9. December 2020

Interview with MARK KRISTENSEN

Mark Kristensen is the founder and director of CON-LINQ. CON-LINQ was meant to be an IT consulting business, but almost by coincidence from day one, it became a FreightTech company. His experience as a student worker at a freight forwarder during high-school and university, together with the academic knowledge from his BSc in Computer Science, became the foundation for the product that a few years later was known as fLex. He has since, with his colleagues in Denmark, focused on maturing fLex to a comprehensive multi-transport mode RMS and booking platform that can help freight forwarders maintaining a digital edge working with rates and receiving bookings. Being a real fan of digital disruption and optimization, Mark Kristensen, in recent years, also became engaged in other IT startups working with an online marketplace for tugboats, flight delay compensation and a compliance mapping solution.

1. What are the main disrupters for Digital Freight Forwarders and Online Rate Management Platforms development?
The main disrupters will, from my point of view, be the stakeholders where logistics is not their core business (ex. Amazon, Uber, Ali-baba), and big carriers/airlines that are integrating more of the value chain (ex. Maersk, DHL, CMA-CGM). The digital freight forwarders like FlexPort are not fundamentally challenging the traditional market conditions but pushes the traditional freight forwarders to become more lean and digital. Logistics Marketplaces are also challenging the commercial side of how freight is being booked and who owns the customer. I believe we will see more free IT platforms being offered to the freight payers by the logistics service providers and market places, as the fight over owning the customer will increase significantly.
Freight forwarders’ capability to support and monitor the impact of CO2 emission and other sustainable factors will be an essential requirement. To lead Customers’ future buying behaviour, online systems must support all the relevant environmental information, statistics etc.
2. Tell us about key areas in Logistics/Supply chain where online platforms can improve the most and why?
To succeed with digital collaboration, then process and data standards and quality are crucial. Organizations like DCSA and IATA and other neutral bodies can streamline the dataflow and IT systems for the global logistics domain. I believe this will raise the overall digital maturity of the industry, elevating both usage and features of online platforms to the next level. A common wish we hear is better options to receive and integrate tracking data from the asset owners, as this will enable the whole supply chain to improve the logistics flows.
As the digital maturity level of the freight forwarders increases, also in terms of quoting, then I think we will see the shippers becoming more transport mode agnostic. Many logistics departments are still bound to certain transport modes and are not considering different modes because of the increased complexity and lack of overview of possible options. With modern online platforms that offer calculations for all transport modes in one overview, it will give the shippers the option to switch between different transport modes from month to month depending on the current market conditions and transit time needs.
3. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in the Central and Eastern Europe region?
As a lot of the economic growth and infrastructure development on the European Continent must and will come from Eastern Europe – also considering the Rail and Road options from Asia – then it certainly makes sense to also host fairs in that region.
4. What will be the impact of Covid19 for further business development in your company?
There was a temporary shutdown in new projects for some customers, but now again, in Q4, we see a lot of interest in becoming more digital and improving processes.

CON-LINQ in Copenhagen, Denmark, all IT experts who set of modules that help freight forwarders manage their Air, Sea, Road & Courier procurement rates, customer quotes & online bookings. CON-LINQ, founded in 2006, provides software solutions to businesses – enabling organizations to streamline processes, improve efficiency, increase productivity and address specific business challenges.

With an analysis of the needs of the company and its organization, CON-LINQ document, develop and implement a solution that can support and improve the business strategy. Their cloud solution fLex has a range of modules that efficiently can streamline the processes of procuring rates, quoting customers and collecting bookings. CON-LINQ team is responsible for the entire development process, from estimation to release preparation and subsequent support. CON-LINQ is working with customer data entry and application teams in China, India, Philippines, USA, Nepal and many other countries.