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Carter Holt Harvey invests in B2B freight website

By Ben Dutton

Wednesday 18th October 2000

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Forestry giant Carter Holt Harvey's venture capital fund today announced an investment in online business to business freight hub eCargo.

eCargo is an online freight and transport matching service. Customers enter details of the load they want shipped and eCargo sends the details of the load to registered transport operators. The transport operators then come back with quotes and the customer chooses which company they want for the job.

Paul Harper, Carter Holt Harvey's Manager of Group Distribution, said that eCargo will have an immediate impact through rapid communication of the current freight requirements between customers and freight companies. Carter Holt Harvey will also use eCargo for its non-contract road freight requirements.

"For us, eCargo takes away the hassles of managing the tender process ourselves, which can be very time consuming. While all our existing contracts stand, we'll still be encouraging our preferred operators to register as soon as they can," Mr Harper said.

This means eCargo will be an instant recipient of business from Carter Holt Harvey - an outcome that is beneficial to both parties.

Managing Director of eCargo, Rod Bryant, said that eCargo was aiming at volume and big jobs, but this did not mean they would limit themselves by not taking smaller jobs.

Because eCargo only launched ten days ago, the website is devoid of any jobs available for tender. Mr Bryant said mailouts and further promotions to increase the website's visibility to potential customers and transport operators would start next week.

Carter Holt Harvey's venture capital fund now owns 49% of eCargo, however the purchase price was not disclosed. The investment was made with joint venture partner eCentric, an incubator of technology companies.

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