Technology

How to Grow Your Freight Forwarding Business Starting With One Shipper Contact

As the logistics and freight industry continues at a steady rise, some wanting to take part in the market may question how to grow a freight forwarding business or how difficult is to grow a company? Starting a freight forwarding company or trying to efficiently grow the business can have difficulties in such a competitive market. 

As the market continues to expand daily, freight forwarders must make the proper changes to keep up. According to MarketWatch, “The global Digital Freight Forwarder market size is projected to reach USD 3756.5 million by 2027, from USD 1370 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 15.5% during 2021-2027.” At such a rapid pace, forwarders must quickly have a strategy from a business standpoint on how to gain a competitive edge. Just understanding the market is not enough to keep up with the never-ending market growth, freight forwarders must take the proper steps for efficient growth. 

Freight forwarders must take proper action and steps in gaining a competitive edge to grow a company or start one. Approaches such as finding and training the proper staff, digital advancements with software, and utilizing social media to reach more customers can help grow a forwarding business, but alone, these steps can be confusing and lead new enterprises down rabbit holes that never build the business. However, the key to success is a unified, comprehensive strategy and series of steps that can help grow the business from the ground up and avoid problems. Let’s take a deeper look at the top steps to growing a freight forwarding business starting with a single shipper contact and how technology can help your business along the way. 

Study Your Competition

As competitive as the freight forwarding market continues to be, businesses must understand the need to study and understand their competition as a valuable tactic. Understanding how other competitors acquire customers so quickly and the systems they use can help you know what to include in business. Many companies use customer relationship management (CRM) services to see how long a salesman takes to make a deal. Additionally, using an updated and tech advanced platform can provide the upper hand to speed up processes and gain more customers. 

 In regards to freight forwarder business growth, shippers seek forwarders that can provide efficient customer service, fast response times, and proper cargo handling. Studying competitors can provide some tricks to use and add to your business strategy, and some to do differently and use as a lesson of what to avoid. Forwarding companies can then take the information gained from observing the competition and see where to implement changes. 

Find and Train the Right Staff

For anyone wondering how to grow a freight forwarding business, or what it takes to have a successful business, remember the importance of the proper staff. A company is only as good as its staff, which is why freight forwarding businesses must take the time to hire and train the right staff. An expert team can make the work experience easier to manage and make the transportation process smoother. Most importantly, properly training staff is vital for safety purposes to ensure proper cargo handling without injuries. Understanding the market and what shippers hope to gain from forwarders can promote proper communication and training to staff. 

The staff must also comprehend the importance of the target audience and the most beneficial way to acquire new customers. For a business starting out, hiring and training the staff properly allows for them to easily grow with the business and adapt to more customers. Enforce the staff to focus on offering new solutions to customers, generate additional revenue, and build a stronger customer relationship. Acquiring new customers is always important, but make sure the staff understands the importance of maintaining a good relationship with current customers. Striving to have a more personal relationship with customers can gain a competitive edge over bigger companies in the logistics market. 

Stay Financially Stable With Freight Finance Solutions

Freight forwarders have the task of finding solutions for difficult shipping and warehousing needs for clients. The startup costs for a freight forwarding business are low, however as the business loads grow, so will the cost to keep up. Companies roughly request on average a month to three months to pay for invoices. Such a long period of time without payment especially from multiple clients can result in financial problems quickly occurring. One financing solution is freight factoring all invoices or only the slow-paying ones. Freight factoring allows you to receive liquidity and immediate advance while the invoice company waits for the payment. As soon as the client is happy with the services, the factoring company will review the documentation and send the funds. Freight factoring allows for improved cash flow and diminishes issues with slow-paying invoices, which can allow businesses to grow at a steady pace. 

Digitize Your Workflows by Choosing the Right Forwarding Software

Especially when starting a freight forwarding business or hoping for freight forwarder business growth, using the most efficient forwarding software is essential. The right forwarding software should provide a variety of services and implications to make the process easier and improve business. When starting a business, the core technology and software can make or break how the company will work or grow. The most beneficial system software can provide integrated services and capabilities for the business and customers. 

Real-Time Data Access

Modern freight forwarding services should be able to provide real-time data as the topic continues to grow in demand. Instant access to data can provide forwarders with the proper information to make data-driven decisions. Technology has the ability to streamline operations and provide an easier process throughout the supply chain with the proper data. The correct data can provide insight into improving profit margins, reducing costs, and what areas to focus on for improvement. Shippers need the ability to access instant shipment status and data and they rely on the freight forwarder to make that happen. Using outdated data or not having an easily accessible platform can cause shippers to have the wrong information, or not have it at the right time. 

Digital Document Management

No shipper wants the hassle of searching through an endless paper trail to find the documentation and shipment status needed. Without proper documentation management, important paperwork such as invoices, bills of lading, and customs clearance paperwork can be lost or impossible to track down. A proper forwarding software can provide a resource for storing, retrieving, and searching for documents. Having access to such a platform can increase communication throughout the team and allow them to implement the information across the documents. Proper document management can provide important documents to be easily recorded, filed, managed, and accessed digitally whenever needed. 

Improved Transparency

A beneficial freight forwarding software will enable less time to be spent searching for documents and data. Forwarders have the opportunity to visualize cargo flow more efficiently while alleviating issues throughout. Shippers will have the ability to gain transparency through the platform provided by the forwarding software. Transparency allows for everyone to know the shipping status and other details to keep operations functional and on the same page. As volumes continue to grow daily forwarders can help provide access to timelines across different modes through a single platform to provide shippers and carriers transparency with shipment information.

Inventory Management

Software should provide accessibility for inventory flow, freight relocation in the warehouse, and forecasting of the product demand from data and analytics. Going back to proper real-time data, without this the inventory count and logistics will be incorrect and can affect profit. To positively affect profit, inventory management can decrease waste reduction due to tracking inventory levels and trends of products, sales, and deliveries. A freight forwarder that provides a platform should benefit shippers with timely inventory planning and to achieve increased visibility.

Analytics Services

Companies curious about how to get clients as a forwarder must understand the need for actionable data and analytics in such a competitive market. For a forwarding business starting out or hoping to grow, they must gain a competitive advantage and get ahead of the rest. Proper analytics through software can improve cost management, visibility, and efficiency through the operations of the supply chain. Real-time data and analytics can provide shippers with the visibility and resources needed for data-driven decision-making. Unifying data and analytics allows forwarders to keep landing costs in check while providing shippers with the data needed to understand what forwarders have done for the business. Data and analytics improve managing e-commerce to gain knowledge of what should be focused on and improved from a business standpoint. 

Increased Visibility

Forwarding software should be able to provide visibility from real-time data and analytics. Having the proper data, analytics, and visibility can reduce the risk of lost shipments and improve tracking. Using freight forwarding platforms, client data, documentation, predictive analytics, and real-time data can provide clear visibility while also deriving actionable insights for freight forwarders. Becoming data-centralized and focusing on visibility with shipment status, documentation, and scheduling deliveries or pickups can increase efficiency, avoid delays, and improve operations overall. Freight forwarding software can increase visibility and actionable insights for shippers through platforms, client data, documents, analytics, and real-time data. 

