Technology

Collaboration and Technology in Freight Forwarding: Why It’s Important & What Tools Enable It

Collaboration continues to be a critical focus by leaders and managers as both volatility and complexity proliferate in the supply chain. And major brands have taken notice of its cost-saving benefits. For example, says Logistics Bureau, “Sharing costs and bringing prices down through economies of scale, depending on the type of collaboration, can help each company’s bottom line. US food company Sysco offered an example when eyeing joint operations with U.S. Foods a few years ago. Sysco indicated that over three to four years, it expected annual cost savings of at least $600 million from improved logistics, supply chain and associated efficiencies.” For that reason, it’s important to recognize the value of collaboration and technology in freight forwarding as well and how a digital freight forwarding system of record is essential.

The Challenges of Outdated Freight Forwarding Management

Outdated freight forwarding simply refers to a manually driven process. Office tasks like communications and payment processing all occur manually. While these may seem somewhat trivial, they amount to massive opportunities for waste. After all, there may be a lack of insight, and the team may be continuously putting out fires. Meanwhile, today’s shippers want fast, instant, and affordable forwarding services. That’s where the disconnect can grow and lead your customers to your competitors. 

Tech-Driven Forwarding Reduces Miscommunications and Delays

Utilizing tech-driven forwarding capabilities reduces those direct risks and promotes a timely and quick experience for your customers. As such, they are likely to continue working with your forwarding office and increase volume. This can be a tricky concept though. As volume increases, your scalability depends on the capacity of your tech stack and the diversity, not to mention density, of your network. Bringing everything together through technology in freight forwarding streamlines the whole process and eliminates waste while building better customer service levels and more opportunities for collaboration. Collaboration combined with technology in freight forwarding is further critical to closing the gap with larger forwarders too. 

Why Integrated Technology in Freight Forwarding is a Best Practice

Integrated technology, ranging from GPS-enabled sensors through big data, can power a new breed of supply chain efficiency. It all comes down to maximizing small tasks and optimizing the full scale and strength of your network. For instance, some of the top tools that power digital freight forwarders to succeed above their competitors include:

  • Use of advanced analytics to continuously find weaknesses and optimize their relationships. 
  • Reduced delays in payment processing by keeping everything with a clear chain of custody and sharing information in real-time. 
  • Eliminating the hassle of manual check calls and requests for quotes by partnering with brokers or carriers, letting technology in freight forwarding do the heavy lifting with RPA or other forms of automation.
  • Sharing information and updates to shipper-clients in real-time and doing more with less whether a domestic forwarder or international player.
  • Booking loads digitally with partners through advanced marketplaces and load boards, using APIs to connect the forwarding system to various software suites. 

Reap the Rewards of Technology in Forwarding With the Right Software Vendor

A technology-driven strategy is the only way to unlock a future-ready freight forwarding process. And it begins with using the right forwarding software in your enterprise. That’s right. If the software cannot cut it, your organization will face grave uncertainty, and since freight forwarding can be an overlooked aspect of the modern supply chain, it’s imperative for your team to find the best technology in freight forwarding software to book more loads, connect with more LSPs and reduce delays. Cargologik is that software. Sign up for a Cargologik to get started. 

International Freight Forwarding Management: How Technology Mitigates Maritime Shipping Risk

International freight forwarding companies continuously remain on the lookout for new ways to judge the logistics and forwarding market. When it comes to moving transportation on a global scale, it all comes down to taking advantage of the best digital freight forwarder capabilities available. This often means embracing technology, automated dashboards, and data tracking systems in the modern supply chain. This is especially true within the maritime shipping network, where every step of the shipment process brings additional risks and rewards. Mitigating those risks and maximizing the rewards remains the goal of maritime management in terms of international freight forwarding. And it’s time for today’s forwarders to start thinking about this reality.

How Outdated Technology Can Cripple Maritime Supply Chains and International Freight Forwarding Operations

Technology, freight forwarding analytics, and automation are the way of the future as more fright managers look towards these trends. However, the critical piece of the puzzle remains having access to updated technology and current data analysis. Outdated technology can cripple maritime supply networks in several ways, including:

  • Greater risk for errors and disruptions caused by human error.
  • Faulty judgment calls are based on inaccurate or outdated data.
  • Poor response times due to system failures and downtime.
  • Missed international freight forwarding capacity acquisitions.
  • No insight into weather delays, territorial issues, and other disruptions.

