Freight Forwarding

What Is Business Intelligence in Forwarding

Managing freight forwarding services and transportation logistics are complicated even in the best of situations. Implementing optimized business intelligence management practices among freight forwarding companies can help ensure customers get the information they want while freeing up team members to have time to focus on customer relationships. Everything from deliveries to shipping processes to customer service impacts forwarding services and the relationships involved from start to finish. According to a report from project44, 85% of marketers claimed delivery important to their customer experience and brand. In addition, a Crowdstrike study found that 45% of organizations experienced at least one supply chain attack in 2021. One of the most significant challenges forwarders face is addressing the question of what business intelligence is and how it can improve forwarding services and operations.

What Is Business Intelligence in Forwarding

What is business intelligence in the freight forwarding industry? Team members use Business Intelligence with forwarding services and logistics management to manage the volume of data generated, collected, and utilized within the company. Data analysis and application are critical to business growth and success, especially during difficult market volatility and stiff competition. In addition, optimized business intelligence processes allow greater control of the operation and freight visibility in forwarding and strategic decision-making procedures. Therefore, improving business intelligence management and effectively applying the actionable insights it generates is critical for freight forwarding success. 

The Challenges Giving Rise to a Need for Business Intelligence Management in Global Forwarding

The need for business intelligence management continues to rise. Intelligence, insight, analytics, and adaptability provide a distinct advantage, especially during economic and market demand or instability. Understanding how to make the most of the data on hand and applying it effectively and productively can help forwarders answer the question of what business intelligence is. 

  • The growing complexity of global trade and demand for commercial intelligence. 
  • Lack of integration between systems, dashboards, tools, and technologies.
  • Rising transportation costs with a focus on how business intelligence works in action.
  • Inability to adapt to meet changing demands of e-commerce freight forwarding.
  • Random carrier selection criteria and lack of business intelligence management. 
  • Poor understanding of why business intelligence helps streamline processes.
  • Limited invoice data access and poor visibility into the business intelligence process.  
  • Lack of insight into forwarding activity and impact on forwarding services.

Benefits of Business Intelligence in Forwarding

When forwarders have the ability to college, analyze, and apply logistic data and insights and can define applications and processes within the supply chain, the benefits can be far-reaching.   Answering the question of what is business intelligence and it can improve end-to-end processes within the freight forwarding and transportation services today brings the following benefits:

  • Increased precision in decision-making power with commercial intelligence and insights.
  • A clear understanding of why business intelligence drives competitive advantages.
  • Ability to boost throughput and improve overall efficiency and productivity. 
  • Lower transportation costs with a clear view of how business intelligence works. 
  • Improved business intelligence process, transparency, and visibility in the network. 
  • Better services aimed at customer service, experience, loyalty, and investments. 
  • Greater adaptability and visibility with business intelligence management insights.

Tap the Value of Automated Business and Commercial Intelligence With Cargologik and Answer the Question What is Business Intelligence

Understanding business intelligence involves bringing together services and options to identify and manage delivery exceptions within freight forwarding processes and services. A lack of intelligence insights and applications can increase the risk of attacks from cyber threats. What is business intelligence? The answer requires forwarders to look at their existing business intelligence management processes and reconsider how business intelligence works today. Contact Cargologik today to learn how to optimize business intelligence processes.

Freight Forwarding Cost Structures and How Tech Keeps Them Balanced

Ocean freight forwarders offer an invaluable service for shipping companies and transportation providers. However, keeping up with the various freight forwarder costs and fees can become a bit of a challenge, especially for smaller companies and businesses. Like most things related to freight shipping and transportation, freight forwarding charges fluctuate, sometimes quite regularly and drastically. In addition, the rising popularity of e-commerce makes the need for reliable freight forwarding services all the more tangible. This ever-growing mountain of pressure to make shipments fast, affordable, and reliable makes a reasonably straightforward question like how much a freight forwarder costs much harder to answer.

Fundamental Influences of Freight Forwarder Fees

There are, of course, concerns about how much freight forwarders charge and how shipping companies can manage their freight forwarder cost output. Therefore, it is essential to understand what impacts freight forwarder prices at any given time is vital.

The five main factors that influence cost are:

  • mode of transport – air transport will cost more than road or ocean freight shipping
  • distance/destination – the farther goods go, the higher the fuel, and the higher the costs
  • weight and volume – charges often are based on how much the cargo weight or its size
  • value – sometimes the value of the goods impacts how much risk and cost are involved 
  • the type of contract- short or long-term agreements with forwarders can impact costs too

Understanding the influencing factors can help shippers and freight forwarders better plan for the rise and fall of ocean freight forwarding charges.

Additional Freight Forwarder Costs and Charges

Loads that require special freight handling and forwarding considerations during shipping will usually incur different freight forwarder costs. This covers specialized products and goods such as:

  • Dangerous, harmful, or hazardous goods- gases, corrosives, and flammable material
  • Perishable goods and live animals- fresh and frozen foods and living  livestock
  • Oversize and overweight goods- items that don’t fit in standard containers or trucks
  • Other specialized loads- things that need special cranes, machines, or packaging to ship

How much a freight forwarder costs for ocean freight transportation depends on what you are shipping, where it is going, and what is required to get it from Point A to Point B safely. It is important to remember that costs depend on the forwarder and contract arrangements. Freight forwarders and carriers sometimes pay additional fees for handling these products.

Freight Forwarding Charges in 2022

Freight forwarding services have not escaped the COVID pandemic’s impact on the industry. In 2022 and by all indications, freight forwarder costs will likely continue to rise and remain volatile in the years to come. According to National Review, fluctuating freight forward prices today have led to a staggering 64% of importers reporting that they have experienced price increases. The review highlighted changes with ocean cargo and related freight forwarding charges,  showing that “pre-pandemic, ocean shipping costs per unit for smaller items ranging from $0.30 to $0.40, or about half a percent of the sticker price… But elevated freight rates have pushed costs to $4-5 per unit” Freight forwarder costs will continue to rise and fall in response to market trends and consumer habits, which only intensifies the need for technology that helps freight forwarders manage loads and shipments.

Using Technology Helps Freight Management Parties Keep Costs in Check to Maximize Profitability

Keeping up with it all is the challenge facing shipping companies and transportation service providers who rely on the current ocean cargo freight forwarder price range to manage global freight visibility and innovation within the market today. It can be challenging to untangle the factors that impact freight forwarder cost and freight forwarder fees, especially in markets that already struggle with instability and volatility. However, working with industry experts and finding the right ocean freight transportation partner can help shippers and freight forwarding companies come together effectively. Contact Cargologik today to learn more about how much freight forwarders charge and how the right tools and insight can make this balancing act easier and less stressful. 

What Is Global Freight Visibility in Forwarding?

Many disruptions occur in global forwarding. From supply shortages, increased rates and fees, driver shortages, bottlenecks at ports, and lack of ships, each one affects the flow of the supply chain industry. 

Global freight visibility in freight forwarding is a logistical way to communicate and provide transparency even during disruptions. It relies on logistics and technology to carry the business from point A to B. Providing real-time visibility gives everyone involved a clear window into all aspects of the business from port to the final destination. In addition, it allows companies and customers to track cargo at any transportation point, even during common and unpredictable disruptions. 

38.7% of shippers book freight directly with the carrier under contract. Nearly one-fourth of shippers use a broker and 21.7% book freight with the carrier on the spot market. Only 15.3% book a digital freight platform or forwarder, states Talk Business. These statistics are shocking considering the advantages that digital freight forwarding provides. Take a look at the benefits of freight visibility and digital freight platforms and the disadvantages of the lack of visibility. 

What Is Freight Visibility?

Freight visibility is the transparency into shipment’s real-time location, container moves, expected arrivals and departures, costs, and performance. This transparency keeps everyone involved up to date, even during disruptions, and aids in avoiding additional charges associated with disruptions.

Without clear visibility, freight forwarders will lose track of their cargo and supply chain. It also prevents the ability to estimate supply and demand, contributing to high operations and transit costs. 

The Costs of Poor Freight Visibility

Poor freight visibility causes many problems and a trickle-down effect in the freight industry. The supply chain relies heavily on the ability to see what is happening in all avenues. Low freight visibility leads to higher costs, capacity with carriers and suppliers, inability to track performance, and poor customer experience. 

According to Transport Dive, “Containers keep sitting at ports, and demurrage fees keep tallying up, not by choice but by the difficulty of retrieving them. This has caused a financial burden to all those in the industry…and shippers paid $71.56M in demurrage fees through POLA in February 2022.” The lack of freight visibility makes these issues significantly worse. When disruptions occur, multiple problems arise, leading to the inability for cargo to be loaded and unloaded within the agreed-upon time frame and causing these fees to accumulate. These are all results of poor visibility in freight forwarding. 

How More Freight Visibility Improves Cost Savings. 

Disruptions in the supply chain and freight forwarding create unwanted costs and consequences. There is a massive improvement in cost savings and customer satisfaction with clear freight visibility. Freight visibility allows shipping companies to provide real-time updates, arriving and departing cargo statuses, clear communication, and customer satisfaction. 

According to Supply Chain Brain, “direct spend leaders realize two times stronger improvements in on-time, in full, time to market, cost reductions, and product shortages” when freight visibility is clear.” Unfortunately, visibility in freight forwarding is dire to the organization, structure, cost-effectiveness, and overall flourishment of the freight forwarding industry. 

Increase Freight Visibility in Forwarding With Cargologik

Visibility in freight forwarding is beneficial in meeting market demand and maintaining customer satisfaction. While facing disruptions in the industry, there has never been a better time to implement real-time communication and improve cost savings with customers and employees. Logistics need digital freight platforms to stay proactive and efficient amidst volatility. Increase visibility in freight forwarding and sign up with Cargologik today. 

Ocean Freight Forwarder Tips to Improving Container Throughput

Since early 2020, there have been many changes in the shipping industry. Current regulations, uncertain markets, and changes in supply and demand are putting pressure on ocean freight forwarders to meet never before seen needs. More than ever, in this age of disruption, more solutions and tools are needed to remain competitive in this industry. These things sound overwhelming, but digitizing and centralizing information and communications will improve efficiency, comprehension, and container throughput.  

As explained by Bloomberg, “Shanghai is now the epicenter of China’s worst Covid outbreak in two years, with more than 21,000 cases reported just on [April 7]. The shortage of trucks is also hitting companies in the city, which have continued working through the lockdown, with chip giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp struggling to secure trucks to ship out finished goods.”

Don’t be put off by the complexities of ocean freight forwarding, and learn how to take back control. Below are some tips that forwarders need to know

to help take full advantage of new solutions and technology that will allow ocean freight forwarders to simplify their freight forwarding business.

Obtain All Relevant Shipment Information When Preparing a Quote for Customers

For ocean freight forwarders, global shipping is complex and has many associated costs that go along with it. Ensure all relevant information has been obtained before presenting a quote. After gathering all necessary information and documents, be transparent with customers, informing them of all upfront costs and fees.

Document Everything, and Use Digital Document Management

Ocean freight forwarders must provide accurate and complete documentation of all information and invoices. The most effective way to achieve this is by implementing digital document management. Manually tracking everything can be extremely time-consuming and less effective. A platform that digitizes your business and stores all data in a central location will improve the flow of ocean freight forwarding companies. It automatically creates shipping schedules, provides quotes, and automates data input.

Remember to Consider Additional Equipment and Handling Requirements Per Load

Ocean freight forwarders must have as much information as possible when carrying heavy equipment to guarantee safe and effective transfer. Each port can accommodate a certain amount of total capacity. To improve deliverability and stability, ocean freight forwarders must know each load’s equipment and handling requirements.

Gain Visibility Into All Costs to Know Where Extra Spend May Occur

When shipping overseas cargo, you may be charged costs that you do not have to pay when shipping domestically. Gain visibility by knowing your foreign shipping prices up front; you will be prepared for these additional costs. Know other expenses associated with overseas shipments, such as documentation and customs fees. Ocean freight forwarding companies must know all costs to maintain profit margins and provide accurate quotes.

Integrate Your Tech Stack With OTR Carriers’ Platforms to Manage Drayage Easier

Technology helps freight forwarders simplify and streamline business, making transporting freight from the port to its final destination easier. Integrate your current tech stack with OTR platforms to take full advantage of these programs’ digital offerings. The ocean freight forwarding industry has often resisted the transition into the digital world. However, with today’s shipping demands and overall climate, the change is necessary to reduce expenses and increase revenue. 

Use Automated Alerts to Manage the Majority of All Operations.

Welcome the use of automation with open arms. General administrative tasks are replaced with automated freight forwarding services, saving you multiple work hours. Given the current circumstances, automation is a necessity. Spend your working time productively on back-office tasks that can replace. 

Centralize Your Communications in a Single System of Record Like Cargologik

Communication is always crucial in running a business. WIth international ocean freight forwarding companies, there can be multiple streams of incoming and outgoing lines of communication. Centralizing them through one location will enhance the productivity of your workflow. Using a Single System of Record like Cargologik integrations allows you to integrate all of these lines and put them into one location. All data, communication, and information go in and out of one place. 

Tap the Potential of Cargologik to Build a Better Business as an Ocean Freight Forwarder

Supply and demand and unstable markets are forcing ocean freight forwarders to confront new obstacles in the business. Digitizing and centralizing information and communications will boost efficiency, understanding, and container throughput. Digitization creates better access, more thorough insights, real-time response and communication, and real-time data.Don’t be intimidated by ocean freight forwarding’s intricacies; instead, tap into your potential and sign up with Cargologik to build a better business today!

Best Practices to Maximizing Container Freight Station (CFS) Efficiency

Since the onset of COVID, the state of the supply chain has fluctuated like never before, causing unforeseen delays and shortages. These delays and shortages have created a demand for automation and technology to provide an up-to-date, real-time, efficient way to manage cargo at CFS Stations. 

The use of CFS Stations is highly dependent on the flow of imports and exports. According to The United Status Census Bureau, International Trade Data report, in 2022, “February exports of goods and services ($228.6 billion) were the highest on record. February exports of industrial supplies and materials ($59.9 billion) were the highest on record. February imports of consumer goods ($73.1 billion) were the highest on record.”

Freight forwarders need to understand the ins and outs of container freight stations and how technology can empower better operations in their business. There has never been a better time to implement this integrated technology.

What Are Container Freight Stations (CFS)?

A container freight station (CFS) is a warehouse facility where cargo is consolidated and unconsolidated before importing and exporting. Consolidation is combining shipments, such as consolidating an LCL (less than container load) into one FCL (full container load). Deconsolidation is the opposite process. You can typically find A CFS station near significant ports, distribution cities, and major railway hub cities.  

CFS stations help maintain a smooth process for freight forwarders and shippers. The CFS stations keep track of names, origin locations, destination locations, and details for each cargo load. 

Why Problems With the CFS Station Lessen Throughput

There are many moving parts involved in consolidating cargo. When any of these challenges of freight handling arise at the CFS Station, it creates a trickle-down effect. It delays response to customers and can diminish sales, which is naturally a top priority for freight forwarding companies. CFS Stations provide congestion relief at docks. Therefore, when problems occur within the station, it can cause congestion at loading and unloading docks. These delays lead to a less efficient transfer of cargo.

Best Practices to Improving CFS Station Use as a Forwarder

Improving the use of a CFS Station and maintaining an efficient back office will change the flow and speed of your freight forwarding business. Several internal and external factors play into the efficiency of your operation, but using these best practices can help overcome the issues. 

  • Know the weather conditions for each station – Safety and operational conditions will be affected when there is inclement weather at the container freight station. The tide at port landings should remain under continuous monitoring  to ensure ships can dock.
  • Consider the overall volume of imports/exports per port – Each port can handle an assigned overall volume. Knowing the volume of imports and exports at each port allows for more predictability and stability in deliverability and departure.
  • Gain clear visibility into container ETAs – Knowing the arrival and departure times of containers prevents overcrowding and congestion at docking stations. 
  • Remember the role of labor resources in consolidating or deconsolidating containers – Be knowledgeable of what resources it takes to consolidate and deconsolidate. A reliable consolidator with experience will ensure shipments arrive  in a cost-effective and timely fashion.
  • Enable automated notifications to ensure drivers arrive on time Automated management keeps you informed of cargo arrivals and departures in real-time.
  • Share real-time status updates with your customers – An efficient back office ensures that you can share real-time updates with your customers. This technology collects data and allows for the automation of real-time information.
  • Avoid unplanned delays with pre-customs clearance – Pre-customs clearance reduces time and money. Avoid unnecessary delays by remaining proactive. Missing paperwork and documentation can cause your cargo to get caught up in customs which will inevitably delay the shipment of goods. 
  • Digitize all documents to reduce risk – Using digital freight platform technology creates less room for human error. Digitalizing documents allows you to use an app instead of carrying receipts, orders, and other business documents. It builds complete visibility for you and your customers, allowing for an efficient, smooth-flowing process. 

Improve Efficiency While Your Freight Is at the CFS Station WIth Cargologik in Your Corner

Know how to improve the use of a CFS Station, and use it to your fullest advantage. The best practices are integral to maximizing the ROI of your tech stack. Improve the efficiency of your freight forwarding goods by implementing integrated technology to provide real-time updates and data management for you and your customers. Get your business smooth-sailing today and sign up with Cargologik.

Digital Freight Forwarding Companies: How Technology Helps Freight Forwarders Manage the Storm of Logistics

Just as geographical storms can be seen from miles away, a careful eye can see when a logistics storm is brewing. Today, many digital freight forwarding companies are trying to recover from past storms and float through current turbulence while maintaining resilience for future storms. These are individually difficult and, together, simply a massive undertaking. Managing freight forwarding through disruption has been made simpler with the help of modern logistics technology. Thus, digital freight forwarding companies are turning toward tech in droves to accommodate the disturbances in the logistical atmosphere. 

Why Freight Forwarding Is Growing More Complex

“A storm is coming” can mean something completely different depending upon when and where it is declared. To the same degree, various aspects of today’s logistical storm impact digital freight forwarding companies in multiple ways based on their location and specializations in the supply chain. The role of visibility in forwarding efficiency has changed the playing field for those who were early to introduce IoT hardware versus those who are still confused about how the technology functions. The expansion of e-commerce has grown past expected proportions with the coronavirus’s reign, and it appears that two-day delivery expectations will continue to reign past COVID’s demise. 

Although the market’s stability had gained its footing after the height of the pandemic, many are concerned over its steadiness amidst the current Russia-Ukraine war. According to Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, “Since Russia moved forward into Ukraine, there have been myriad impacts on logistics and supply chain operations, in the form: of rapidly increasing oil and gas prices, shippers and carriers implementing contingency plans; a ceasing of port operations in Ukraine, which the Wall Street Journal said could disrupt vital shipping routes that carry much of the world’s wheat and other agricultural products; and several global logistics and freight transportation services providers halting service into and out of both Russia and Ukraine.” How can digital freight forwarding companies prepare for expected disruptions such as this? The short answer is they need to start using more technology.

How Technology Enables Digital Freight Forwarding Companies

Despite the seen and unseen disruptions, 2022 freight forwarding tech is rising to meet the challenge to make forwarding easier than ever before. With a wealth of technology accessible virtually anywhere by smartphone, forwarders can grow their business, whether starting with one shipper contact or hiring additional employees to accommodate a healthy workload. 

Since digital freight forwarding companies are leveraging their relationships between carriers and shippers to make moving freight faster and simpler for their customers, forwarders need to be efficient and effective communicators. With most of today’s communication taking place via technology, logistic tech solutions are incredible assets to track and sort each phone call and message appropriately.

