Freight Forwarding

5 Freight Forwarding Tips to Help Small to Medium Forwarders Survive 2020

Unfortunately, small and medium freight forwarders face a greater risk of demise in 2020. The demands for more volume, faster service, and lower costs continue to push forwarders to their limits. Freight forwarders run the risk of failure, and without the right practices in place, contribute to a higher cut-and-run rate among your shippers. 

Ineffective freight forwarders often lose track of shipments, allow roll-over of cargoes because their volumes moved with the shipping line are too low. This generally means that the negotiated freight rates are not in line with the actual market conditions. If a shipper sees these or similar mistakes from a forwarder, they are indications that it is time to switch to a new forwarder.

In this blog, Cargologik, a provider of freight forwarding management software, gives 5 tips for freight forwarders to thrive in 2020. 

1. Digitize Invoicing and Accounting Practices

The first step to success in the digital age is simple. Freight forwarders need to digitize their invoicing and accounting practices. Digitalization of freight quoting is the first step, and next, forwarders should look towards digitization of all operations and processes, especially invoicing. This can reduce the time it takes to capture payments from shippers, improve documentation compliance, and much more.

2. Give Shippers the Power of Choice

The best freight forwarding tips take advantage of the obvious and attempt to create a perception that the shippers are always in control. The irony is that with digital systems, such as APIs, freight forwarders can shift control over the process toward their customer and often more so on the shippers’ terms. Through integration, freight forwarders could reach new business-to-business clients around the globe, and they can even lessen the workload at the same time.

3. Track Accessorial Charges for Clients, Providing More Service Without Higher Costs

Another essential freight forwarding tip for success includes tracking of accessorial charges assessed by carriers, port authorities, logistics service providers, and other entities involved in transporting freight. It is easy to assume carriers will be honest and provide accurate quotes regarding shipment arrival, departure, and on-time arrivals, but guarantees may not necessarily hold up/ We all know that adverse events outside of our control, such as the weather, can impact the supply chain. The risk of added charges is not going away, and as explained by Shipping and Freight Resource

“Carriers often perform other services than just driving. They may have to load or unload the cargo, wrap some pallets, or make additional stops.

Such services are often not included in your cost estimate. Consequently, customers sometimes end up being surprised when they receive their invoices. For this reason, make sure you ask the company about all the extra fees you can expect.

Some of the most common unforeseen fees come from not understanding and not applying accessorial fees.”

By recognizing these charges and tracking them for shippers, freight forwarders can provide a vital service and further build rapport with shippers. 

4. Consider Loyalty Points and Discounts When Quoting With and Hiring Carriers 

Freight forwarding tips also include taking advantage of limited-access trade networks and discount programs when quoting freight and hiring carriers. Such programs are critical to keeping freight spend under control for shippers and staying competitive, especially in a tight capacity market. 

Take some time to get to know your shipping carrier and work on building a relationship. Remind your carrier how long you have been using their services and that you are a loyal customer. Once your carrier knows they have and can rely on more steady business, they are likely to offer better conditions.

Hence, rather than switching to a new carrier, develop a good relationship with your current one. You will be surprised how much you can save through a strategic, long-term relationship. All reliable companies will do their best to keep regular customers.

5. Consolidate Loads to Lower Shipping Costs and Improve Space Utilization

Finally, freight forwarders could apply their neutral position to consolidation loads and improve space utilization. Depending on the carrier, such additional measures may result in significant discounts. Moreover, carriers could use consolidation to build shipments of any size, and freight forwarders that embrace consolidation/deconsolidation can drive revenue at the same time maintain flexibility.

Apply These Freight Forwarding Tips, and Deploy Your Digital Freight Forwarding Processes

As the freight forwarding industry evolves to include more technology and faster processes, freight forwarders need a few tips to survive. 