Stay Informed with Platforms

Collaborative platforms allow shippers, freight forwarders, and others to maintain communication and more helpful resources. Especially in today’s world as change happens rapidly, having a system that allows for constant messaging and data access is vital. Such a platform allows for document management, communication with shippers and others, and statuses on shipments to be easily accessed. Shippers should expect document management, easy access to booking cargo space, and tracking of shipments, providing a website that signifies the shipper’s needs will entice them to become returning customers. Especially for freight forwarders starting out, having a platform or dashboard allows for sales performance and data-driven strategy to be utilized. 

Create Robust Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaigns

Social media can provide an easy platform to use for marketing and public relations (PR) for small or large companies. Such platforms help freight forwarder business growth due to easy access, entry to anyone, and the ability to target consumers. Rather than only reaching out to those who already understand and work with logistics, social media provides a way to include others. Logistics continues to be a topic that users either understand or don’t, social media platforms can increase recognition to the public. Marketing through platforms commonly used such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, can provide market segmentation to reach the proper audience. Putting ads on such platforms and taking the proper steps to ensure the most beneficial audience sees the ad can increase customer potential. 

Companies cannot just continue to plaster stickers on the side of trucks and hope the right people drive by and just so happen to need a forwarder if the question at hand is how to get clients as a forwarder. Logistics companies have the opportunity to use technology and globalization to improve communication and advertisement. Having a business page on social media and using ad campaigns can lead customers to the website and entice them to pay for the service. Social media is everywhere today, providing businesses with a platform to reach customers anywhere and everywhere on the web. Providing a functional website that clearly delivers the company’s message and is easy to use can attract more customers. Ensure the customers can find everything and anything they may need to plan a load or meet basic necessities. 

Stay Engaged With News-Driven Content Too

New forwarding companies can benefit from understanding the freight forwarder book of business and engaging with logistics and freight news content. Staying up-to-date on news-driven content allows management to keep up with the market and industry changes. Keeping up with news content can help forwarders starting a business to analyze and understand the market. This will allow companies to keep up with logistics trends, competitors, and new strategies to gain more leads. As market value and costs continue to change every day, staying up-to-date on such news and events can allow freight forwarders to make the proper changes to operations. Keeping up with the latest freight news can provide vital learning and knowledge on the industry so informed decision-making becomes easier. If the company seeks to grow globally, keeping up with international news and markets allows the company to provide more solutions for different areas. 

Connect With the Right Peers

Connections and networking around the globe with suppliers, buyers, and customers is vital for growing a business. For many curious about how to grow a freight forwarding business, communication and using a logistics network are key to making growth happen. There are a variety of different platforms that provide interaction for forwarders on a global level. Freight forwarders must develop a clear business strategy that promotes global business exchange and allows your transportation business to expand efficiently. Starting a freight forwarding business with the guidance of networking and load boards can make it easier to generate new leads without spending extra money. Additionally, having access to a marketplace or other form of the network allows forwarders to gain more customers even from a global standpoint. Sign up for Cargologik to get started today. 

What Are the Features to Expect in Freight Forwarding System Software

The global freight forwarding market is expanding significantly, and today’s forwarder services are advancing to keep pace. According to a recent review, published by Valuates Reports, “the global Freight forwarding market size is projected to reach USD 207 Billion by 2026, from USD 170 Billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 2.8% during 2020-2026. The increasing demand for low-cost shipping, the ability to understand customer preferences, and the prompt reaction with logistical solutions are the primary drivers driving the expansion of the freight forwarding market. Furthermore, freight forwarding market expansion is likely to be fueled by rising demand for integrated services.” 

Yet, integrated services and capabilities can be difficult to figure out and put into action. With the growing arsenal of possible supply chain platforms that forwarders could use, it’s difficult to see the forest of possibilities for all the hype behind them. Complicating the stage is the current state of flux the industry is facing.  As a result, supply chain leaders need to know the features to expect in world-class freight forwarding systems and collaboration platforms

1. Real-Time Data Access

Access to real-time data is the most universal benefit and in-demand feature of modern freight forwarding software. Shippers need instant access to current shipment status, estimated time of arrival, cutoff dates, unforeseen delays and complications, and more. Rather than simply waiting for that information to come in via communication channels, users can seamlessly and instantly stay on top of all applications and needs within the right platform. We’re already trained to pay attention to signals in our supply chain, now we can couple data and signal-based alerts to truly become the partners and advisors our clients expect and need us to be more than ever these days.

2. Commercial Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

The value of data grows even stronger for shippers when applied across data analytics. Analytics help shippers understand what carriers or forwarders did, their performance rankings, and how to use those relationships to keep landed costs in check. Good working knowledge of key performance indicators around operations and profitability helps build a more strategic, informed organization that can move forward more confidently.  Forwarders realize a similar benefit by unifying their data streams to continuously monitor the performance of their partnering carriers or other service providers as well.  Seek out integrations, or even operating layers, to help further connect siloed data sources and try to use systems with modern APIs, and at very least other means of communicating with other systems such as EDI or CSV data exports.

3. Collaborative Messaging Platforms

Any strategy for freight forwarding success will falter without instant and clear messaging. In today’s world, the timeliness of communications can mean the difference between a happy customer experience or a cancellation request. But there are more means of communication than ever before, and clients, just like 2-day shipping, expect instant communication and a personal touch at the same time.  It’s what separates regular, one-off clients, from that of repeat business and more loyal, dependable customers.

The challenge of balancing out new and loyal revenue is something that touches the daily lives of all indie forwarders – there are only so many calls, texts, and emails across platforms such as WeChat, WhatsApp, signal, SMS, email, and the like, that forwarders and other logistics services providers can give to their demanding clients.  Similarly, the collaboration tools within a world-class freight forwarding system software should help users navigate through the commercial noise, document activities, and support more proactive customer communication. 

Being able to not only communicate in a timely manner but keeping these communications organized and centralized for both parties can structurally differentiate and bolster the customer experience. If you have proper, dedicated systems in place to strategically scale up these preferred customer communication channels, while gaining work leverage, you can drive more loyal revenue that helps the entire organization operate more strategically.

4. Centralized, Cloud-Based Recordkeeping

The modern supply chain is full of opportunities for improvement and many activities, across the globe, and across time zones. Managing and running a successful supply chain that wins comes down to the various touchpoints within the customer experience and the possible issues that may arise. 

As noted by McKinsey & Company, “Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance. Customer journeys include many things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a product or service. Journeys can be long, stretching across multiple channels and touchpoints, and often lasting days or weeks. 

Bringing a new customer on board is a classic example. Another is resolving a technical issue, upgrading a product, or helping a customer to move a service to a new home. Organizations that fail to appreciate the context of these situations and manage the cross-functional, end-to-end experiences that shape the customer’s view of the business can prompt a downpour of negative consequences, from customer defection and dramatically higher call volumes to lost sales and lower employee morale. In contrast, those that provide the customer with the best experience from start to finish along the journey can expect to enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales and retention, reduce end-to-end service cost, and strengthen employee satisfaction.” 

Given that insight, it amounts to the need to see everything from within a centralized platform, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms like Cargologik make this possible. And regardless of which solution you choose for your organization, make sure it’s done through the lens of your client. Even better, if you can involve your clients and request their feedback, you will find them appreciative of your efforts – especially if it will save them time, money, and simplifies operations.

5. Digital Document Management

Another feature of the right freight forwarding system software involves how well it aggregates and allows users to access documents. In other words, does the system enable digital document management and digital forwarding shipment execution? 

Paper-based processes worked great in the past but imagine the headache of searching an endless paper trail to find shipment status. An advanced platform overcomes that issue by providing a central resource for document storage, retrieval and searching. Think “Google-search” for your shipments, alerts, and communication.