Additional Opportunities for Forwarder Growth Through Technology

Digital freight forwarding companies are privileged to incorporate nearly limitless technology options into their business growth strategies. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Less Back-Office Management Hassle – Administrative duties, such as document management, can be expedited when digitized, providing easy access to critical data at all times and locations. 
  • Better Understanding of Business Health – With analytical technology, forwarders can be equipped to make more productive choices at any point in the year instead of only making changes at an annual audit.
  • Integrated Systems – Instead of operating out of separate systems, forwarders can streamline their workflow with integrations that provide every team member and customer with the data they need.
  • Better Customer Experience – Digital freight forwarding companies can utilize automated technology to offer visibility for maximized customer experience and satisfaction to promote the likelihood of continued partnerships.

These core technology opportunities feed into the options for forwarders to do profitable business globally. Better network mapping and predictive analytics give forwarders better decision-making power for air and ocean route adjustments during global fluctuating factors such as dwell times. Logistics Management reported on these fluctuating factors sharing that “as of March 2, export dwell times for all European ports have increased by 25% since February 17,” which may change radically as global uncertainty continues. Thus, forwarders will need to increase their use of technology to create better, faster, and more efficient processes for their network partners and customers alike. 

Embrace Automation With Cargologik–A Platform Built for Digital Freight Forwarding Companies

Technology is the friend of any trying to do business globally, especially in the storm of war. Automative tools give digital freight forwarders take back the time used on redundant tasks to build their company better, providing paths for materials to get to their final destination. To learn how a transportation logistics partner can increase business workflow and profitability, sign up with Cargologik today

How to Grow Your Freight Forwarding Business Through Tech

Freight forwarding business owners of all sizes and all specializations are faced with unprecedented levels of pressure as domestic and international companies continue to adjust to current market volatility. Even as recovery continues, a sense of the ‘new normal’ continues to settle over the entire supply chain network as freight forwarders work to improve services and maximize profits. GlobalNewsWire reported that “according to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global digital freight forwarding market generated $2.92 billion in 2020, and is anticipated to reach $22.92 billion in 2030, manifesting a CAGR of 23.1%.” With this level of focus and pressure, it is no surprise that freight forwarding companies and transportation service providers are focused on how to improve their business with innovative transportation technologies for freight forwarding.

1. Track Cargo Within a Single System of Record

As a freight forwarder, anything that can help move cargo less stressful and more straightforward is good. Advanced freight tracking tools and innovative supply chain technology solution gives forwards access to fully automated and digitally integrated platforms. Freight forwarding businesses of all types can benefit from a single system or recoding and monitoring all cargo that goes in and out of their network as it allows for easier management and better control over shipment specifics.

2. Share Timelines With Clients and Network Partners to Improve Experiences

Collaboration is often the answer in highly competitive markets that helps forwarders better network and manage their loads while remaining profitable.  Sharing timelines and collaborative opportunities gives shippers access to data and historical statistics regarding niche shipping markets and the supply chain as a whole. All of this can be done without extensive data analysis and wasted person-hours as the collaborative nature of freight forwarding business partnerships streamline automated management actions

3. Manage by Exception 

Supply chain technology and innovative tools such as chatbots,  automatic updates, ML processes, and collaborative platforms make life easier. Supply chain managers can promote more visibility and intervene only when necessary to minimize disruptions. Freight forwarding businesses can easily manage delivery exceptions and keep shipping clients and customers in the loop with a manage y exception approach that frees up drivers and team memes to focus on the most critical tasks at any given moment. 

4. Streamline Data Entry With Bulk Uploads

Optimization is critical for freight forwards today. Good digital platforms make it easier for all parties to focus on essential tasks and streamline mundane processes such as bulk uploads. Adequate onboarding and utilization of supply chain technology offer a win-win solution for forwarders and their clients. All vital information and data can easily be stored, organized, accessed, and applied quickly and easily, thus improving freight forwarding business processes.

5. Automate Quoting and Scheduling Processes

Freight forwarding business logistics often arise as a problem area for many shipments, especially when it comes to quitting and scheduling processes. A lot of wasted time in freight handling comes from sifting through bids and job listings and adjusting schedulings and load routes. Supply chain technology allows for faster and easier communications and managerial work. It is more accessible to connect across time zones coordinate busy schedules to ensure all involved parties work with current data.

