Trends

Best Practices to Compete With Digital Freight Forwarding Companies

The boom of e-commerce within the supply chain forces companies to compete with digital freight forwarding companies with more tactful operations. Domestic freight forwarders and others within the industry can keep up with the demand for the e-commerce led supply chain if they understand customers’ needs. They achieve this feat by knowing how to continuously add value, and that means knowing a few tips to success. Let’s take a closer look at these tips or best practices and how they enable a better and more strategic competitive advantage for freight forwarders.

1. Understand Your Customers’ Needs by Tracking Their Interactions With Your Business

For digital freight forwarding companies, collaboration and technology will be the key factor for remaining competitive in the booming e-commerce market. Understanding customers’ needs are easier to handle if businesses track their interactions with potential clientele from the beginning. 

2. Recognize That Technology Is Continuously Evolving

As the world reaches each technological milestone, remember that technology will always be changing and evolving to meet the next need. This can be difficult to keep tabs on, but the devil is in the details. According to Deloitte.com, professionals continue to fail to keep up with the current tech demand in many ways, but the biggest risk is getting lost in the weeds. The solution is to choose and keep their tech stack more actionable, insightful and direct. 

3. Streamline Freight Settlement and Payment With Integrated Systems

As far as being an international freight forwarder within the space of other digital freight forwarding companies, the effort to consolidate payment with more centralized systems continues to reign supreme. Freight settlement and methods of payment can be performed at a more efficient rate by integrating existing systems with upgraded and new systems. This process is faster and boosts the likelihood of remaining competitive. And it also builds rapport with your carrier partners.

4. Measure the Health of Your Business With Analytics

Freight forwarders must know how their business is performing, and by using analytics that monitor everything, it’s easier to keep track of successes and failures.  With the help of descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, experts can determine when issues might become impactful, why and what’s necessary to avoid them. Not only can they monitor this in real-time, but analytics insights also provide an opportunity to capture problems before they become costly or detrimental. Staying competitive with digital freight forwarding companies means reducing issues and proactively monitoring each piece of the business for improvement. 

5. Ensure Your System of Record Fully Integrates With All Major E-Commerce Platforms

Another way to enhance collaboration by digitizing your freight network and to stay competitive with digital freight forwarding companies is to ensure the system fully integrates with all major e-commerce platforms. This means the current system can also meet the same quality as other major e-commerce platforms because the same information can be obtained and shared in real-time.

6. Implement Sustainable, ESG-Oriented Transportation Management Goals

The best way to keep e-commerce giants from monopolizing the market is to implement sustainable transportation management goals. More companies are recognizing that environment, social and governance-oriented goals can increase competitive advantage. Unfortunately, many supply chain professionals do not know they need to bear this in mind. However, the supply chain is responsible for a large carbon footprint. The world wants more sustainable options, and this can ensure a competitive edge for those who need more visibility. 

Stay Competitive by Choosing the Right Platform for Digital Freight Forwarding Companies, Brokers and 3PLs

Whether experts and supply chain management are navigating volatility with technology or simply trying to enhance their services, choosing the right platform for business needs means remaining competitive in this e-commerce driven world. Sign up for Cargologik to enable the best in independent freight forwarding. 

Freight Forwarding Challenges: Top 5 Risks Affecting Freight Forwarding in 2021

The supply chain, both domestically and internationally, already faces many challenges that have never been dealt with before. The positive and negative effects of the worldwide pandemic, worker shortages, route disruptions, financial burdens, and freight forwarding challenges, big and small alike, have changed the way the freight forwarding industry operates and how it promotes features and benefits.

Adapting to and Overcoming Freight Forwarding Challenges

Freight and logistics managers have a lot to deal with a lot when it comes to freight forwarding challenges. 

According to Supply Chain Management Review, “We are learning lessons about the impact on supply chain and what we need to change or correct. Disruption of the supply chain showed the importance of being adaptable to unexpected changes in the market, while identifying emerging risks. Emerging risks require a different approach. History tells us that events trigger a change and correction.” 

Here are the top 5 challenges freight forwarders should start preparing for now and heading into the rest of 2021.

1. The Pandemic and Its Continuing Impacts

Obtaining, transportation, circulation, customs compliance, automation, export routes,  team, as well as client management, are essential to overcome freight forwarding challenges during the global pandemic. 

COVID-19 has shined a light on the broken kinks within the supply chain.  They have tested almost every aspect of the traditional logistics process, especially coupled with the unprecedented demand and surge in things such as e-commerce. What once were small inefficiencies, “nice-to-have” technologies, and magnified their importance. Most importantly, profitability, differentiation, and bottom-line impact. Customers expect more and more of you every day.  Don’t use the pandemic as an excuse for inefficiencies and failures, instead, run straight towards those related problems and solve them. The sooner you do, the better off you and your client will be.

2. Market Volatility Due to Political Change

Awareness of how import and export impacts local, national, and global markets and communities is also key to harnessing freight forwarding services’ potential. 

Due to the sheer complexity and expansiveness of modern supply chains, the global market is at the heart of freight forwarding challenges. On top of that, political changes can be challenging to cope with but must be considered regularly. Take advantage of local and federal resources, contact your local SBA, bank, or one of the many institutions and resources that can provide guidance and support to help you overcome this volatility.

3. Weather Uncertainty Following an Overly Active Hurricane Season

While climate change is still a hot button topic and is the subject of much debate, the truth remains, the weather has always had an enormous impact on the freight and shipping industry. Luckily, these issues tend to be generally regional – so plan, plan, plan!  Try brainstorming alternative methods and go through thought exercises considering what the further order consequences will be.  Weather will always be one of the significant freight forwarding challenges and is predicted to be especially challenging in 2021.

4. New Trade Deals or Changes to Existing Trade Agreements

Freight forwarders marketers need to understand their clients’ needs and be aware of what regulations, agreements, tariffs, and fees may apply to their products or services. It’s essential to understand in any case but especially true when dealing with freight forwarding challenges, which are more impactful than ever with the global market. 

Staying on top of these trade agreements through media, content, social channels, consultant engagements (if you can afford them), and more simply seek the advice of your experienced peers on social networks.  Last but not least, actively listening to customer challenges can all help you better understand, and plan for, how these trade shifts may occur. 

5. Limited Container Capacity

To survive these unusual times, every involved party requires a commitment to overcoming freight forwarding challenges. For freight forwarders who work in the global shipping market, container capacity is a major obstacle that can be affected by costs, availability, cargo type, container design, and product needs and demands. There are a few startups out there and even more advanced (and costly) consultants that can help with the movement and procurement of containers but no clear and obvious industry-wide solution has come together just yet.  Working with your industry peers through trade associations and good old fashioned business development. Often when we band together, as this industry has done many times, we can come up with new ideas, solutions, and resources.

Overcome the Risks With a Digital Freight Forwarding Platform in Your Business

It’s time to start your plan to cover risks associated with freight forwarding challenges as a freight forwarder. Recognize the truth about how global risks contribute to unrest in logistics and use that information to stay proactive throughout the current and next disruption. 

Visit or sign up for Cargologik today to learn more about services and pricing to safeguard your freight future now.

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. 

Top Freight Forwarding Trends for 2021

Faced with growing online shopping and e-commerce activity on top of uncertain global economic projections, freight managers and forwarders turn to advanced technology and the newest freight forwarding trends to prepare for 2021. 

According to Supply Chain24/7, “The rapid growth of ecommerce is driving great changes in logistics, from tightening up trucking capacity to elevating the importance of final-mile delivery processes. To respond, logistics managers now need to think in terms of systems that they can leverage today to make processes more efficient, while also keeping an eye on longer-term developments that will reshape tomorrow’s possibilities.”  

The future will always be somewhat uncertain, but embracing the newest freight forwarding trends for 2021 across all industries can better prepare forwarders and shippers for what changes lay ahead. Here are just a few of the trends supply chain and freight forwarding companies need to be mindful of as we move into a new year. 

Reports Will Get a Bigger Focus in 2021

One of the biggest weak points for the modern supply chain and shipping management is outdated data in reports. They say “Data is the new oil,” but before you can do anything with that oil, it needs to be processed, refined, and improved. One aspect is accessing the data, and the other being able to understand it and query it effectively. 

It is still complicated, but it is becoming ever easier even for the independent freight forwarders and freight brokers to not only have this information but also having the ability to access real-time data. In this way, emerging logistics and operational problems can be addressed quickly, easily, and accurately on behalf of their own clients.  

Artificial Intelligence Will Automate More Processes and Avoid Issues

Automation and improved report overviews and data access are key freight forwarding trends managers cannot afford to ignore. To stay valid and applicable in the digital age, using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and digitized freight forwarding networks must become the global operational best practices for all logistics operations. 

Autonomous Trucks and Robots Will Start to Make a Difference in Freight Forwarding Trends Too

Even though humans will always be involved in freight forwarding somehow, smart robotics and machines are making work faster and easier across the board. 

Autonomous devices and systems are just one freight forwarding trend to watch. In fact, the application of robotics process automation (RPA) is one way that virtual robots will become more ingrained in digital freight forwarding management practices, securing more capacity and reducing delays. 

Accepting this shift also means using a secure freight collaboration platform well equipped to interface with this technology and  handle sensitive client information with their clients. This makes it easy for both forwarder, shipper, and RPA software to safely and securely process data from relevant documents,  glean insights, and then  intuitively tie that document data back to the relevant shipment operation on those documents – and within a secure, closed environment to protect privacy.