This ensures your entire team can easily find and apply information from across these documents on demand. That’s a marked advantage over traditional approaches to managing freight forwarding, and it inherently lends itself to the next benefit of a modern platform, increased transparency. 

6. Less Email Management and Improved Transparency

Since everything is contained within an overarching platform, users spend less time trying to compile and enter data, respond to customer service requests, and other back-office processes. Instead, they gain a way to effectively lessen the burden of email management while also promoting increased transparency into all operations. For instance, the right forwarding software should include storage for trade compliance filings, quotes, purchase orders, POD, the BOL, and more. 

In the same way that Slack & Microsoft Teams transformed traditional emails and other redundant, error-prone methods of communication that are slower, so your system can simplify and streamline experiences for the customer. This is a win-win for everyone involved – saving time, money, and resources for both the forwarder and the shipper.

7. Integration With E-Commerce Shopping Carts

The success of freight forwarders depends on the ability to reach more customers and how they build stronger relationships. This, therefore, includes integration with major e-commerce platforms and shopping carts. These services, such as WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify, all have a loyal following of shipper customers, and if your platform doesn’t integrate, you’ll alienate potential customers. Meanwhile, integration further leads to additional opportunities to build better experiences as well. 

8. Mobile Shipment Tracking

Mobile shipment tracking, via an app like in Cargologik, also streamlines operations for freight forwarders. Since everything is integrated, shippers can instantly see their shipment status from any mobile device. And, forwarders can stay on top of high-priority items without logging into a dozen different systems. Any platform you use should be able to immediately provide value to both the shipper and forwarder on a 3G connection and whatever device that they’re on.  This is a unique advantage of modern logistics and precisely how a world-class freight forwarding software should work, unifying all processes and activities to make it easier to manage from anywhere – especially the customer.

9. Logistics Timeline Tracking

Perhaps the biggest innovation in freight forwarding is the ability to track cargo across multiple parties, legs of transportation, and service levels. This is where leveraging logistics timelines can help forwarders easily see the current status and coordinate movements across multiple services, including Amazon and DHL, in one solution. 

Functions like the DHL Tracking Number or Amazon Logistics Timeline are examples of software ecosystems that are unwalled. Meaning that they are able to provide value without requiring logins, and naturally promoting adoption, vs forcing it.  The former almost always outperforms the latter in the software world.  If you can replicate these types of functions for your own system, the better likelihood you’re going to be able to keep up with those growing customer transparency demands.

10. Chat Platforms to Stay Informed and Working Together

Logistics timelines are only one part of the equation, and leveraging collaborative tools, i.e., chat platforms, can help forwarders interact with other service providers. By working together and within a singular system, forwarders can instantly share shipment status and help everyone stay on the same page with integrated functionality across any communication channel, such as WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, and email, within a singular, unified chat platform through Cargologik. 

It’s certainly not easy to wean shippers off WhatsApp and emails, but an element of an important platform is also the ability to facilitate actual usage and the direction of communication into the platform in the first place.  This streamlined form of communication eventually unlocks valuable time and resources from both the customer experience and freight operations perspective by allowing commercial reps and their client to stay focused on the highest-margin-producing activities, clients, and projects.

11. Automated Push Notifications

While automated processing and management are excellent for complex operations, there will always be the need to keep everyone informed, especially when something goes wrong. This is where automated push notifications—another feature common to the right forwarding software for your business, are crucial. Push notifications provide that instant touchpoint to ensure your team, your partners, and your customers all know what’s happening and what’s next. These also alleviate customer service shipment status inquiries by ensuring everyone gets notifications when any issue, or exception, occurs as well. Last they further support an instant response on the right system, by making it easy and quick to navigate back to the important item, alert, or communication at hand with just a tap or click.  Leverage is the name of the game and the advantage of push notifications can mean all the differences between a successful and unsuccessful logistical operation.

12. Bulk Information Uploads

In global forwarding, manual upload of individual shipment details is a massive waste and killer of time efficiency. That’s why a world-class platform should enable bulk information uploading, seamlessly providing a way to pull data from across a master BOL and populate individual BOLs or other shipment data to provide context behind every shipment every time. This helps users better isolate and overcome potential disruptions while keeping everyone on the same page. 

These systems should also be compatible for integrations, data export formats (ex. .CSV, .XLS), and have wizards and tools to make it easy for the end-user to figure out how to get the right information to where it needs to be in the system. For a software provider, the user experience for the forwarder must be taken into account and made to be really simple to figure out and get started using. 

13. Instant Quoting Processes

A bulk way of uploading data naturally gives rise to improved quoting processes that also help provide a more automated approach to forwarding. Instead of waiting hours, if not days, for quotes and confirmation or scheduling of a pickup, freight forwarding software integrations enable a turnkey quoting process. And such functions are vital across all modes, especially as capacity tightens and time becomes more of the essence in everyday activities. 

Today’s independent forwarders and their clients, who often have their own end-user clients, need to be able to bypass all the back and forth, and valuable time wasted exchanging the same basic messages over and over again.  This cuts down on response time, increases service level, and helps build more loyal clients and repeat revenue over time. And when the end-user and shippers win, so too do the forwarder.

14. Customer Facing Portal

A customer-facing portal is yet another feature to look for in a world-class freight forwarding system software. A customer-facing portal eliminates many of the unneeded data points housed within your system and ensures your partnering providers, or customers, can access the right information. This also gives forwarder’s clients the ability to request quotes on-demand and from any device, even those that haven’t yet downloaded a software app, which is yet another benefit of choosing Cargologik too. Additionally, these portals need to be designed in a user-friendly way, and the best platforms that are aware of this, build their product and software in a way that makes the user experience seamless and smooth. When this happens, the customers are happier, NPS scores go up, and again, more loyal revenue and clients come back and get referred to your forwarding or brokerage business.

15. Rapid Search Tools to Find Shipment Details

The last core feature to look for when choosing a freight forwarding platform is the most universal to all the 14 features listed thus far: it’s the ability to leverage rapid search tools to find information on-demand regardless of its medium. This includes emails, chats, carrier-generated updates, exception notifications, and documents. It’s this universal search tool that can do the most for reducing inefficiencies and promoting a more strategic and successful freight shipping tech stack. If all software had google’s magical usage capabilities, meaning having the ability to simply put in a few words, and achieve the most relevant results quickly, becomes a major advantage on both the internal and external sides of the forwarding process.

Choose the Right International Freight Forwarding System Software to Succeed

Freight forwarding is only growing more complex, and delays in back-office processes will lead to massive losses throughout your team’s efficiency and productivity.  More technology, tools, and data feeds are giving us more and more information, to which the task of operating on the data becomes that much more difficult. Avoid these issues by partnering with a world-class forwarding software that includes all the above features and more within a singular, advanced, and data-backed solution. Choose Cargologik, so sign up for Cargologik to get started today to start scaling up your business and client base.

Benefits of Freight Collaboration for E-Commerce Companies

As the supply chain launches into the world of technology and application platforms, freight collaboration becomes the star focus of these advancements. 

The supply chain and logistics industries are far too critical to the success of e-commerce – making freight collaboration even more important to the industry according to E-Commerce Nation

Companies may need some time to catch up to the growing need for visibility and renewed interest in one solid platform for everyone to use. E-commerce companies can also benefit from expanding platforms and enhancing collaboration using new technology. 