6. Enable Searchable Communications

One management area that many in the freight forwarding business have to contend with is wasted time looking for information, reports, data, and other resources. The ability to search communications for critical data and knowledge makes it easier to locate source material and data points whenever and wherever needed. Cloud-based storage and recording platforms allow team members, management, and customers to search and find data and information with on-demand access to freight forwarding tech. 

7. Enable Digital Document Management

Keeping customers updated and third-party members informed at all times is one thing freight forwarding business managers cannot skimp on for the sake of saving a few bucks. Digital document management makes it easy to share files and papers across multiple teams and networks. Drivers can access and share customs and BOL papers, carriers and forwards can exchange invoices and documents, and customers can quickly sign and record delivery receipts for a more streamlined process overall.

Choose Cargologik to Grow Your Freight Forwarding Business With a World-Class Tech Stack

Supply and demand trends constantly change from economic instability, supply chain disruptions, and shifting consumer demands and throw the transportation and shipping industry into disarray. Freight forwarding business management teams can benefit from taking their business processes to the next level with innovative techy stacks filled with the latest in supply chain tools and software. Contact Cargologik today to sign up and learn more about how you can boost your freight forwarding services and keep profits high and expenses low.

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 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.

The Challenges of Freight Handling & Forwarding With Limited Automation

Disruption has become the name of the game in freight throughout recent history. The pandemic fueled an unprecedented surge in e-commerce. That demand is pushing the limits of traditional and digital freight forwarders, leading to delays and issues in freight handling and within the downstream supply chain. As reported by Insider Intelligence, business-to-business e-commerce sales will reach $1.77 trillion in 2022. Unfortunately, even those who invested in new technology five or ten years ago also find themselves at a crossroads. The need to do more with less with the ever-present risk of disruption and finding ways to manage freight forwarding through trouble are crucial to success. But first, forwarders need to understand the top challenges of managing freight with limited automation and how that culminates into problems through the whole supply chain. 

What Does a Freight Forwarder Do to Enable Automation?

The simple answer is that freight handling and forwarding need a strategy to make tracking simple and accessible. That’s where a digital, automated freight platform can reduce operating expenses and help forwarders understand their needs. Such capabilities are on full display with advanced freight tracking solutions that integrate with major carrier tracking information.

One of the most unique and well-recognized forms of tracking information in the freight handling and forwarding world is DHL and Amazon timelines. Furthermore, enabling automation within freight handling and forwarding is essential to gaining improved real-time visibility. Of course, the need for more is the commonality in today’s freight world, and it is impractical for freight forwarders to attempt to handle every interaction manually.

1. Forwarders Will See Customer Response Times Dwindle

Improving sales should be a top priority for any freight forwarder.  And the very nature of international freight handling and forwarding means calls may come in at any minute. Freight forwarders need to capitalize on all calls, emails, and quote requests to secure more clients and grow their clientele. 

2. It’s Difficult to Visualize and Pre-Empt Rolled Cargo

Visibility is crucial to freight forwarding efficiency. Without visibility, freight forwarders will have a complex time understanding when cargo may roll and when such rolled cargo will contribute to eventually missed delivery deadlines. Remember that delays in ocean shipping inevitably translate into over-the-road delays within transportation. At the same time, the risk of uncertainty regarding additional COVID-19 variants and potential labor shortages mean rolled cargo is almost inevitable in 2022.

However, automation can help freight handlers and forwarders visualize these potential risks and pre-and risk of rolled cargo. In some cases, such information can help forwarders switch cargo from ocean to air or pick a different fulfillment model that could leverage existing inventory without sacrificing the customer experience.

3. Forwarders Will Need to Log Into Multiple Systems

Unifying data streams and eliminating the hassle of logging into multiple systems is another benefit of automation within the freight forwarders tech stack. Instead of logging into various systems, freight forwarders can finally visualize and understand the entire shipment lifecycle to stay informed. This information allows forwarders to better plan downstream transportation movements and avoids delays. Of course, part of this includes recognizing risks in real-time and using automated alerts to help the back office team manage by exception.

