management by exception
May 10, 2023

What You Need to Know About Automated Management by Exception in Freight


The freight forwarding market is expected to grow at 5.1% through 2025, reports Hellenic Shipping News. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for global trade and the need for efficient and reliable transportation and logistics services. The days of past systems with limited automation are ending, and freight handling and management are growing more synonymous with fully automated systems. Automated management by exception is becoming increasingly popular in the freight forwarding market as it allows businesses to optimize their operations and reduce costs. And since automation is the key to management by exception, all freight management parties are actively pursuing more imaginative ways to work smarter, not harder.  By automating routine tasks, freight forwarders can focus on the exceptions, or unusual cases, that need attention. This allows freight forwarders to manage their operations more efficiently and effectively. Let’s take a deeper look at a few tasks that freight management parties can streamline through automation and their value.

What Does Management by Exception Look Like?

Exception management entails knowing how to respond when a problem arises, when to do so, and the best approach to minimize potential disruptions and manage adverse events. Even minor alterations within capability may necessitate exception management, rerouting shipments, and redefining loads – all of which are on the minds of today’s freight management parties.

Freight forward team member responsibilities include order management, freight tracking, and freight billing. Freight forwarders use freight management software to control and oversee these tasks, and given the extreme redundancy in repetitive tasks, they are ripe for automation. Knowing that freight management software helps freight forwarders automate their operations and manage by exception gives rise to a better way to operate. Further, this means that freight forwarders can focus on high-priority tasks and leave the low-priority tasks to the software.

Let’s consider an example. In the past, a freight forwarder business might only find out about rolled cargo through a carrier update at a later date. If the forwarder misses to see and address the issue, it results in a series of adverse consequences that impact the customer experience. However, management by exception in freight forwarding is about seeing and addressing these instances as quickly as possible within the forwarding SaaS platform or any other means, even if it comes in by email or a push notification. Obviously, a forwarder wouldn’t realistically have the time to check each sailing at every hour, but if the automated system can highlight the issues that require intervention, it saves clicks and resources.

Can Automation Do Even More in E-Commerce Forwarding

The short answer is yes. E-commerce expansion is only slated to continue, and forwarders need to ensure their systems can handle the scalability and agility needs of today’s shippers. Rather than waiting until a problem arises, automation, operating in the forms of rulesets and AI-like qualities, can address the most common issues, such as errors in addresses, rolled cargo, and changes to the carrier schedule. However, there will always be instances where automation can only go so far, and in these cases, human intervention may be necessary.

Thus, it’s easier to see how the human element becomes further removed from the mundane operations of freight management and allows team members to focus on high-priority needs. For instance, expedited freight services may be needed in the sailing schedule changes, resulting in the need to have an actual conversation to find coverage, and that burden increases with the urgency of each shipment. Yes, automated systems can help to sort through quotes and send bid requests to all available carriers, but there will inevitably be some point at which a person must take the reigns to manage the shipment. And that could even be as simple as clicking to accept an automation-recommended resolution for such exceptions. Again, it’s management by exception, hitting one-off needs, rather than trying to manage every shipment individually.

Tap the Value of Freight Forwarding Management by Exception With Cargologik

Freight management is evolving, and the systems of record today can process mountains of data, feed that data into advanced algorithms, and act on data. That action is what enables automation in freight management, but things can and do go wrong. When something hits a bump in the literal or proverbial road, the system needs to call attention to the issue, and that’s where management by exception gets its name. Such capabilities are alive and well at Cargologik. Sign up with Cargologik today to see how your team can put the power of digital freight forwarding and automation to work in one system.

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