Adding tech capabilities can help commercial teams regain valuable time responding to redundant tasks and activities that also take away from their own client’s business. An example of this would be gathering shipment details for a quote, where the repetitive back and forth is required for both the shipper and the forwarder to even obtain pricing options. Or a logistics partner on the other side of the world who needs to automatically know about a pending delay first thing in the morning when they wake up. Much time, coordination, and effort are spent gathering basic information over, and over again.

This no longer is the case, and adopting a freight collaboration platform for you and your customers is the first step in improving ecommerce shipping operations.

Logistics Management and Freight Collaboration Are the Backbone of E-Commerce and Require Real-Time Data

Not only are logistics management and freight collaboration the backbone of e-commerce, but they also enhance outdated procedures that create chaos and dysfunction within the supply chain. 

Logistics managers continue to ensure the use of new tech for their teams, and other technology can be seen throughout all walks of the supply chain. Increased use of advanced freight management platforms in conjunction with e-commerce visibility assists carriers and shippers with freight forwarding regulation

This also enables real-time intervention when things go wrong. As the industry continues to expand technology and capacity, freight collaboration must be the focal point for e-commerce. Without it, too many things can and will go wrong, and increasingly so at scale as e-commerce brands boom.

Issues that can Arise from Poor Collaboration and a Lack of Supply Chain Tech

As with any introduction of new technology, poor freight collaboration can make any platform seem useless and overwhelming. And unfortunately, the answer is not to sign up for each of the 10 platforms your forwarders provide and have to remember those passwords, but rather to extend your own solution to them and request that they also post-operational updates to your own system. 

You have to flip the script a little bit to truly make it an effective collaboration.  This makes the application more usable and in line with your existing workflows. After all, the key to proper collaboration lies with its ability to be usable from each level. 

Poor collaboration enables improper communication, bad shipment tracking, delivery delays, and a myriad of other disruptions that harm the supply chain and businesses. These can lead to increased fees, missed capacity, and profit loss. 

The core operations of logistics service providers and the often erratic nature of the world’s supply chain already make it very difficult to operate in. Why deal with the unnecessary worry when there’s already so much to worry about?   Freight forwarding collaboration helps eliminate these worries and keep the supply chain moving in the right direction.  

Improved Access and Utilization of TMS and Software Boost Overall Productivity 

The way to combat the issues created by poor freight collaboration is to integrate suitable systems. Using the proper TMS and other software boosts productivity and profitability, and even more so once standard internal operating procedures are set and effectively communicated to commercial teams.

Managers can streamline the processes within the supply chain by implementing the right software for real-time collaboration. When all team members have visibility and can see the data in real-time, it makes each level of the supply chain even more productive by allowing them the pertinent information when they need access to it. Supply chain management is probably one of the toughest team sports you can play, but it’s a game that can be won.

For many experts, they find the excess waste of time and resources, which makes this even more imperative to the success of e-commerce. This is how logistics teams at ecommerce companies can win, on their own by way of collaboration of partners and also internally by making sure everyone across offices and departments are on the same page.

Collaboration and technology are almost unstoppable when the right systems are put in place, with proper training, and ideally on a platform that optimizes the user experience so that it is intuitive and very easy-to-use. 

Partner With Freight Collaboration System Providers to Unlock the Full Potential for E-Commerce Companies

The best thing e-commerce companies can do is engage and leverage freight collaboration system providers to realize your ecommerce organization’s full potential. For many businesses, combining those platforms keeps that information readily available and readable for each team member. 

Domestic freight forwarders and international freight forwarders can also benefit from the collaboration and consolidation of multiple platforms. Not only will this increase visibility, but it will also boost efficiency within your team by implementing collaborative freight management systems.  Sign up for Cargologik today to get started with no obligation.  

What Is a Digital Freight Network and Its Benefits

Technology can at times appear to be the enemy that threatens to take away jobs and change the transportation and shipping industry. This is something on the mind of many international forwarders and brokers around the world as they question, and fortify, their business. They’re worried about existing competitors, newer tech-enabled marketplaces, and rapid development in corresponding web services and web tools making things better, faster, and cheaper than ever before. It’s no wonder why the independent forwarder is always seeking to enhance their capabilities and differentiate.

However, the rise of the digital freight network is not an enemy to be feared. Instead, it needs acceptance. It needs acceptance and a few, brave organizations willing to do the hard things it takes to not only accept but capitalize on such technology. Digitizing the network does not mean the replacement of humans but rather the improvement of day-to-day activities carried out by human workers. As we at Cargologik like to say, giving your logistics teams superpowers.

Forwarders need to embrace the idea of combining human ingenuity and passion with the predictability and performance of the technology. If anything has been shown over the last year, the shipping industry needs to stay competitive and up-to-date with its services and methodology to maintain the competitive advantage in today’s market. That is what the digital freight network has to offer and why new providers should be more strict with their network requirements, investments, and take a second look at their freight networks. 

Defining a Digital Freight Network

This new and innovative approach to the supply chain network combines the services of an open and interconnected freight marketplace with the modern advancements of machine learning, automation, and data analysis. The ultimate goal remains to efficiently connect shippers and carriers to address issues affecting global supply chain logistics. From deadhead miles to inefficiency loading and unloading processes, changes and improvements stay essential, starting with a technological foundation. 

Traditionally, these organizations have been around for quite some time. Often requiring an expensive and sometimes cost-prohibitive annual membership fee that is just too much for some of the more independent players out there.  They require in-person meetings, and associated travel and transportation costs to get there, on a regular basis.  There will likely be some great discounts and incentives to work with one another, but all of that hard work usually set up by the organizing body. 

Historically, a ton of manual work is involved getting these infrastructures and up and running. Fast forward to modern times, this simply is not the case anymore.  We’re still fans and believe in the human-to-human connection, but being able to do so without the inefficiencies is a characterization of modern times and in this case, also the shift in more analog-driven networks to ones built atop of technology first and foremost, that complement the human aspect of our interactions.

These digitally based freight networks use machine learning and automation to handle the growing and shifting demands of the market. The overall flywheel effect benefits all involved parties because more freight carriers join the network, and more opportunities for automation and networking arise. All of this leads to performance enhancements and increased profits. That is the power of the digital network.

How a Digital Freight Matching Continues to Add Value

Several benefits come with embracing digital freight platforms and matching dashboards. The greatest of these is the potential savings it can bring to the entire supply chain network. 

According to Material Handling & Logistics, digital freight networks and platforms work to significantly reduce and even eliminate the need for the drawn-out processes of dealing with middlemen and multiple 3PLs. Forwarders and carriers can lose as much as 45% of the delivery cost per load to fees imposed upon them by brokers and other vendors and partners. In a crowded market, that 45% can feel significantly more impactful.

When it is taken into account that American freight truckers travel empty for 50 billion miles, or nearly 30% of their total mileage, it is also obvious how huge these savings can become. Drivers can benefit as these digital platforms and freight forwarding systems can provide end-to-end visibility that allows a trucker to know the details of every load they are taking.  The value provided by embracing technology and implementing digital processes remains clear and fuels the growth and acceptance of the digital freight network platform. 