4. Uploading B/L Information Takes Time and Adds to Back-Office Costs

The most valuable and easy-to-see benefits of more automation within freight handling and forwarding in international logistics surround reductions in back-office costs. After all, when team members can work more efficiently, operating costs tend to decline. This is a universal business truth. In freight forwarding, automation can be used to enable bulk uploads of B/L information, customs documentation, or other forms of paperwork. It’s all about creating a single repository for all documents and giving freight management parties access to the same digital document management capabilities to streamline transportation. 

5. Tracking Bookings and Performance Will Grow Even Harder

Lastly, freight forwarders who leverage automation can track all bookings and continuously monitor performance within their networks. This is truly the last step to enabling management by exception and allowing freight forwarders to scale their operations and a continually growing industry.

Boost Freight Handling and Forwarding With Automation Through Cargologik

Freight management parties face a problem in 2022; they need to find radical ways to do much more with much less. Automation and e-commerce must become synonymous with modern freight forwarding. The only real way forward in that need is to leverage a SaaS-based platform that enables it all. Sign up for Cargologik today to learn more about how your team can put the power of automation and a world-class e-commerce platform built for the nuances of freight handling and forwarding.

How to Improve Customer Experiences With a Freight Forwarding SaaS

Like any other business in just about any other market out there today communication and customer interactions are vital to supply chain growth and success. In the highly-competitive markets today, e-commerce freight forwarding is in higher demand than ever. As such, forwarders need to take vital steps to hear the concerns of their customers. Moreover, automated responses, real-time tracking, and a focus on freight forwarding SaaS can help to strengthen and streamline communications within the freight collaboration network. This, in turn, can help management better address issues and concerns as they arise while exceeding customer needs and expectations. All of this relies heavily on a well-integrated freight forwarder platform and system.

1. Recognize the Pitfalls of Traditional Freight Forwarding Systems

A fully integrated and streamlined freight forwarder platform can help forwarders overcome many of the common pitfalls that have plagued the industry. Problems such as communication delays, human error, ongoing productivity issues, slow disruption response, inaccurate planning, and poor customer service can all be addressed and remedied with an innovative forwarding platform and service approach. Modern approaches to freight forward remove many of these pitfalls and can strengthen e-commerce platforms.

2. Benchmark Current Customer Experiences and Needs

E-commerce freight forwarding is all about meeting customers where they are and supplying them with the services and experience that they demand. As highlighted by FreightWaves, “Freight forwarders that do not adapt will lose market share and become obsolete, while those that innovate and employ technology will emerge as share takers and winners in the next decade.” Meeting and exceeding customer expectations and demands is a critical part of freight forwarding services and must remain a primary focus for management.

3. Use Data to Set Goals and Pursue Them

Another benefit to be gained from an innovative freight forwarder platform is the ability to scale and adapt as needed. Setting goals and working towards them becomes easier when team members have access to real-time data and information. Setting goals and adjusting focus as needed to take into account current market trends and customer demands is much easier with reliable data on hand. Scaling and adjusting is the name of the game for forwarders in today’s highly competitive freight forwarding business market.

4. Integrate Your Forwarding Tech Stack

A shift in focus towards freight forwarding SaaS can help forwarders extend their reach and attract more customers. The ability to integrate modern technology, including innovative tools, collaborative platforms, and cloud-based dashboards, can only improve overall productivity and growth within any supply chain network. Embracing modern technology and integrating freight shipping tech stacks that are designed to work across the network will go a long way in improving customer service and experiences.  

5. Automate Shipping Notifications and Exception Management

In the supply chain today, automation has become the dominating feature that separates the modern-day players from the old-timers. Automatic updates, push notifications, on-demand tracking, and real-time communications all work to improve customer experiences. Exception management and response are a big part of e-commerce freight forwarding in the volatile and competitive landscape of digital freight. Keeping customers up to date about order status and progress is vital for maintaining customer loyalty.

Realize the Benefits of a Freight Forwarding SaaS With Cargologik

Proper use and integration of a digitally-backed freight forwarder platform can help freight forwarders be more efficient and productive. End-to-end services benefit from innovative data and enhanced communications. With continued focusing being placed on e-commerce freight forwarding services, the need to embrace SaaS and improve customer experiences has never been greater. Contact Cargologik today to sign up and learn how to take customer service to the next level.