All these issues and much more can be reduced or even eliminated with modern technology to gain automation, and streamlined processes. But why? Let’s take a closer look at that next. 

Benefits of Automation and Real-Time Data Implementation for Maritime Shipping

Up-to-date data analytics combined with international freight forwarding platforms can go a long way in helping to improve resiliency for maritime shippers. According to Supply Chain Digital,  “Near-real-time visibility and tracking can produce immediate insights that can reduce reaction times from days or weeks to just hours or minutes.” The advancements in automation and digital processes make it easier to manage shipments, monitor loads, track cargo, and respond to transport issues. Automations with withing platforms for freight forwarding have the potential to revolutionize maritime shipping lines. And additionally, that saves back-office resources, so international forwarders can focus on moving more freight—critical aspects in the ever-growing world of e-commerce too.

The Four Ways That Automated Services and Digital Platforms Can Utilize Smart Data Analysis

Maritime transportation managers’ use of freight forwarding platforms and freight forwarding software can streamline day-to-day operations and offer the absolute best in customer experience.  Embracing automation and digitalization is the key to improving profits and reducing costs and expenses with ocean shipping lanes. In a turbulent time for maritime international freight forwarding, it remains critical for forwarders, carriers, and brokers to focus on several key factors. Smart data analysis can help improve forwarding services in several main ways:

  • Deploying modern technology helps avoid rolled cargo and reduce lost loads and cargo containers.
  • Easily mitigate risks, protect cargo, reduce losses, and prepare for disruptions with automated push notifications, alerts and true management by exception.
  • Avoid demurrage and other fees associated with shipment interruptions by knowing more about when a liner will arrive and how much time it will take to unload.
  • Improve decision making and response times for disruptions, deviations, and delays, saving on drayage costs and still ensuring a smooth ocean shipping process.

International freight forwarding depends on making a move toward automated services by embracing a digital and modern approach to maritime freight management. And of course, it all provides a foolproof way of documenting what happens for both importer- and exporter-of-record requirements too.

Implement Fast, Easy, and Profitable Maritime Shipping With a Cargologik Vendor Partnership

Mitigating the inherent risks of maritime transportation and maximizing the rewards associated with oceanic shipments is a primary focus of international freight forwarding.  Smooth, successful, and profitable maritime shipping has stayed dependent on management embracing modern technology and platforms. Get started by contacting and signing up for Cargologik today.

Top Features to Expect in a Freight Forwarding System

For all freight forwarders today, the key to success often comes down to planning and preparing correctly for whatever deviations and issues may occur along the supply chain network. Building a robust freight forwarding system and support a freight forwarding network is an essential part of the puzzle. Yes, it is easier said than done.  But it is also often what separates the successful freight forwarding companies from those struggling during these unprecedented times. 

Here are some of the top features your freight forwarding system needs to include to be efficient and successful.

Cross-Platform and Cross-Metric Management

In response to obstacles and drastic changes to customer demands, a robust cross-platform management plan is essential.  Cross-metric operations also help to complement the freight forwarding system and help it perform as efficiently as possible. In today’s day and age, you need to know what actions to take, when, and from who – even when that “who” might be another platform or perhaps working with another colleague on your team.  

Automation and Digitalized Analysis

It’s almost to be expected that some aspect of the supply chain will include some level of automation. To survive in the industry today, freight forwarding systems must be automated and digitized to keep up with trends and industry growth. 

After all, automation is the steppingstone to additional advanced functions, including management by exception, robotics process automation (RPA), and much more to build resiliency.

It all goes back to the use of data analytics in the network. And according to JOC.com, “Big data is obviously one of the critical success factors; the more collected real-time data available, the more value and optimization are put into supply chains. However, the challenge for companies is to be able to cope with this huge amount of data. A new generation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) is expected to come that shall include more AI features and connected devices to cope with predictive analytics in demand planning, real-time planning adjustment, scenario planning, and advanced profit optimization schedules.”

SaaS Technology to Help Overcome Obstacles

The technology is being utilized in freight forwarding systems, and today’s automated platforms are changing how the industry responds to obstacles and problems. Global supply chains must be able to respond to delays, issues, and customer complaints quickly. 

And part of that demand means using the same systems regardless of location. In other words, cloud-based platforms that rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) models can unify your network and reduce barriers to efficiency. And they achieve this feat at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining digital freight forwarding system platforms in-house.

Last, and most importantly, SaaS represents conducting business on the terms of your customer, which is often what great relationships and clients boil down to. You would be surprised as to how many shippers and clients of yours also value the same transparency and tech advantages that you do.  This comes down to the unique “value,” you and your team bring to the table – and if you can help them, you ultimately help yourself.

Improved Chain Visibility and Connectedness

With new advances in technology and a healthy, renewed focus on freight forwarding system platforms, it becomes possible for shippers to improve visibility and connectivity. The improved productivity ensures all parties are on the same page from start to finish. As an example, your freight forwarding technology should aggregate and share data collected from IoT-enabled sensors and third-party supply chain partnerships too.  

Please keep in mind though, that the more “independent” of a freight forwarding company you are, the more weary you should be with integrations.  Think, “is this something my customer would want to have?”, and ask them! Don’t integrate just to integration, but do so in specific areas that provide concrete value to the customer.

Fast and Accurate Data Sharing

Although connectivity leads to increased visibility, it deserves its own mention. By embracing automated data sharing, every team member and third-party member can stay in the loop throughout the forwarding process. A robust freight forwarding system is a much-needed trend that forwarding and tracking industries can significantly benefit from and enable management by exception.

Think about the ease of use of popular technology and features such as the Amazon or Alibaba logistics timeline, or the DHL or FedEx tracking number.  They’ve been around for a while now, and provide value to each party that needs to know whats happening with their shipment, in very easy ways. There are no logins required even. Seek out solutions that work just as easy with clients who don’t want to remember another password. Use platforms so good that the shipper actually wants to sign up and create an account for the added benefits.

Features that allow you to copy, paste, and transmit valuable data should always be a part of your digital customer experience strategy.

Promotion of Management by Exception

A well-implement freight forwarding system allows drivers, shippers, and workers throughout the chain the power to fulfill their work or projects. The manage by exception method of management makes data more application and shareable. Have a system of alerts and notifications to help you deal with all of the commercial day-to-day operations will allow you to operate more strategically at scale while driving revenue and profitability.

Efficient Planning Stats to Handle Deviations

Freight forwarding systems should be designed to predict deviations by applying real-time data and analytics to see trends and optional areas of concern within the chain. It can help forwarders maintain their competitive advantage through it all. Additionally, analytics insights should be meaningful, presented in near-real-time, and actionable to promote the most substantial ROI. If you do not have the tech teams or budget (as most independent forwarders do not), we encourage you to try to seek out members of your community or engage consultants to support your organization. Arming your people with the ability to proactively respond to deviations and exceptions will help you succeed.

User-Friendly Lines of Communication

Faster responses to questions and concerns should be a primary focus of freight forwarding systems. Such a focus makes the entire supply chain more potent and more efficient. Keeping up a good rapport with customers and clients is more straightforward, too, with access to a good platform.  And a good platform means one that is easy to navigate, log key data and events across offices/departments, and being able to search for past events by internal reference numbers and tools.  Bonus points for being able to extending your existing team with chat-like capabilities.

Build a Strong Freight Forwarding System With Help From the Experts

Get everything you want and need, and expect in one convenient package today by trusting the freight forwarding experts. To see how easy it can be to set up the perfect system platform for your freight forwarding needs, sign up for Cargologik.

Freight Innovations: How to Innovate on a Shoe-String Budget

Freight innovation is the key to surviving the highly-competitive market of the modern freight and shipping industry. If there has been one lesson this year has taught those in the industry, it’s that change is inevitable. For many in the industry, the key to surviving the unprecedented time of the year 2020 comes down to embracing freight innovations and technology advancements. For instance, using software-as-a-service based platforms, including cloud-based, digital forwarding software, can go a long way in enabling real-time, continuous improvement without massive profitability cuts.

Realize That Almost Any Upgrade is Better Than None for Freight Innovations

Accepting modernization is easy. The money to put into upgrades and new processes and tools is easily accessible. But when budgets are tight, it can be a bit more challenging, but still possible. According to Science Direct, “Logistics processes underlying freight transport are changing rapidly, driven by progress in information technology and an unparalleled growth of consumer involvement in supply chains. This development is also driving change in freight transport flows, by all modes of transport.” There are many ways to accept freight innovations without sacrificing funding for other critical areas of the business. Such a move may take some creativity and a lot of work, but the benefits are well worth it in the long run.  And in fact, the developments continue to get cheaper and more actionable, especially as more cloud-based services follow subscription-based payment models. 

Start Making the Shift Towards Digital Automations Now

Making changes to how business management works and the business flow, in general, is always challenging. Making the initial move towards digital automation and embracing freight innovations within the supply chain network matter most. Details will vary from shipper to shipper, but forward progress of any kind is an improvement over staying stagnant and becoming obsolete. 

Make Small Upgrades Little By Little to Platforms Over Longer Periods

If the primary platform and beginning stages of modernization are already in place, the next practical step is to keep upgrading whenever and however possible. When funding and budgets don’t allow for extensive system upgrades and advancements, small changes can still be done. Useful analytics and tech applications can have an enormous impact on freight innovations within a supply chain network.

Train Employees Ahead of Time, So They Are Ready to Embrace the Change

When funding is tight, it can be challenging to know where to focus the money. An investment that always pays dividends for the long-term is employee training. Taking the time and investing the money to train staff on freight innovations coming down the line will make the transition easier when such a thing finally happens. Staff who are ready for changes will be much more efficient and successful.

Work With Logistics Experts to Maximize Effects of Freight Innovations

To make the most out of freight innovations available and ensure your budget goes as far as possible for you, be sure to work with the experts in innovations and freight logistics.  And above all else, remember that digital freight forwarding is the future of logistics efficiency, whether simply upgrading operations or getting ready to launch your business. Contact Cargologik today to sign up for a demo and see how even small changes and improvements can make a world of difference.

5 Freight Forwarding Software Trends for 2021

With a new year ahead, freight forwarding businesses need to take time to look at the vital freight forwarding software trends that can set them up for success this year. 

According to a report by Logistics Management, “Forwarding companies understand mode complexity, indirect routing strategies and knowledge of how to avoid shipment delays, even during a ‘black swan’ event such as the coronavirus scare.” 

Here are five freight forwarding software trends poised to set shippers and forwarders up for the best returns on their investment and to prepare them for short and long-term success. It’s also important to note that each of the below trends carries a degree of applicability to software-as-a-service platforms. 

Embrace Multimodal Shipping Methods to Overcome Gridlock and Backlogs

Supply chains have shifted. Warehouses have been relocated. Innovative distribution methods and apps have picked up. So much has changed over the last year. 

One of the keys to recovery in the coming years will be multimodal shipping innovations in several SaaS-based shipping systems of record. Multimodal shipping methods may well be what saves the freight forwarding and logistics industry. It is also one of the major freight forwarding software trends to observe. The more shipping mode options available, the easier it will be to implement and roll with the punches if other disruptions come along. The more modes your organization is versed in, the stronger your organizational offering, and the higher likelihood you will be able to exceed customer expectations, and win new loyal customers.

Upgrade Platforms and Systems to Embrace Digital Advances in Technology

Keeping up with the times will be critical for forwarders and shippers in the years to come. Technology is no longer a nice to have, but absolutely necessary especially for independent forwarders. The progress towards digital trends and systems will ensure supply chain networks keep ahead of the competition in the coming year. It will also enable freight forwarders to stay better in sync – ultimately resolving more exceptions, faster, and well before they become a problem for them and their clients. Freight forwarding software trends will influence many aspects of the industry, and embracing these digital advances in technology is now essential.

Tap Into the Power of 3PLs and Out of House Tech and Shipping Assistance

Sometimes it makes sense to outsource specific tasks and systems to free up internal working hours and resources. Leverage is always a forwarders’ best friend and being able to take advantage of existing networks, relationships, and software helps logistics organizations retain their competitive edge.

Working with 3PLs, outside carrier,s and partners is a trend that is not going anywhere and poised to become the norm in the years to come. For those wanting to keep up with the best freight forwarding software trends for 2021, more collaborative shipping relationships and tools to enhance communication between forwarders and other logistics service providers is one to start implementing right away.

Focus on Sustainability and Green Processes Moving Forward in the Years to Come

Another freight forwarding software trend managers cannot afford to ignore is also a cultural trend and shift towards a more sustainable focus. Regardless of personal stance, today’s generation and those of the future will continue to drive the focus on green options, sustainability, and eco-friendly tools for shipping and transportation. Embracing the shift now will make it easier to provide what customers want later and promote loyal client retention.

Improved Risk Assessment and Better Predictive Methods and Responses 

The final trend to be embraced by the transportation industry is streamlining risk assessment processes and building up predictive methods and response options throughout the chain.  Freight forwarding software trends often drive towards automation, technological advancements, and improved strategies. This in-turn helps logistics managers and their commercial teams identify and respond to issues more effectively. Speeding up response time and being able to identify and resolve issues before they become a more significant problem for the forwarder and shipper.

Work With Leading Experts to Embrace Freight Forwarding Software Trends in 2021

The upcoming freight forwarding software expectations for 2021 are nothing short of astonishing. They will invigorate stale office management practices and help companies do more with less. Leverage will become easier for logistics companies and their clients.  Software will make things cheaper, better, and faster and will serve as strategic advantages for those who embrace them now.

To make the most of the freight forwarding software trends on the rise with the industry, working with a skilled and experienced freight management company like Cargologik is the way to go. Sign up for Cargologik here today to get started. 

Digital Freight Forwarding: 5 Things to Know About Web-Based Platforms for Freight Forwarding

The most robust and most efficient technology-based platforms for freight forwarding must be carefully managed. They were designed to handle the unique demands of forwarding customers. It has to act as a freight forwarding operating system, improving customer satisfaction, attracting top talent, saving on total costs, and improving automatic processes. According to Supply and Demand Chain Executive, “Many shippers, fleets and logistics providers have invested heavily in an EDI solution, and it may be unreasonable to ask them to retire their investment…but APIs can expand the shelf life and value of an EDI solution.” Creating blended platforms and combined systems give modern platforms for freight forwarding their power and appeal.

1. Web-Based Platforms for Freight Forwarding Should Integrate With Your Systems

Moving away from EDI platforms to a more updated and automated system remains key to continued success. Platforms like APIs can represent the deciding factor that can make the difference between surviving to finally thriving. An API is a more modern interface that enables disparate software solutions to maximize their influence. Integrating different systems enhances the power and control managers have over the real-time-data within the platform.

2. Web-Based Doesn’t Always Mean Scalable or Easy to Use

It remains important to note that a web-based automated platform for freight forwarding will not cure everything overnight. The system can get to a scalable point to fit a range of businesses. A valid solution that handles forwarders of all sizes needs constant monitoring and fortification. The best platforms remain those customized to meet customers’ and managers’ unique needs. These services and media represent user-friendly options when they get set up accordingly. Digital forwarder management works efficiently when systems keep in line with the supply chain’s overall goals. 

3. It Combines CRM With Load Management and Execution to Conserve Resources

CRM represents another tool that can help forwarders make the most of platforms for freight forwarding. It becomes a specially designed customer relationship management software. It can help combine improved forwarding services and automation with enhanced customer service care. A good CRM program consistently delivers positive experiences to customers. It will help to organize workers and 3PL teams. It gives powerful insights to improves ROI profits by reducing freight spend. Results that emerge from a CRM program remains very insightful when it comes to highlighting disruptions and deviations. It can help improve overall freight systems and operations within the network.

4. It Empowers Your Team and Office to Attract New, Fresh Talent

Demand for supply chain professionals and new trainees alike currently far exceeds the new talent rate coming into the industry network. According to a survey reported in Forbes“Nearly 70% of respondents said perceptions that the profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers’ ability to find, attract, and retain talented people.” Simultaneously within the shipping industry, the skills needed to succeed change rapidly as automated systems require training and specialized skills the older generation does not have. The platform for freight forwarding can improve employee retention while also attracting new talent.

5. A SaaS-Based Platform for Freight Forwarding Costs Less

A robust web-based automated platform for freight forwarding can help attract new customers. This will ensure that the industry keeps moving forward into new innovations and automated processes. These platforms can also improve forwarding networks through streamlined approaches to IT development and implementation. SaaS-based services rely on subscription models that effectively mean a company spends less upfront to get started. And it’s true that within the shipping industry, many forwarders choose to offer specialized services on a user subscription payment setup. This approach saves money and resources and helps ensure customers get quality service options. Thus, all involved parties get what they want and need out of the platform. 

Choose the Right Platform; Choose Cargologik

Creating blended platforms and combined systems continue to build on platforms for freight forwarding that offer highly-competitive services. Integrating multiple platforms can work well when a single line approach is not conducive to current forwarding systems. Combining services and platforms to overcome disruptions and build on strengths must remain all forwarders’ primary goal today.  Sign up for Cargologik access to get started today. 

Freight and Data: 5 Applications of Real-Time Data in Forwarding

With the speed of innovation in our sector picking up steam, accurate freight data in logistics are of the utmost importance and carry many benefits. The need for data automation and real-time response is essential to all freight and logistic platforms. 

According to MIT Management, “By harnessing a combination of technologies like AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics, companies can automate warehouse operations, improve delivery times, proactively manage inventory, optimize strategic sourcing relationships, and create new customer experiences that increase satisfaction and boost sales.” It is little wonder then why freight data applications have become a primary focus in forwarding services.

1. Distributing Statistical Data Among All Parties

One critical gap appearing more frequently within freight forwarders and related services is the need for end-to-end visibility among all parties. A lack of clearly driven insight and real-time data can cause problems throughout the chain.  Unfortunately, many times bad data is provided by sea or airliners and the forwarder is left to pick up the pieces and communicated down the chain when things go awry.

In order to prevent these bad outcomes, parties can be kept in the loop and on the same page by embracing automation and up-to-date statistical data. The problems freight data sharing can overcome, and the benefits gained make such a focus a much-needed trend for the shipping and forwarding industry. 

2. Embracing Automated Alerts and Updates

Many freight forwarding and related shipping opportunities boil down to not implementing automated alerts and data. For the fastest and most effective use of freight data, automation is critical. 

Automation is critical and we recommend developing a more real-time approach to updates, warnings, and communications – especially when timing is of the essence. Forwarders experience slow response times, increased customer complaints, inability to accurately project expenses and a drop in productivity—all of which can be avoided with embracing tools that can help you automatically relay updates to your customer.  

And even better, collaborate with them in real-time.

3. Implementing a Management by Exception Approach

Management by exception is the modern management method designed to give employees the power, control, and responsibility to make decisions. This method allows drivers, shippers, and workers throughout the chain the power to fulfill their work or projects.

It can help improve responses to freight data because it allows managers to focus on problems affecting the bottom line and require actual intervention, rather than being tied up with simple issues or delays. Invest in tools and software that let you know when things are going wrong and that focus on the customer experience.

4. Easier and More Efficient Planning for Deviations

Using freight data powerfully and practically can help shippers predict and plan for problems and deviations more accurately. The sooner the entire chain is aware of an issue, the sooner changes can be made and bad outcomes reduced. Effectively applying real-time data and analytics applications can make the difference between success and failure during these trying times. It can help forwarders keep the competitive advantage during these trying times.

5. Faster Response to Customer Complaints and Concerns

One of the most significant advantages, which can come when shippers and forwarders embrace automation and fully utilize freight data results, is faster response time. 

For any company, responding to problems, delays, and complaints quickly can mean the difference between keeping a customer happy and losing their business for good.  Faster responses to questions and concerns will make the chain stronger and more efficient and help maintain a strong rapport with customers and clients. 

When the client wins, we all win, and that is very much and especially true when it comes to logistics.

Get the Most From Freight and Data Automation With Cargologik

Real-time responsiveness is the lifeforce of the modern supply chain. And it always goes back to the proper use of freight and data management strategies. 

Start by implementing the applications above of real-time data in forwarding processes. And continue by using the right system. 

To learn more about how automation can bring freight forwarding and shipping services into the modern age and learn more about freight and data utilization, sign up for Cargologik

6 Tips for Digital Freight Forwarders to Gain a Competitive Advantage

The freight and logistics industry has always been a competitive and complex tradeoff between service and risk. However, during the continuous disruptions of recent years, the emphasis has been on evolving technologies and using software for digital freight forwarders to streamline operations. 

Digital freight forwarders have their work cut out for them. Their primary job of managing client imports and exports is still the same. Of course, any new technology is not necessarily ready for deployment on day one. After all, a company still needs to understand how to use it. Implementations take time and effort from all team members starting with leadership.

Fortunately, more advanced, user-intuitive SaaS-Based platforms, such as Cargologik, are changing the narrative.  Simple freight collaboration platforms are finally making it easier for independent forwarders to function. 

Part of that functionality is applying these six tips to gain a competitive advantage. 

1. Understand What Clients Want and Need

Shippers often have unique needs in a time of extreme SKU proliferation. The age of e-commerce has expanded to match a volume that would have otherwise occurred over six years. John Koetsier of Forbes speaks further to the point:

“Higher rates of e-commerce and BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) may be the new abnormal, Adobe data indicates. ‘We are seeing signs that online purchasing trends formed during the pandemic may see permanent adoption,’ Taylor Schreiner, Director, Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. ‘While BOPIS was a niche delivery option pre-pandemic, it is fast becoming the delivery method of choice as consumers become more familiar with the ease, convenience and experience.’”

Without insight into what clients want and need, it’s more troublesome to figure out what markets to target and where to begin. Digital freight forwarders must also know why the market responds to current conditions and how that will affect future decisions.