Other Top Benefits of a Digital Network

Several other benefits arise when digital network integration is embraced and used in day-to-day operations. Some of the most impactful include:

  • Scalability and adaptability to adjust to changing markets.
  • Better cybersecurity and enhanced safety protocols.
  • Increased acceptance rates and fewer delivery disruptions. 
  • Carrier diversity to improve capacity opportunities and delivery options.
  • Competition among carriers to help drives competitive rates.
  • The reduced overall risk thanks to tracking and monitoring systems.
  • Better On-Time-In-Full deliveries with improved customer satisfaction.
  • Streamlined communications enable faster response to disruptions.
  • End-to-End visibility throughout the entire network.
  • Improved adherence to shipping and forwarding regulations.

These are just a few of the most impactful and expected benefits seen by freight managers who embrace the idea of a digital freight network and implement it within their supply chain platform. 

Put the Power of Digital Network to Work by Choosing the Right Freight Forwarding Platform

Finding the right digital freight network remains one of the most critical steps for the modern-day supply chain management team. The power of digital automation and real-time data analysis and application is changing the way the freight forwarding industry works. Harnessing the power and potential of a digital network remains critical for continued growth and success. 

Find the right freight forwarding and management platform, at the right time,  by embracing collaboration and technology today. To get started tracking and sharing your first 10 shipments free, and to start building a more loyal customer base, sign up for Cargologik today.

How Freight Forwarder Networks Are Navigating Volatility With Technology

Freight forwarder networks work as connected systems that help supply chains manage vital functions, such as:

  • Logistics monitoring.
  • Customs brokerage.
  • Predictive planning.
  • Capacity procurement. 

Those are just a few things among many other essential services. During volatile markets, implementing new technologies might not seem like a priority on the to-do list for many companies. Time and time again, the freight forwarder networks that demonstrate technological prowess can more easily maintain a competitive advantage during times of market volatility. 

Let’s take a closer look at how freight forwarders can apply technology to reduce the impact of market volatility.

Freight Forwarder Networks Are Collaborating in Real-Time

Any successful freight forwarder needs a well-rounded freight forwarding tech stack as part of its supply chain setup. A tech stack, for those that are unaware, refers to the different types of technologies linked together used to effectively run your business and maintain optimal customer relationships. This includes things that should be integrated and used daily by your team. These are systems like the CRM, ERP, TMS, WMS, on top of a freight forwarding system, that come together to support commercial operations.

Real-time data analysis and tracking make it easier to streamline the processes and keep the freight forwarding networks running smoothly. As more and more microservices, APIs, and data feed from liners and logistics companies take hold, having systems in place to make sense of that data and applicable to your business are key.

According to Supply Chain Brain, it will play an essential role in long-term growth and success. This will require the onboarding of new technology, digital tools, and automated services that focus on real-time data sharing and collaborations.

Increased Digital Transformation Allows for Instant Quoting and Booking

The art of predictive analytics and forecasting has a tremendous impact on local and global freight forwarding networks of all sizes. Digitization makes it easier for all involved parties to embrace tracking and logistics management while accessing accurate and up-to-date data anytime and anywhere. 

According to Logistics Management, before shippers can successfully place bids and secure capacity, they must understand and embrace the current challenges confronting carriers, too. That amounts to using data to offer instant bidding, quoting, and booking processes. Working through these tough, preliminary operations to even present data and options to customers is time-consuming and challenging – and even more so the smaller that your organization is.

To ignore and reject this technology is to close the door to the future growth potential that comes with enhanced collaboration.

Increased Accountability and Transparency Leads to Fewer Lost Shipments

Whether by land, sea, or air, old, outdated processes for tracking shipments prove ineffective and often result in deal-breakers costing you valuable business. Such issues can hold companies back and prevent growth and success in today’s market. 

Simply providing a text message update simply won’t do anymore either with rising shipper expectations. The shipper wants automated, selected, timely information delivered to them, in a user-friendly way, and done so on instantaneous terms like SMS.  Using simple track and trace websites won’t cut it anymore, and data is now required from multiple sources to help drive LSP’s make the best cargo movement decisions on behalf of their customers.

Freight forwarder networks are discovering firsthand the benefits of accountability and transparency. With real-time tracking and monitoring systems, drivers are held to a much higher level of responsibility, cargo flows more smoothly, and with better on-time and budget delivery.

Shippers can rest assured that issues are addressed and reported to consumers immediately. That reduces the risk of upsetting clients. Meanwhile, improved data-driven technology and automation begets end-to-end communication and transparency within the supply chain. Couple this automation with user-friendly alerts, emails, and similar notifications also allow for much effective, and immediate, collaboration between both parties especially when critical.  As such, e-commerce shipping and logistics, where the stakeholders are in the know,  run far more effectively.

More Data Amounts to Increased Optimization of Carrier Contracts and Procurement

Over the years, freight transportation and cargo shipment have seen an influx of technologies focusing on improving optimization and boosting capacity procurement. These solutions are also working on behalf of the forwarder, as well as the shipper. 

Additionally, as reliance on technology and innovation continues, freight and logistics managers should start to see wider acceptance across the board, and across a more wide variety of companies from small all the way up to large enterprises. Tech is the way of the future and for the modern freight forwarder networks to survive the current state of market volatility. and to offer members a more robust set of solutions beyond the standard quarterly meetings and insurance benefits, and business profiles that these networks need to maintain.

Unfortunately, future disruptions and that reliance on automation and digitization will only continue to grow in tandem. Optimization, contract booking, and capacity rates remain intimately connected to technology, data use, and optimization within the supply chain. And that includes knowing when to expand the carrier network and when to leave some partnerships for more lucrative opportunities.

Technology Further Enables Forecasting to Pre-Empt Market Fluctuations

Using technology promotes increased freight market risk mitigation through the use of data and forecasting. Freight forecasting applies an array of analytics to enable preventive planning and more accurate market predictions. That may include rate predictions, capacity volume changes, and more. 

The best systems also convey this information at the right time, and the right place, and to the concerned parties within the supply chain working on that particular shipment. They’re able to use a combination of notifications, emails, and messages to provide relevant key details to each party, based on the specific role they play in the shipment’s supply chain.

Leverage the Right Freight Forwarder Network Partnership to Thrive Through Volatile Markets

As shippers and carriers work to position themselves in as competitive a position as possible, they will continue to face troubles and volatility. This is the nature of the business, and why the best advisors and logistics service providers not only succeed but do so while differentiating and building customer loyalty. That loyalty, in turn fortifies the business and enables re-investment in upgrading, updating, and integrating different software in the forwarder’s technology stack, which then also drives an ever-expanding, and more loyal, customer base.

It is especially in these times of market disruption, the task becomes to weather current problems and plan for future disruptions. Establishing a solid freight forwarder network partnership can make it easier to endure the low trends and maximize profits from the high trends. Companies that provide specific solutions for common issues will more easily retain customers.  

Surviving times of volatility and uncertainty relies on solid and beneficial partnerships that apply technology in the freight forwarding network to enable both domestic and global growth. Sign up for Cargologik to start navigating market volatility with data and quality software today for free on your first ten MBLs as you test out the system.

How to Enhance Collaboration by Digitizing Your Freight Network

Supply chain collaboration promotes increased throughput and execution of freight on a global scale, which increasingly grows more complex as ecommerce logistics’ importance swells. 

As noted by Supply Chain Game Changer, “Collaboration between companies – joint initiatives that go beyond their normal course of day-to-day business, with the aim of delivering significant improvement over the long term. With pricing under pressure from recession-scarred consumers, the temptation for retailers is to transfer the pain upstream to their suppliers by passing on price reductions and forcing them to bear an increasing share of costs.” 