Follow these simple freight forwarding tips, and invest in a digital freight forwarding solution now. Join our private beta queue to get early access to the Cargologik’s innovative freight forwarding management platform today to improve your freight forwarding processes and make it easier to implement the aforementioned tips to gain market share and increase revenue.

The State of the Freight Forwarding Industry

Any blog or online resource referencing logistics is incomplete without a strong emphasis on the need to understand the state of the industry today and what’s in the pipeline for the future. The same applies to freight forwarders and software vendors alike. The freight forwarding industry is also evolving rapidly, complicating things further. 

According to MarketWatch:

“Over the next five years the Ocean Freight Forwarding market will register a 7.2% CAGR in terms of revenue, the global market size will reach US$ 141300 million by 2024, from US$ 99800 million in 2019.”

The industry saw a less than 2% contraction in global freight forwarding by volume in 2019. However, those figures were tabulated before the peak shopping season, and updated statistics are not yet available. Regardless, let’s take a closer look at the state of the freight forwarding industry, including its stage of digital transformation, and what freight forwarders ought to know about it.

What’s Wrong With the State of the Freight Forwarding Industry?

The freight forwarding industry is rapidly changing in the wake of new technologies, explains Dan Gardner of JOC.com. Unfortunately, not all experts and leaders agree on how digitalization will affect the industry:

“Amidst supply chain technologies that include predictive analytics, drone deliveries, and warehouse robotics, it is the digital freight forwarder that has stimulated the lion’s share of debate between industry pundits. Whereas few people dispute the myriad applications for drones or robots, opinions on digital forwarders range from industry disruptor to tempest in a teacup.”

The nature of freight forwarders—not being cargo owners or operators of transportation means—leads to a perception that they cannot force any real change in the industry, says Crowley.com

While this may be true in some folks’ eyes, freight forwarders can tap new value for clients by securing better rates, working with more carriers, and even moving freight faster than individual shippers would have otherwise been able to. Failure to recognize the value of freight forwarders—particularly those working to embrace digitalization as the new standard—will lead to higher transport costs for individual shippers. Concurrently, investment in digital transformation appears on track to set new records with no signs of it stopping soon 

Freight Forwarding Continues to Undergo Digital Transformation

Freight forwarders can maintain profitability with traditional approaches to quoting, but business-to-business customers, including shippers, want faster, more affordable quotes. In the simplest terms, shippers want instant quoting that can integrate with their existing e-commerce platforms and fully automate the entire shipping process from the moment, and end-user clicks “checkout.” 

The requirement for faster, easy to integrate, and online solutions is partially responsible for the slight contractions within the freight forwarding industry in 2019. As explained by Research and Markets, the global freight forwarding market demonstrated a contraction of 1.4%. But such contraction does not necessarily indicate a shift away from freight forwarding. Instead, it alludes to the reluctance to embrace new technologies and capabilities. Forward-thinking freight forwarders will have the opportunity to scale operations and beat out their competitors with technology and ongoing digital transformation.

How to Leverage the State of the Industry to Achieve Growth as a Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders can apply the lessons learned from 2019 and expectations for the coming year to expand profit margins significantly. A few best practices to leveraging this information and achieving growth include:

  • Know the state of the freight forwarding software market. Since freight forwarding as a digital service is a new concept, the number of freight forwarding management platform software vendors, like Cargologik, is relatively short and easy to review.
  • Emphasize your “digital investment” within marketing efforts” to attract more talent. Digital freight forwarders have a better record of attracting new, fresh talent than third-party logistics providers (3PL).
  • Go Digital. Use digital systems to secure more carrier contracts and guarantee more bookings. Response time remains critical within the quoting and booking process.
  • Leverage data. Data is the new oil. Use data gathered throughout digital operations and management resources to prove your operation continuously. If you don’t have “the data,” start introducing ways and tools for your team to start collecting it.

Learn How the Industry Will Affect Your Business & Get Proactive with Solutions

As freight forwarding continues to shift away from traditional, manual approaches to quoting, freight forwarders need to understand how the changing industry will affect their operations and what they can do about it.

Consider joining our private beta queue at Cargologik to test-drive our innovative platform for free. Our system empowers freight forwarders to take the digital leap, start collecting data, and improve customer loyalty.

Digital Freight Communications Management: Tips for Success

Digital freight communications management refers to the processes and channels in place to reduce the time spent managing the freight process when contacting shippers, carriers, or other logistics service providers and partners. 

Email is sufficient for communications for certain business functions, but email communications to manage freight gets tiresome when you get to the 27th email in one thread. It also doesn’t help to open your inbox and see 100+ new unread emails every day to catch up on.  Sadly, this dominating medium is an immense time and overhead killer. Even with push notifications on, email is still largely a manual process, and regularly results in lost time for freight forwarders and a clunky, poor customer experience for the shipper they work with. Dealing with emails is often a losing proposition in most businesses.

Compounding this communication challenge for the forwarder are other communication channels. There are endless phone calls, messages on platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage/SMS, Slack, Messenger, and in some cases,  even fax (yes people still fax!).  

In 2020, these disjointed communications have become the norm in the management of freight to finalize a shipment from dock to dock.  Maintaining the status quo is no longer sustainable for the independent forwarder and better options need to be sought. Freight forwarders need to understand why before taking necessary steps to improve their operations and business overall.

What Freight Forwarders Get Wrong About Freight Communications

Freight forwarders have endured many changes in the global supply chain. E-commerce, omnichannel supply chains, the blending of channels, the blending of guest experiences, and other factors all push freight forwarders to move freight faster, manage bookings, and fulfill their duties more cost-effectively. These demands emphasize the need for a strong digital freight communications management strategy – which is far too uncommon.

But still, forwarders often fall victim to the perception that traditional approaches to communication, such as email, phone calls, or fax are the only way to handle the complexity of freight forwarding. As explained by Supply Chain Dive:

“The freight forwarding industry has long been aware of potential disruption…however it’s a more complex industry than travel agencies, a commonly cited example of a field that successfully transitioned to digitization.

A consumer can book a flight from New York to Paris, but the only vendor involved is the airline. With freight forwarding, a company books a shipment from New York to Paris, but there are more parties involved, like a truck picking up the goods, ship or plane transport, customs declarations or duties, and delivery to the destination. “The whole process can be extremely complicated,” Ting said. With multiple vendors, it’s more difficult to automate the process in one software solution, plus each country has its own regulations.”

Digital Freight Communications Offer Big Benefits

Digital freight communications management is the new standard for freight forwarding efficiency and success and often are one of the key areas where changes can have an immediate impact. However, it is important to note digital freight communications management is not a simple email process-based task. Instead, true digital freight communications management and strategy means using digital technology to automate as much of the communications process as possible. As reported by BCG.com:

“Automating manual processes, [including communications] now could reduce certain back-office and operations costs by up to 40% while digitizing significant parts of the sales process could reduce related direct costs even more. And as the new business models gain traction over the long term, digital capabilities will open up tremendous opportunities to win in the marketplace.”

Key benefits of digital freight communications include:

  • Improved customer service. 
  • Less time handling manual requests.
  • Quoting all carriers and modes to secure better rates. 
  • Automated invoicing to reduce administrative costs. 
  • Increased accuracy and response time of quoting/booking.

Tips for Successful Digital Freight Communications

For freight forwarders that wish to improve digital freight communications, they should follow these tips for success:

  1. Require all staff to use digital communications tools, especially the use of an integrated freight communications platform as part of a freight forwarding management software platform, like Cargologik. 
  2. Integrate your freight forwarding management platform with carrier platforms. 
  3. Use APIs to automate quoting processes. 
  4. Advise clients to request freight forwarding quotes through your digital platform. 
  5. Manage by exception, contacting clients directly within the platform. When communications features, such as a “delivery update comment” on a specific shipment, is provided in your freight forwarding platform, it allows you to communicate around the shipment on which the exception occurred and better automate the typical back and forth communication and channels required to convey the critical information. This reduces the need and time to hunt down the other part, match a shipment reference number, or commit a costly error on which specific shipment the exception occurred. 
  6. Automate the booking process after rating, putting clients in control. 
  7. Stay forward-thinking, including considering the use of advanced technologies. When forwarders are using a digital freight forwarding platform to manage their customers and associated shipments, especially SaaS-based platforms, advanced technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, OCR, and the like are easier to embed as they arise in the future.

Empower Your Team With Digital Collaboration and Communication Resources

Digital freight communications resources and a robust strategy empower freight forwarders with data-driven interactions, promote engagement between forwarder and clients, and can integrate with other supply chain systems. The result is the same – freight forwarders realize the benefits of centralized supply chain execution and management, as well as direct and indirect cost savings. Visit CargoLogik online to join the private beta queue of innovative freight forwarding software now.

The Future of Freight Forwarding centers on Customer Experience

Freight forwarding is a complex and high-stakes industry. Missteps in the documentation, waiting for a second too long to book a shipment, juggling countless communication channels with partners and carriers, and the current global trade environment make it difficult for forwarders to keep up and stay competitive – especially when operating with much of the traditional manual and analog approaches to the business. 

However, the future of freight forwarding is bright. It largely focuses on the forwarder advocating for and constantly improving how their shippers and partners interact with their organization. More specifically, embodying this approach by transitioning from a traditional, analog approach to a more digital one. Maintaining success in the future of freight forwarding depends on retaining this mindset, organizational culture, and building positive customer experiences. These experiences often include modern digital tools and solutions that improve end-user experiences and reduce costs through more  effective collaboration with carriers, shippers, and partners

What Are the Challenges of Freight Forwarding Today?

For the independent, small and mid-sized freight forwarders, preparing for the future begins with recognizing the challenges in the industry today. Such challenges include:

  • Handling the globalization of the supply chain. Strong growth in e-commerce and the proliferation of the internet continue to push the logistics boundaries of what’s possible – allowing for all supply chain members to better conduct day-to-day business. The Amazon Effect has created a new consumer paradigm that compels all businesses to ship faster while also trying to lower total costs to stay competitive.
  • The lack of available, easy-to-use-and-implement freight technology for independent forwarders tallows them to differentiate against peers and compete against bigger competitors.
  • An inability to quickly provide quotes and book shipments on behalf of their shipper customers.
  • Disjointed, and lengthy back and forth conversations and key document storing. Response time is more important than ever as m
  • Limited ability and significant enough volume to enforce contract terms with carriers.
  • Reluctance to embrace digital systems and collaborate with others within the industry. This includes the use of APIs where massive gains can be realized if only parties worked better together Instead, the “this is how we always do it,” mentality continues to dominate the logistics and shipping industry and its players.
  • The overall rising complexity of the freight forwarding and global logistics industry as shippers demand and expect more from their partners.

Complexity alone is not the only issue facing logistics today, reports Forbes:

Adding to the intense complexity, there are countless nonstandard documents in circulation worldwide, not to mention customs requirements vary from country to country and product to product. The result is an antiquated customer experience for businesses moving goods across the globe. With legacy freight forwarding processes, customers have had limited visibility and insight into the status of their critical and time-sensitive shipments as they travel from origin to destination. Additionally, freight transit times are unpredictable, and costs can easily spiral out of control. All of this causes frustration and sometimes even fiscal damage to their businesses.”

The Future of Freight Forwarding Enables Positive Customer Experiences

Take a moment to think about the cornerstone of any successful business today: the customer experience.  How often do you go back to a provider of a good or service who has not fulfilled your expectations?

Positive customer experience enables and promotes business continuity, but just one negative customer experience can render a thousand positive experiences meaningless. As Warren Buffet states, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

When it comes to the clients of freight forwarders, they are generally quite savvy in understanding the need for digital transformation. They’re often providing a relevant product or service that’s in demand and embracing their modern, consumer mindset in moving those goods.  As shippers look to digitize their own business, they can quickly discern which freight forwarders that have not embraced digital solutions and kept up with the times. They want to do business with the companies that can similarly offer an unparalleled experience thanks to the benefits of enhanced service and collaboration with the use of technology.

If the forwarder does not show a similar commitment to their own customers like SaaS-based freight forwarding platforms, shippers preclude them from vendor selection and repeat, long-term business. Thus, forwarders who do not embrace digital tools to enhance the customer experiences and outcomes of their shipper customers will fail to compete. These forwarders behind the curve will continue to bleed revenue profit and will find it increasingly difficult to keep the lights on Eventually, the future of freight forwarding is one in which modern technology reduces the complexity of processes,  enhances compliance, and streamlines operations. It is incumbent upon the independent freight forwarder to embrace their shippers’ customer experience – the customer experience. 

According to a Research  & Markets survey of global freight forwarders, it’s not the quest of cost reduction, but rather a focus on innovation, i.e. the focus on digitization, that led to cost reductions and better customer experiences for their shipper customers:

“The drive to enhance customer experience is also leading innovation. The 2018 survey saw ‘reduction in costs’ equal with ‘customer experience’ in driving innovation, but this year the latter gained 30% of the vote, while cost reduction was key for 29% of companies. Interestingly, it was laggards, or poorly performing companies, that focused on cost reduction. Some 20% of companies, meanwhile, said they innovated to ensure a competitive advantage.”

How to Put the Customer at the Heart of Your Freight Forwarding Processes

The best path forward for forwarders looking to compete and improve customer experiences is creating consumer-centric freight forwarding processes with a focus on using innovative digital tools. After all, freight forwarders have a vested interest in building the best, long-term business-to-business relationships possible. 

To make things easier, freight forwarders should follow these freight forwarding best practices and tips to secure a stable future and center the focus on customer experience:

  1. Hold carriers accountable with data. It is difficult and cumbersome to manually capture and analyze data. Digital platforms for freight forwarders that help manage their business will allow for easier data analysis around carrier compliance. This key data improves relationships with carriers that are fact-based instead of anecdote or gut feelings.
  2. Rate with all carriers, not just the preferred list. When you are able to effectively rate the carrier universe as a forwarder, you’re presenting the best available options for shipper customers. Customers in all procurement situations want visibility into rates to make the best decisions for each shipment. The goal is to yield a positive experience as the shipper is armed with more confidence that eir shipments will arrive on time, damage-free, and at a price that fits the budget. Relatedly, keep in mind that if strong digital customer experience is in place, some shippers may be more willing to pay a premium for the forwarder’s services.
  3. Rethink the priorities of your customer, not the business. Utilizing digital platforms puts the customer at the heart of everything the forwarder does. From documents to freight communications, everything around the freight forwarding process is improved. The better one can advocate for their customer’s business, the higher the likelihood that the customer will be more loyal.
  4. Automate freight forwarding processes. Have you tried automating processes in freight without the use of some sort of freight technology? It’s nearly impossible. Automating processes not only saves time, but it also reduces errors, overhead, and allows the forwarder to put the focus on the strategies that drive enhanced customer experiences.
  5. Put out the fires before they start. When a freight forwarder is proactive, the customer feels like they have the best advocate and a true partner. The added benefit of utilizing digital tools for freight forwarding is that the technology is intuitive, exposing the key trends and analytics critical to your business, i.e. better awareness outcomes or providing real-time alerts of shipment status while the shipment is in transit. A proactive forwarder is one that proves that they are looking out for their client.
  6. Make quoting easy-peasy. With the use of APIs to get instant quotes from available carriers, quoting is a less lengthy, manual process and a more enjoyable, simple activity. Nobody has time to wait for hours for a quote. Shippers need to give their customers accurate total pricing, including freight charges and when a forwarder can aid a shipper in accomplishing those goals, the shipper’s experience is enhanced.

Build Your Customer-Centric Strategy to Win the Future of Freight Forwarding 

Consumer-centric strategies are critical to modern business, and freight forwarders must evolve their existing operations to streamline operations and optimize workflows. Fortunately, new startups, such as CargoLogik, are working to develop digital tools via their platform helps deliver and restore competitive advantages and help more freight forwarders thrive in the digital age. Begin building your customer-centric freight forwarding processes by partnering with CargoLogik and utilizing our freight forwarding management software platform. Join the private beta queue by visiting CargoLogik online today.

The Top 10 Freight Forwarding Best Practices for Small/Mid-Sized Freight Forwarders

Finding the easiest way to save money is not always as simple for the small or mid-sized freight forwarder. Shippers often select their forwarders based on brand power and market penetration. The practice is common in business, and no different in freight, for managers, in this case, a logistics manager, to pick a partner that is well known and seems to have the necessary resources to serve the needs of the shipper. Despite smaller freight forwarders lacking the financial resources to directly compete with these brands in marketing and advertising, or the ability to state massive freight under management monetary values,  there are opportunities for smaller forwarders to offer the same service levels as the bigger forwarders without having to build their own software and systems that traditionally accompany the bigger brand names and their budgets. 

The forwarders that follow these small and mid-sized freight forwarding best practices will compete with bigger forwarders at the same level of service. This is accomplished by utilizing available SaaS platforms offered by companies, like CargoLogik, who focus on giving affordable tools specifically for freight forwarders. These tools help narrow the gap and generate new revenue. 

Here are 10 tips to help smaller forwarders improve that drive better customer service for their clients – and lower their operating costs at the same time.

1. Take Advantage of Self-Reporting Systems

Self-reporting systems eliminate the traditional, costly overhead tied to the hassle of manual reporting by helping the forwarding team to stay on the same page. Also, self-reporting systems give way to business intelligence tools, business alerts, and reducing delays with metrics to track performance. 

2. Integrate Your Freight Forwarding Systems With Major Carrier Portals

Integration between systems is another of the top freight forwarding best practices. Integration reduces the risk of lost data. In addition, integration via an API gives smaller freight forwarders an opportunity to quote a shipment across modes and eliminate the manual processes of quoting freight for clients. 

3. Leverage Web-Based Platforms to Offer Lower, Competitive Pricing 

Web-based platforms are inherently more affordable than on-site solutions and can also help forwarders shift more expenditures from CapEx to OpEx. Costs can be shared or funded by the shipper where the value to both parties exceeds the cost of the solution. SaaS platforms operate anywhere with a decent connection, a modern browser, and can give freight forwarders and their shippers the ability to better manage freight exceptions as they occur. 

4. Use APIs to Rate & Quote Shipments Customers Need to Move 

Fast and accurate rate quoting is paramount in freight forwarding. It is essential that small and mid-sized freight forwarders are able to quickly quote the shipments the shipper needs in a timely manner. As straightforward as getting a shipping quote sounds, at present, the quoting process is time-consuming and expensive with regard to traditional freight forwarding communication. 

Think about the time it takes to place countless call hours and go back and forth with endless email threads simply to get a quote for shipments. The forwarder may finally get the quote back to the customer and by the time the customer accepts, the rate may have changed. Imagine going to the grocery store with a budget in mind and you couldn’t easily see the prices of the items you want to buy and then by the time you are ready, those prices change. 

For forwarders, they have to manage this reality. For shippers, this is a sub-optimal experience in procuring space for their shipments that also wastes their resources. By eliminating more analog activities, and quoting shipments much faster by connecting a freight forwarding platform to carrier rates via API, freight forwarders can perform the same work in a fraction of the time. This provides the commercial team a structural competitive advantage to better compete.

5. Build Ongoing Relationships With Shippers and Carriers Through Data

Better rates amount to more shippers tendering freight via a forwarder. More volume from forwarders benefits carriers. As the cycle builds, independent freight forwarders achieve growth and better customer service levels. With more shipment data and the use of a platform to easily capture and, forwarders can conduct more data-driven contract negotiations with carriers. The forwarder is now a much better advocate for their shipper customers improving the long-term relationships with all involved. 

6. Tap the Value of Real-Time Information 

Getting real-time information, thanks to the use of the aforementioned APIs, is another opportunity for freight forwarders to collect and manage shipments for their customers. Instead of relying on manual status updates, utilizing a system powered by APIs, such as a freight forwarding management platform, can help provide real-time status at any stage of the shipping journey. This allows your customer to better manage their own customers.

7. Let Artificial Intelligence and Automation Handle Routine Work; Manage by Exception

Artificial intelligence and automation are hallmarks of effective supply chain management. Through software-as-a-service systems, small and mid-sized freight forwarders can finally compete and capitalize on their benefits. Modern software vendors already have the capability to deploy cloud-based systems and automation. Automated systems can handle routine work, such as quoting and scheduling freight for pickup, and those benefits translate into less “busy work for freight forwarders.” Thus, forwarders can focus on addressing more urgent matters, connecting with customers, increasing productivity, and saving money along the way. 

8. Use Analytics to Understand Improvement Opportunities  

Analytics provide an unbridled opportunity in the supply chain, and their use stands out as critical to all freight forwarding best practices.  Different types of analytics exist, including descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics. They help freight forwarders understand what happened, what will happen and what must happen to achieve the desired outcome. 

9. Consider the Influence of Risks for All Quotes

The growing globalization of the supply chain requires smaller freight forwarders to consider both local and global risks when making all decisions. 

According to Supply Chain 24/7,

“As companies conduct business in more countries, and as countries continuously change their regulatory and customs-clearance processes, delays occur during document compliance assessment and processing.

Leading companies are leveraging several strategies to respond to the complexity of global logistics management in an effort to reduce transportation costs and improve service levels while still focusing on the ‘buy anywhere, sell everywhere’ business model.”

10. Take Advantage of Software Vendor-Provided Training Resources to Maximize Return of Digital Freight Forwarding Investments

Taking advantage of additional training for software from vendors will help your team realize better use of the system and improve overall communications between the forwarder and their customers thanks to the integrated freight communications platform. Moreover, better training enhances ROI timelines. As employees use the system to boost understanding and productivity, profit margins increase. Therefore, the time to payback for investment decreases. 

Augment Your Freight Forwarding Processes With Better, Digital Systems Now 

The top freight forwarding best practices provide a boost of improvement for small and mid-sized freight forwarders. By following these practices, freight forwarders arrive at a single path forward; they must invest in a digital freight forwarding system. CargoLogik can make it happen. 

Visit CargoLogik online to join our private beta queue and to be a part of the next big thing for independent forwarders.

How an Integrated Freight Communications Platform Nets Cost and Time-Saving Benefits for Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarders face uncertainty in the digital age. Those that evolve process management and leverage automation can reap real rewards in the form of cost and time-saving benefits. As explained by BCG.com, “automating manual processes now could reduce certain back-office and operations costs by up to 40%, while digitizing significant parts of the sales process could reduce related direct costs even more. 

As digital-first business models gain traction over the long term, digital capabilities will unlock tremendous opportunities (for freight forwarders) to win in the marketplace.” The rationale is simple; an integrated freight communications platform within a freight forwarding management platform will lower risk and streamline management of freight forwarding. 

In this article, we will explain the benefits of integrated freight communications for freight forwarders who want to stay competitive as well as show how the use of a freight communications platform translates into better customer service and relationships. 

What Limits Exist in Traditional, Siloed Freight Forwarding Management Styles?

Traditional freight forwarding communication processes are disjointed. A shipper or representative would contact the freight forwarder. The freight forwarder would review available capacity and current freight rates. The freight forwarder would then relay the information via phone, and after several back and forths to get to the ultimate freight costs, the freight forwarder may have the chance to tender and schedule the freight on behalf of the shipper. 

Unfortunately, this complex process did not get much better with the advent of email. Shippers are still on “hold,” waiting for forwarders to respond, and in today’s world, delays in shipping mean lost customers for both the shipper and the forwarder. Furthermore, the time and process costs incurred by the forwarder to get a quote with more traditional processes result in higher charges to shippers and logistics service providers.

CargoLogik Freight Forwarding Management Platform streamlines freight communications so freight forwarders are proactive with their customers & time efficient.

Digital Freight Forwarding Solves the Challenges of Traditional and Manual Freight Forwarding

Digital solutions for freight forwarders via a management platform leverage APIs and cloud-based technology, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, to transform freight forwarding quotes and the communication of rates, ETAs, and status updates, into a rapid, seamless, and automated process. The flexibility offered due to the ease of use in a digital freight forwarding platform, as explained by Carter Logistics, allows freight forwarders to stay competitive and operate in real-time. 

As freight forwarders utilize a digital freight forwarding management tool and leverage features within them, such as an integrated freight communications platform with shippers and logistics service providers, the entire freight forwarding process takes less time reducing overhead for freight forwarders. In turn, those overhead savings translate into savings for the freight forwarders’ customers, which allows the freight forwarder to win more business and increase overall profitability longterm.  

What Are the Direct and Indirect Benefits of Digital Freight Communications?

The benefits of an integrated freight communications platform within the management platform reveal a growing demand for faster and more accurate quoting in the industry. Timeliness of quotes is critical to securing available capacity and ensuring billed services reflect quoted freight services. Moreover, a digital freight communications platform eliminates the waste in terms of labor hours and resource allocation in quoting and tendering freight which increases in the traditional back and forth we outlined previously. Those benefits have an additional effect on planning, resulting in increased efficiency in space utilization, better route management, and even lower emissions. 

The indirect cost and time benefits stem from the boost in resource capacity as the platform replaces the need to throw more labor at a process, but utilize smart technology to do less with more. Since workers do not spend their time contacting carriers and reviewing rates, they can focus more on providing service to shippers and solving unique customer service requests. As a result, freight forwarders see increased service levels without an uptick in costs to service their customer base. The integration between freight forwarding platforms and carrier systems also allows companies to avoid the pitfalls of working independently, reducing risk to the business and enabling competition, notes the Journal of Commerce

Additionally, societies move closer to 5G service infrastructures, the speed of communications will also increase. Thus, freight forwarders will see rate quoting that operates in an even closer range to real-time rates. More importantly, freight forwarders providing real-time freight quotes using an integrated freight communications platform allows for a thorough rating in all available modes, quickly. Faster and complete communication of information between the forwarder and the shipper allows for strategic freight forwarding decisions and ensure each shipment arrives on time, at the right price, and without added risk. 

Invest in an Integrated Freight Communications Platform to Stay Competitive

No process justifies the continued use of outdated, standard freight quoting processes. Through an API and integrated platform, the small to a medium-sized freight forwarder will finally realize the benefits of real-time freight quoting and tendering. Of course, it all depends on the quality of data and user-friendliness. Fortunately, SaaS-based platforms function without the hassle of traditional, on-premise solutions and provide robust data to users. Cargologik has built a freight forwarding platform, with an integrated freight communications platform. This feature empowers freight forwarders to leverage automated freight forwarding processes at a fraction of the cost to differentiate, retain and build new customers and compete in any market.