(Bloomberg) -- You won’t have to worry about holiday shopping for at least another couple of months, but for freight operators and many of the world’s largest retailers, preparation for the year-end shopping craze has already begun. To meet that demand, cargo ships begin crowding next month to transport inventory from factories to warehouses around the globe.

Despite months of preparation each year, it’s always a scramble in November and December to find some of the season’s most popular products. But several startups have sprung up to help manage the complicated flow of data involved with the movement of goods. Flexport and Cargobase are two such companies that collate data from freight forwarders, which are the travel agents of cargo. International freight forwarding was a €129 billion ($144 billion) market in 2014, according to logistics research firm Transport Intelligence, and with the help of technology companies, systems are beginning to emerge that can churn out almost instant price quotes for importers and exporters.

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