Therefore, today’s freight forwarders need to know a few things about how to properly digitize the freight network to promote such collaboration.

Eliminate Inconsistency With Digital Workflow Management

A lack of process and workflow standardization is perhaps the biggest hurdle to supply chain collaboration. Without a clear, concise workflow, mistakes can and do happen.

Digital workflow management applies intuitive systems to ensure all processes are executed properly based on the type of shipment, its origin and destination data, and delivery expectations. The best tools out there are also providing “digital assistants,” (remember clippy?) and indicators to call your attention to specific operations.

Moreover, this concept further reduces the risk of errors in executing shipments and streamlines throughput, increasing fundamental value along the way – and on both sides of the equation, shipper and forwarder.

Bundle Data Repositories to Build the Most Comprehensive View of the Transportation Network

Another critical step to creating a digital freight network rests with a bundled data repository to visualize and track activities within the network. Instead of more eyes, looking everywhere, on behalf of their customers, think more strategically focused eyes, looking exactly where they need to, and advising their customers.  This is the ultimate value – not just providing great  customer service but a world-class, differentiating experience where you become a critical part of that loyal customers’ business.

This focus and leverage has a major advantage for organizations that wish to learn more about how to do more with less. Gain insights into personal performance, glean insights, forge new best practices, and recognize exceptional employees. These are how great organizations are created.

Furthermore, these networks combined with data analytics, create an environment where today’s forwarders can isolate vulnerabilities, use data to negotiate contracts and still find other opportunities to improve. This includes using devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to track real-time status updates, operator patterns, and avoid problems. 

Automate Exception Management to Reduce Rework and Redundancy

The need to handle problems is exception management, but there is a fine line between managing by exception and micromanaging every shipment across the freight network. With the scale and volume demands of e-commerce, management by exception, intervening only when absolutely necessary, is the way to go. Otherwise, you’re going to be drowning in data, and often, much of it not relevant or useful within your operational workflows.

Thus, automating this process applies algorithms and rulesets to handle the usual needs and common issues that arise, saving time and resources. In turn, that helps digital freight forwarders leverage the full scale of the freight network to share inventory and transportation data in real-time.

The result? Your commercial teams are better prioritizing their day, focusing on high-value activities, and management being able to operate more strategically. Clients get a better transparency, heads-up guidance, and then devote more spend and resources to that forwarder who went above and beyond for their own business.

Simplify Carrier Communications With Web-Based Portals

The next step to digitizing the freight network focuses on streamlining carrier and broker interactions. Using web-based portals, today’s freight forwarders could give these other parties access to request forwarding services and effectively turn a back-office process into a simple execution. 

As such, your team can focus on building more value by reducing delays and increasing throughput. More throughput, more revenue. Additionally, web-based tracking capabilities and interactions can further be applied to track the bidirectional flow of goods, i.e., returns, to ensure adequate capacity for peaks and lulls throughout the year. 

And yet, that’s not the only way of the freight forwarding system use cases—enabling digital quoting and booking while meeting customer demand and expectations. And doing so even as those demands or expectations rapidly evolve and change, from shipment to shipment as well as “with the times,” as dictated by the Amazon Effect.

Unlock More Success With a Digital Freight Network and Advanced Forwarding Platform

Today’s supply chain professionals are busier than ever, and any delay or hiccup could result in a massive upset to the customer experience. That’s especially true in light of the continued growth of e-commerce and the ever-present risk of Amazon. 

Fortunately, freight forwarders that apply technology as above and put the right systems of record in place can avoid those risks throughout the freight network. To get started tracking and sharing your first 10 shipments free, and to start building a more loyal customer base, sign up for Cargologik today.

Digital Freight Networks: Then and Now

Digital freight networks represent the modern-day approach to forwarding systems and services.  These networks are primarily built on good old-fashioned business development and a model that’s built to accommodate all the members with certain benefits, guarantees, rates, favorable premiums, and the ability to meet and ultimately conduct business together.  This model has been around for some time.

Fast forward to today, these organizations have advanced and now are starting to embrace contemporary and innovative technology, real-time data, and a network of carriers and shippers to improve the scope and reach of the freight industry. It’s a rapidly evolving landscape of these groups, each aiming to grow their base through leveraging the above technologies as well.

According to Supply Chain 24/7, digital freight platforms and innovations are changing the way the industry approaches virtual shopping and the e-commerce trends of today. Unlike traditional processes that focused primarily on just transportation management, digital freight networks focus on improving operational performance by using ground-breaking services to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of the virtually focused market.  Some of the most effective ways the freight transportation booking process has changed over the decades include the following.

Traditional Networks Relied on Manual Quoting Processes

One of the first ways the traditional freight network was working on outdated processes was securing shipping and carrier agreements. Introductions between the parties also needed to be facilitated, in-person and digitally. Manual quoting was tedious and time-consuming, forcing managers to work one bid at a time – and for many independent players from around the globe, still prevalent even today. 

This approach while “service-oriented,” has become redundant, and very inefficient, leading to decreased productivity among the folks that should be doing the opposite.  That is especially the case compared to today’s digital dashboards and online platforms that focus on meeting market regulations and demands.

Digital Freight Networks Leverage Automation for Instant Quoting

On the flip side, the few modern networks out there operate with more forward-thinking tools that are a step in the right direction. For the networks with larger budgets and formalized tech teams (and often 1000s of members), you can find a more complete acceptance of digitization and automation.  

Near-instant quoting and automated platform updates and communications allow for multiple bid submissions and streamlined management protocols. This shift alone significantly improves capacity and response time, setting the stage for better adaptability to the current e-commerce craze – and keeping up with those mounting, global customer expectations.

Traditional Networks Ran Until Things Broke, With Zero Predictive Planning

The digital freight networks of today operate on the idea of proactive planning and operations. Years ago, this was not the case, and systems forwarders used, deployed, or invested in, often self-sabotaged organizations and ran these operations into the ground regularly.  As IT, cybersecurity risks, physical risks, and equipment maintenance costs increased, these systems also quickly lost flexibility. And unfortunately, while being maybe a little too dependent on them. 

Rather than shutting down for routine maintenance that took a few hours, systems and equipment got pushed to the point of critical failures that could take days to repair. IT budgets and staff increased but still to little avail. This approach was a disaster waiting to happen in many cases, creating delays almost around the clock.

This is not the case anymore, with modern, web-based applications and powerful software that is optimized for mobile-first, easy-to-use saas, and all while functioning on 3G connections and in harsh environments. Now, platforms have capabilities that are “more predictive” than ever and armed with commercial intelligence that can help independent LSP’s differentiate and win more loyal business through proactive management and true service.

Modern Networks Use Data Analytics to Maximize Equipment Runtime and Longevity

Modern examples of the most successful digital freight networks show how vital data analytics and predictive planning and repairs become. With the focus on e-commerce, virtual orders and shipments, along with the demand for fast and reliable shipping, it is more important than ever for freight forwarders to keep the network up and running. Customers demand this and they’ve often experienced firsthand the beautiful Amazon timelines, DHL tracking numbers, and other global forwarding platforms and features once reserved for the largest tech teams and budgets. 

This is not the case anymore. New APIs, cutting-edge databases, access to real-time data and technology keep the digital freight networks fully operational and avoid delays due to equipment failure. 

