agreements.
  • Window for Trade Finance solutions for companies for both domestic and global trade.
  • Unique value proposition and insights with its data-driven offerings



Financial Solutions



Platform Features

  • Risk Management. AML, KYC practices are put in place to protect all stakeholders.
  • Transparency. Detailed visibility at the transaction level via role-based access.
  • Efficiency. Approval decisions are supported by robust and intelligent systems.
  • Convenient & User Friendly. Simplified online application with minimal document requirements.
  • Competitive Rates. Offering access to attractive credit lines and multiple currencies.
  • Digitalisation. Digital document and data exchange to eliminate discrepancies.


How it works

A seamless process from onboarding to facility application to release of funds.



Cargoes Runner

Cargoes Runner is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to support freight forwarders to overcome technology barriers and manage back-office operations more efficiently to improve per-capita productivity and per-shipment profitability.


Door-to-door Visibility



Agenda - Day 2

The second day of the annual conference was dedicated to strategies for obtaining freight rates and container provision. The discussion included topics such as the implications of the digital freight alliance on container provision, the future of collective bargaining in the freight industry, and how to avoid disruptions caused by digitalization.

On the second day of the conference, there were panellists such as Mike Bhaskaran, Chief Operating Officer, Logistics & Technology at DP World, Sergey Dzhashitov, Founder & Head of SeaRates Operations, Rudy de Groot, Owner and Chief Rainmaker of BIA Global Logistics, Alan Fox, Network and Business Development Manager in BIA Global Logistics and Tej Lakhia, Director at MCC Container Lines Pvt. Ltd., who spoke on Freight Collective Bargaining and Container Provision.


The panellists spoke in-depth about what freight collective bargaining may look like and how it affects the industry. They also discussed how digital tools and Digital Freight Alliance are affecting the industry. DF Alliance will allow forwarders to use a universal digital freight platform, which is an electronic logistics tool that allows companies to seamlessly and efficiently manage their international warehousing and distribution operations.


Conclusion - What Does The Future Hold For The DFA?

Freight alliances or freight associations are not new concepts, but DFA, with its wide scope of digital tools, brings something altogether new to the concept. The key going forward will be whether members grasp the opportunity to integrate their websites with the software offerings. Sergey Dzhashitov described this well when he made the impassioned appeal on the day one panel that DFA had developed, in effect, a powerful electric grid of opportunity, but members needed to plug their devices into the grid in order to open up both the vast "shop window" to sell their services on and access. The plug for the devices was to integrate the Logistics Explorer software, and this was free of charge. Or to use another analogy, DFA had used the considerable resources of DP World to develop a high-powered sports car, and now DFA needed to ensure members saw the value of putting gasoline in the car.



If you would like to learn more about the digital transformation tools and opportunities listed above, please contact the below 

Logistics Explorer, Container Tracking, Ships Schedules:       

                                                                                  Mariia Slabenko:                                                           

                                                                                 Salem Abedin:

Cargoes Finance: 

                                                                                 Sinan Ozcan: