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I've recently been faced with the challenge of shipping my personal effects, and was missing a web-based service I would think should exist.

Ticket fare aggregators - for passenger carriage - are incredibly useful for expats and in general, both for finding flights to book and for understanding which carriers do which routes, how prices and frequencies vary during the day, the week or longer periods of time, etc. I still remember the days of yore where such systems were only available to travel agents, and even then with some limitations.

But those days of yore seem to still be the present when it comes to sending cargo, rather than people, by air: you find some kind of agent company, they offer you some options on carriers, prices and conditions, and you choose among those.

I was wondering, isn't there some fare aggregation website for shipping cargo? Of course this would not be exactly the same, since you're not booking a specific flight at a specific time: your cargo can be split up, and delivery times are somewhat flexible. But it seems to me such an aggregator should be possible in principle.

Notes:

  • I'm not looking to ship cargo myself (I'm already done with that, for now), so this a general question / for next time.
  • If these mechanisms do exist, please explain what they do/how they work and/or describe their features, but don't argue for why any one is better than any other.
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Well, the freight industry is full of aggregators. The thing is, with surface transport a vendor will typically stick to a certain number of routes or a certain region. With a quick Google search of an example source and destination, "freight uk poland" for example, I found https://www.eurosender.com/en/shipping-poland-united-kingdom which appears to be an aggregator / reseller of other companies' freight capacity.

This particular vendor claims on the website that you will save by quoting for a pallet through them over going direct; if it is true, then this is evidence that the vendor really is aggregating the freight capacity on your behalf (if you ship one pallet from Poland to the UK, they are interleaving this in with a bunch of other pallets and thereby passing on the saving to you).

As for features... What did you have in mind? A truck driver will pick up the pallet curbside, and a different/same driver will drop the pallet off curbside. I can't think of additional relevant "features" other than, perhaps different grades of insurance.

Shipping freight... this is such a mature industry with such generic utility, I think this question is on the fringe for the expatriate topic, I think.

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