2. Actively Market Unique Feature/Services

Informing clients of services must be more than a simple list of services. With fierce competition and customer experience a critical initiative for forwarders, it’s critical to differentiate. It is also essential to engage with all potential shippers and partnering carriers for digital freight forwarders to promote their service actively. Competition is ever-present, so freight forwarders must always be setting themselves apart with active marketing and telling their clients how their services and platforms are superior.

3. Create Open Lines of Communication With Clients 

Another great way to gain a competitive advantage is by being more than a tedious computer interaction. Clients want to be able to establish contact with digital freight forwarders quickly. And they want quick, easy-to-understand answers. That interaction and communication could be part of an AI-guided chatbot or other process designed to mirror face-to-face conversations. 

Assertive communication is the key to keeping customers content. Such an approach is even more critical in the volatile freight market of today.

4. Tap Investors and Advanced SaaS-Based Resources

Digital freight forwarders often struggle to secure funds, but current trends are making it easier to connect with investors. Even still, the advent of software-as-a-service digital freight forwarding software has made it easier for companies to get started and hit the ground running. 

SaaS can allow individual users, such as a specific segment of the market, to post or interact with forwarders for free through set portals. Those same functions could be used to pay for the forwarders’ investment in the software. Of course, it all depends on usage, segment, and volume. But the points remain the same. 

5. Match Demand with Supply Through API-Connected Load Boards and Platforms

There are many industries and markets affected by changes brought by current market forces. Using load boards and platforms, digital freight forwarders can better play the market to match supply (loads) with demand (equipment and drivers). Using APIs, it’s easier than ever to transform these processes into a turnkey operation. This occurs while working as a more accurate third party to find the best deals and reduce total landed costs. 

6. Digitize and Automate As Much As Possible

Digital processes and automation are the way of the future. Most digital freight forwarders have started embracing this trend. As further explained by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), “As these companies realize, applying digital technologies operations offers many opportunities to improve both the customer experience and operations. Digitization of processes from booking to documentation handling can bring tangible benefits to customers and logistics service providers alike.” However, the full automation of shipment tracking and servicing is essential for ongoing success and growth.

Find Success as a Digital Freight Forwarder With Help From the Pros

Make the most of any freight forwarding platform, and maximize the reach of services with a digital approach. Start by applying the six tips above. And don’t forget to sign up for Cargologik today.

Technology in Freight Forwarding: 3 Tips to Successfully Implement

Technology’s the name of the game within the freight industry, and it continues to be included in trends today. The technology in freight forwarding platforms and today’s systems shape how trying times are faced and overcame. Global supply chains have faced disruptions, the likes of which have never been seen. 

Coming off years punctuated with labor shortages, staggering growth in e-commerce, a shrinking pool of freight drivers, and trade wars, those in freight and shipping need a future-proof solution, such as technology-driven management and SaaS-based resources. For those in the logistics industry, the various advances of logistics technology have made it possible for more shippers to weather the storm and thrive throughout any current or future disruption.

1. Ensure the System Is Compatible With Existing Freight Management Resources in Use

Embracing technology in freight forwarding becomes all about making a move from the old to the new. And that sentiment was recently echoed by Patrick Burnson of Logistics Management:

“Both digitalization and automation will become less of a novelty, mainly because a large part of the industry has already moved beyond the adoption phase and into the development phase. It’s almost to be expected that everything being developed or purchased these days will include some level of automation.” 

To survive in the industry today, technology in freight forwarding must be the primary focus for managers as automation advances. Businesses must validate that existing systems are compatible with new resources. 

Fortunately, the rise of SaaS resources enables that compatibility. Since SaaS leverages cloud-based computing, it usually relies on API or EDI to share and act upon data. However, those using more outdated systems, such as legacy ERP, may find themselves between a rock and a hard place. That is, between hanging onto their existing investments and wanting to leverage the future of freight forwarding technologies. This is also a reason why the need for more affordable, easy-to-use solutions are now available on the market to help decision-makers slowly inch their way out of making tough decisions that impact their entire business and employees.

2. Build a Cross-Departmental Change Management Team With Technology in Freight Forwarding

In response to market demand and shifts in customer behaviors, the need for cross-departmental management and operations has become more critical than ever. As more and more information regarding commercial operations become available, and expected with the customer, having a tool to bridge the widening knowledge gaps between regional offices, or larger teams where it’s harder for everyone to stay in-sync. Thus, being able to first address in a way that doesn’t produce a financial or personnel shock becomes doubly important. The first steps of change management need to come from leadership with clear communication and fair mandates that are amenable to your team.

Change management refers to the ability to handle new software implementation and avoid unnecessary delays or expenses. Proper training and education in terms of client interaction and exposure to the technology in freight forwarding are critical to success. And taking those steps further helps to keep employees comfortable and happy with the new systems.

3. Take Advantage of Vendor Resources for Configuration, Implementation, and Training

The good news is everything needed to embrace technology in freight forwarding is readily available. The not-so-good, more common story is that most managers, shippers, and business owners were caught entirely off guard and had to react quickly to maximize recovery and rebalancing resources to roll with the market’s many punches. 

With technology in freight forwarding, it becomes possible for shippers to gain better chain visibility and connectivity. And by leveraging vendor resources, it’s easier to configure systems to specifications, implement the systems, conduct training, and leverage the vendor’s collective experience. It’s a win-win and this is what change management is all about at the end of the day.

Leverage the Right Platform With These Technologies Embedded to Achieve Success

Many surveys within the shipping and transport industry have shown adapting to current health and safety practices played a crucial role in the success and survivability of many companies. 

What’s more, many freight forwarders and shipping companies plan to keep many of the automation and technology advances even after peak season variability subsides. It’s no longer an option – and keeping up with the Amazon’s, DHLs, and FedEx’s of the world, and the ever-evolving customer expectations that forwarders and brokers today need to keep up with. The shift to digital shipping and automation push towards technology in freight forwarding. It is here and now the way of the future. Sign up for Cargologik online today to stay ahead of the competition.

5 Ways Freight Systems Reduce Operating Expenditures & Total Costs

Digital transformation continues in the supply chain, powered by a host of logistics startups and new technologies. It’s all in the goal of savings and improved processes. As reported by McKinsey & Company, “Companies have made significant improvements to manufacturing, service and maintenance operations through lean techniques: eliminating waste, inflexibility, and variability in their systems and reducing costs by up to 50% in the process. Yet few apply the same lean techniques in warehouse operations or transportation, even though they can have a dramatic effect. These operations represent 95% of the pharma logistics costs and, in our experience, companies can save 20-50% in warehousing and up to 40% in transportation.” As a result, supply chain companies and freight forwarders need to know the top five ways freight systems can lower operating expenditures. 

1. Freight Systems Generate FTE Savings

Reducing the amount of time back-office workers require in freight management is a leading benefit of implementing advanced freight systems. By leveraging these technologies, workers can be more productive, identify opportunities for improvement, and streamline all operations.

2. Collaborative Resources Reduce Delays

Improvements in freight management through collaborative resources effectively reduces delays in transportation management. For freight forwarders, that includes finding available carriers and sharing documentation as quickly as possible. Therefore, customers realize the benefits of faster delivery.

3. Faster Fulfillment and Transportation Result in Higher Customer Service Levels

Quick fulfillment and rapid transportation management eventually lead to higher customer service levels. That is the result of customers getting a product or item on time or ahead of time. Remember that those are critical factors in staying competitive with Amazon.

4. Streamlined Back-Office Management Shortens the Payment Clock

Improvements within the back-office management functions also help to shorten the payment clock. Since freight forwarders are a true third-party in the logistics space, progress within the back office is essential to ensuring carriers get paid on time. And that translates into a timely payment to the freight forwarder. Additionally, faster payment to partnering trading companies will open the doors to additional discounts, such as a freight forwarder-of-choice or carrier-of-choice designation for such parties.

5. Digital Resources Measure Business Performance

Deployed freight systems and digital resources also include the application of advanced analytics. In the modern supply chain, leveraging the full suite of analytics, including descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, is essential to success. These analytics track the entire shipment lifecycle from the cradle to the grave and help provide an understanding and pathway forward for logistics companies. As a result, they are better able to preempt disruptions and navigate uncertainty within the market. That translates into reduced operating expenditures and savings that can be used in other parts of the business, such as employee benefits to improve retention rates or new facilities to expand.

Leverage the Right Freight Systems With the Right Partner

Successful logistics management depends on the company’s ability to leverage the right freight systems. As digital transformation has given shippers a way to eliminate the middleman from the equation virtually, freight forwarders’ value will remain absolute going into 2021. With that in mind, it is essential to realize that freight systems can and do reduce operating expenditures and total costs in these five core ways. What are you waiting for? Sign up for Cargologik online to unlock the value of freight systems in your supply chain today.