Traditional Networks Had Hidden Costs Through Increased Inefficiencies

Without real-time data, state-of-the-art tracking systems, and automated communications, traditional networks continually struggle with expenses, fees, and operational costs. Technical debt is a common term in the software world, which basically refers to the exponential workload required to “modernize” and bring dated systems up to speed. Software is like gardening and must consistently evolve and keep pace with new technologies and expectations. The older the language that the original platform was coded in, the harder and more costly it will be to adapt to today’s age.

As a result, freight forwarders constantly struggled to balance revenues and costs to eke out what profits that they could. What worked for years before was no longer proving effective in the modern age of e-commerce. The “ain’t broke don’t fix it,” mantra no longer applies anymore – and even when it comes to a slow-moving, legacy industry like supply chain, logistics, and shipping.

Modern, Digital Capabilities Allow for Total Landed Cost Projects at the Moment of Inception

Current trends and processes also make it possible for freight forwarders and logistics managers to maximize profits as soon as a request for a quote arrives. Many forwarders are still shooting in the dark when it comes to profits, unsure really if that next load or shipment is going to help or hurt their organization’s chances of success.

Securing capacity, maximizing loads, improving rates, and streamlining the bidding processes allow for better cost management and less time wasted, which is increasingly valuable the smaller and more independent you are as a logistics service provider.

Thus, embracing modern advances and modernizations is the way that provides digital freight networks with a significant advantage in domestic and international markets. 

Realize the Efficiency Gains With an Advanced Freight Forwarder Platform Today

Maximizing profits and ROIs is critical for survival in the modern freight forwarding industry. Digital freight networks are becoming the new normal and represent current market trends among shippers, forwarders, and consumers alike. 

Utilizing the networks, leveraging the right customer-facing tools and platforms is critical for continued growth and success in these complex and challenging times. It’s what builds loyalty in today’s economy and drives revenue from repeat clients – in an ever-competitive and rapidly commoditizing space for the undiversified forwarder or broker.

Last, E-commerce has forever changed the way people approach shopping, and shippers and forwarders alike must adjust and adapt to remain relevant in the modern-day market. Managing a strong forwarding system and a collaborative network remains critical for the network today. Sign up for Cargologik today to learn more about the world’s “digital-first” global freight network in the making.

Ecommerce Logistics: Choosing the Right Partner for Your Ecommerce Startup

Ecommerce logistics form a vital part of global retail. According to Forbes, “74% of global retail and consumer brand professionals said they expect the crisis-led rise in online shopping to become permanent in an October survey fielded by Euromonitor International. E-commerce has been the fastest-growing channel over the last decade, with the crisis accelerating such shifts. Euromonitor International projects that half of the absolute value growth for the global retail sector over the 2020-2025 period will be digital. That equates to USD1.4 trillion in absolute value growth as more goods are sold online.” 

Direct-to-consumer packaged goods are all the rage now, with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce,  combined with modern marketing, leading the way fueling furious growth for these brands. Often, it can be hard to keep up with e-commerce demand and logistics departments at these shippers and their freight-forwarding partners need to evolve rapidly to keep up with surging consumer demand. Rather than leaving it up to chance, freight forwarders ought to consider a few things about how to choose the right partner for your system setup and processes. 

The Challenges of Managing Ecommerce Logistics Are Vast

Freight forwarding might seem fairly simple in the context of ecommerce logistics. However, the remarkable growth of ecommerce in the past year has exacerbated the problems inherent in managing freight around the globe. For instance, consider these top challenges of managing ecommerce forwarding:

  • Geographic differences result in added delays or capacity constraints that limit carrier availability.
  • International trade regulations increase total landed costs and make planning/executing shipments difficult.
  • Around-the-clock shipping execution that results in a strain on resources, especially when using manual management approaches. 
  • The Amazon Effect continues to create new standards for faster, free shipping, putting more pressure on freight forwarders to offer lower rates. 

Digital Freight Forwarding Platforms Simplify Ecommerce Logistics

Digital freight forwarding platforms have an important effect on freight forwarding. Whether a company is receiving products from international origins or shipping to overseas customers, it’s important to ensure all applicable tariffs and documentation are retained and properly completed. 

Moreover, digital freight forwarding platforms reduce the risk of complications deriving from missed opportunities. This means that international and domestic freight forwarders can quote more shipments and avoid unnecessary delays – generating more loyalty-driven revenue.

Core Considerations When Choosing a Digital Freight Forwarding Management Platform

There are a few core considerations freight forwarders need to take when choosing a digital management platform. These include:

  • Track and trace functionality to manage the full shipment lifecycle and ensure maximum compliance with regulations. 
  • Forecast demand to account for changes in demand and capacity availability, reducing the hassle of quoting and pain associated with gathering key shipment information. 
  • Taking advantage of sequential tendering processes to automate the quoting/booking process
  • Exception management capabilities to reduce rework and avoid unnecessary, redundant tasks.
  • Centralized document management to collaborate and share the bill of lading, proof of delivery, or other materials, including freight claims documentation when necessary.
  • Integrated capabilities to streamline billing processes, reducing back-office costs for freight forwarders.

Enhance Your Ecommerce Logistics Freight Forwarding Strategy With Cargologik

Ecommerce logistics will only increase in value and demand as time progresses. And the ability of today’s freight forwarders to stay competitive depends on the ability to recognize problems, streamline operations, and put the right systems in place. Simplify communication, get the transparency you need from your 3pl, and sign up for Cargologik to get started today.

5 Freight Forwarding Systems Use Cases to Know

It’s evident that the logistics world continues to exponentially grow and to meet that ever-increasing expansion freight forwarding systems have emerged to supplement the rapid change. 

As AJOT findings illustrate that the global e-commerce market grew by an impressive 27.3% in just 2020, many companies have adopted technology to simplify and streamline processes. Processes that are becoming increasingly complex, as new tech unlocks vast troves of data. 

Finding the right data, at the right time, and utilizing that data to act on insights that these powerful tools provide, within the right window of opportunity poses a challenge. This is why more organizations are beginning to realize the vital importance of having those key systems in place. 

Integrating these types of systems centralizes key processes, saves time and money, and creates a top-tier customer experience – one that builds loyalty, drives revenue, and differentiates the organization.

Freight Forwarding Systems Enable Digital Quoting and Booking

With the radical emergence of e-commerce, the global logistics world is expeditiously adapting to the high demand of online ordering. Freight forwarding platforms and systems are the great facilitator these days. The more analog ways of conducting certain processes such as quoting and booking have changed drastically. This has been driven by fundamental changes in customer expectations and client expectations along the value chain, and it’s on the independent forwarder or broker to keep up with said expectations.

Traditionally, these processes were historically completed by manually filling out paperwork or through endless back-and-forth exchangement of emails and games of phone tag. This method could take days, weeks, possibly even months to complete a single quote or book business. The internet has vastly expanded the amount of options and service providers that  the client can  choose to place its business. Clients have more info than ever before, and they expect you to go the extra mile in parsing that information and providing the strategic, timely guidance, all shippers are looking for.

Now with the modern advent of freight forwarding systems, customers can receive quotes and instantaneously, are able to view and share options, and book services in a matter of seconds. Through seamless automation, the customer experience is greatly enhanced, boosting both revenue and client satisfaction. (We’ll try to not say, “Amazon Effect,” in this article.)

Digital Processes Create a Datastream to Power Actionable Analytics

Through the data insights that freight forwarding analytics produce, companies can predict the best time to ship cargo. Whether prime-time shipping is this week or next, analytics that freight forwarding systems provide can help discern the best decision resulting in smarter profits for the client. And a more profitable, efficient client means a more successful forwarding or 3pl organization providing valued guidance, expertise, and the type of deep, professional relationship that exceptional account managers seek to build.

These analytical tools also gain insight into current rates and how they may fluctuate over time. This enhances plans and sharpens strategies. Making use of these tools is a no-brainer.

Advanced, Centralized Controls Reduce Confusion and Miscommunication

The communication management between shippers, carriers, and logistic service providers (LSPs) has always played an essential role in the success of any transportation business. People know at the end of the day, business is about people. Economic factors are critical but the sole component that the best LSP companies know as the most valuable – the human to human relationship. These tools need to empower account managers and commercial reps – not drown them in useless information or user interface fields that are irrelevant to them and their customers.

As the traditional modes of the communication pipeline (like phone calls, fax, and now even emails) carry many flaws when it comes to modern efficiency, freight forwarding systems have swiftly and, rightfully, overtaken these methods. They still dominate the day to day business of forwarding and brokerage, but they are now smarter, faster, and can help generate ROI on that most important asset – people. 

People are the ones who can prevent miscommunication, be on the lookout for human error, and solve things before they become problems – if they have the right solution. Simply put, there are just easier and better ways to do things. Technological systems centralize communications by connecting all parties effortlessly. No more dealing with lost paperwork or lagged response time in bottomless email threads. 

Increased Efficiency Promotes More Throughput and Fewer Delays Crossing International Borders

When it comes to shipping and receiving overseas and international freight forwarding, necessary challenges present themselves such as rules and regulations. 

Failure to comply results in heavy fines, duties, and delays in shipments, which cost companies time and resources, and unwanted demurrage and dwell fees.  Dealing with imports and exports, and all the logistics that slew of activities required to effectively handle it can seem quite overwhelming. These include things like tracking cargo, managing and maintaining proper documentation, insurance claims, and planning the best routes for the customer.

Luckily, freight forwarding systems deal with all the work required to fittingly handle these factors with modern versatility. Smaller and boutique logistics companies can still take advantage of such systems without investing an arm and a leg these days too.  Often, business owners have the misconception that they have to have an endless budget and a large tech team to purchase or build these robust systems.  That is not the case – at least not anymore.

Freight Forwarding Systems Can Integrate with E-commerce Shopping Carts and Payment Processes to Reduce Delays Too

With the demand for fulfillment increasing due to online ordering, the handling of online payment processes and transactions have subsequently increased as well. E-commerce, direct-to-consumer, and CPG brands are emerging and are now generating significant revenue globally. They are finding traction and growing quickly through merchant platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, MercadoLibre, and others around the world. These are powerful systems, bringing buyers, sellers, goods movers, and everyone else into this new wave that is only gathering momentum.

As systems and technology must adapt to the demand as customers continue to shop more online, businesses now have the option to streamline and automate the payment processes all at the point of sale. This reduces delays, enhances the shopping experience for the customer, while also enabling these businesses and their employees to build and establish thriving organizations. And the companies moving those goods need to know how to effectively do that while also meeting that end-consumers’ lofty expectations.

Explore the options of Digital Freight Forwarding With the Right Partnership

Organizations whose chief-aim goal is boosting efficiency and automating processes that save money and drive profitability should thoughtfully consider the use of freight forwarding systems. 
The rewards of functionality and the simplification of digital quoting and booking and await to be reaped. As these systems promote seamless collaboration between all parties everyone benefits from these tools. Sign up for Cargologik now to take the first step in delighting your clients and differentiating your logistics business.

How Technology Aids in Adhering to Freight Forwarding Regulations

Any business or organization that imports or exports goods and products regularly need a freight forwarder to take care of the ins and out of transportation. It’s no easy job! There are so many variables, regulations, and laws that govern freight forwarding practices, so it is essential to work with a known and reputable provider.

When it comes to international trade, compliance with freight forwarding regulations can get even more complicated and critical for the fast, safe, timely, and reliable delivery of goods and products across local and international borders.

The Challenges of Keeping up With Freight Forwarding Regulations

When moving goods across borders, but mainly international borders, attention to detail remains vital at all times. Shippers must remain compliant with the freight forwarding regulations within each jurisdiction that they encounter. Skilled and knowledgeable forwarders have a significant impact on compliance, review ratings, and the positive or negative results that follow are the types of related results that can build lasting, loyal relationships.

According to CoFounder Magazine, failure to have proper documentation ready for customs inspection can result in ships and trucks getting turned around and sent back. Not following protocols can also result in goods and products ending up seized or destroyed at the border. This is not the outcome that your shipper, partners, and clients are seeking. Instead, they need confidence in your abilities to support and guide them with the proper insight, systems, and people.

Often dealing with these freight forwarding regulations can be the most challenging part of shipping at times. Working with skilled and experienced forwarders who utilize modern technology and innovative platforms remains the best option for on-going success.

Using Technology Reduces the Risk of Compliance Violations

The modern-day supply chain and the protocols involved with freight forwarding regulations have transformed thanks to technology’s power. There are governments embracing direct filing systems and other connecting solutions to speed up and facilitate trade regulations.

By embracing automation advances and technological software, freight forwarders can help shippers and carriers reduce the risk of compliance violations in several ways:

  • Increasingly accurate data that can be analyzed and applied to order.
  • Faster communications between team members and customers.
  • Improved response times when issues and disruptions arise.
  • Better decision-making power and adaptability within the network.
  • Advanced network collaborations and partnerships with vendors.
  • More timely completed deliveries and more satisfied customers.
  • Proper protocol and processes to comply with custom regulations.

These are just some of the most common and impactful ways technology makes it easier to comply with the many complicated and involved freight forwarding regulations that exist today.

Additional Ways Technology Improves Compliance With Regulations

Freight forwarding regulations can present a challenge for even the most experienced transportation providers. Technology application and usage can make it easier to adhere to regulations by:

  • Giving everyone access to up-to-date regulations to follow.
  • Opening up admittance to faster lanes for transportation.
  • Improving overall network relationships and collaborations. 
  • Providing team members with innovative tools and services.
  • Ensuring access to real-time data and enhanced analysis.
  • Making it easier to provide better customer service at all times.
  • Enhancing insight and improving predictive planning strengths.
  • Getting fewer negative marks and reducing custom issues.

Keeping up with the many freight forwarding regulations remains challenging, but it doesn’t have to be quite as tricky and troublesome. Pay attention to new portals, interface, and corresponding regulations and proposed changes they share ahead of implementing them at the government level. The answer remains embracing all forms of related technology and the right automation that maximizes your organization and clients’ compliance while also reducing the workload on your own team and partners. 

Increase Compliance Ratings With the Right Digital System to Manage Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding regulations represent vast and often complicated laws, even for experienced transportation providers who have years of experience dealing with domestic and international shipping. Keeping up with these regulations and requirements presents an on-going challenge for transportation and logistics managers. 

However, technological advances and improved networking collaborations make it easier to improve compliance and enhance overall freight forwarding services. Compliance issues get reduced or even eliminated simply by having the right partner and utilizing freight forwarding technology. The right technology, that knows how to provide the compliant outcomes that these government bodies are seeking, can also be a significant advantage and will help you reduce risk, remain compliant, and win more loyal customers and their revenue.

To learn more and to get started with a digital setup, sign up with Cargologik today and try us out for free, no obligations.