Control Tower Revamps Will Breathe New Life Into Back-Office Functions

The outdated idea of a control tower continues to change and focus on a more supply chain visibility-focused setup for the modern age. But a control tower is not necessarily out in the complete sense of the word. Instead, it’s merging with advanced systems, including business intelligence platforms, to offer cloud-based touchpoints across the full supply chain. New freight forwarding platforms offer client data and operational signals that breathe fresh life into the industry term. With predictive analytics and real-time data and analysis, managers can better prepare for the freight forwarding trends of 2021. 

And if it’s one thing we know for certain, is that as time progresses so does the amount of data being provided to shipments, clients, and forwarders. Access to APIs and micro services are expanding into modern technology and freight collaboration platforms. If you have a tower-like system in place, it can help sift and sort through the noise for true operational signals that benefit your independent commercial reps along with clients. 

Shared Truckload Shipping Will Boost Forwarding Efficiency

With the economy recovering and the demand for shipments still high, trucking capacity has been projected to stay extremely competitive. Advances in transportation opportunities signal freight forwarding trends forwarders need to know about, such as increased demand in key markets and collaborative opportunities to consolidate freight. 

Reduced Costs With Data-Driven Forwarding Will Become Another Best Practice for the Year

Data-driven forwarding means using digital marketplaces and load boards to source capacity, increase RFP activity, find new partnerships, and expand the growing network. Of course, that always tracks back to making informed decisions through data-driven metrics and KPIs. As referenced above, shippers and forwarders who can embrace these new technologies, will cut costs and stay more efficient than the competition. Most importantly, this means also keeping up with customer expectations as two-day delivery and reliable supply chains become exponentially important to organizations. The freight forwarding trends of the coming year will help forwarders prepare for whatever the new year holds. 

There’s No Better Time to Embrace Freight Forwarding Trends for 2021

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start embracing the major forwarding trends for 2021. The sooner you implement new systems, the sooner you’ll see the benefits. Even if you’re not 100% ready, reach out to the vendors of independent freight collaboration and RPA processing tools. 

Shippers and forwarders willing to adapt to the changing demands of customers, and the market will be better positioned for all parties to grow and succeed in 2021. The future always carries some degree of uncertainty; however, keeping up with trends and accepting new technology and tools will give any company an advantage in the long run. Capitalize today ahead of the curve, and sign up for Cargologik today to get started.

The State of Logistics Startups Today

From knowing the top freight brokers to understanding freight forwarding platforms’ value, it’s essential to realize that logistics startups represent a massive industry opportunity. 

As explained by Boston Consulting Group, “Not surprisingly, venture capitalists find the sector highly attractive. They poured more than $3.3 billion into digital shipping and logistics startups from 2012 to 2017. A considerable portion of this funding went to freight forwarding.” 

That amount has exponentially increased since then, with roughly $30B total now being invested in the US alone to innovate within the supply chain. The majority of that investment is from venture capitalists, looking to fuel innovation, disruption, and growth of those companies within the supply chain.

Let’s take a closer look at the state of the logistics startups space and what’s happening to fuel such interest from venture capitalists. 

Advancements in Automation Are Stimulating More Interest in Forming Logistics Startups

Much of the interest surrounding logistics startups comes from the opportunities available through automation. Automated processes dramatically reduce inefficiencies and open the doors to new revenue streams when applied correctly. 

One notable trend tied to this interest is dis-intermediation. According to Deloitte, “The freight forwarding industry is said to be a business model prone to dis-intermediation, with many players aspiring to realize its platformization potential in recent years.”

The market is getting tougher for these independent companies, but with the right expertise, a differentiated approach, and applying technology, it’s possible to not only survive but thrive, in today’s global state.

The Industry Remains Hyper-Fragmented

The state of the freight forwarding industry continues to further the need for logistics startups. Freight forwarding has not changed much. 

Yes, modern shippers and carriers have advanced their systems. But as a whole, freight forwarders remain behind the curve and are often left using outdated systems that lack value. Or they have invested too much time and resources into a dated solution to justify any outside investment – a very dire position to be in. 

For this reason, new startups, much like Cargologik, are continuing to reshape the market. In turn, the digital transformation of freight forwarding will overcome the problems with a hyper- fragmented market and allow companies to do more with less. 

The purpose of technology is to make things better, cheaper, and faster for those who participate. While fragmentation has its difficulties, it’s often fertile grounds for new ideas and innovations to take hold in one aspect, and then subsequently expand into other areas as they gain traction.

Shippers Want More Customization and Robust Flexibility Within Logistics Startups’ Services

Both shippers and carriers want the ability to reduce clicks and streamline freight management. 

However, attaining that digital transformation level has proven difficult and costly for companies that wish to build in-house platforms. When you have too many medium-sized companies with their own platform, it further creates instability in the market by forcing shippers to engage with yet another platform.  That experience is broken and it’s one of the things that Cargologik takes on while also providing core benefits to the forwarder.

With the participants in the global supply chain so reliant on one another, this opens the door to risk. As reported by Business Insider, “Startups are the lynchpin of this transformation, pinpointing areas of need that can be tackled by cutting-edge digital solutions, including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI in the supply chain, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software.”

Startups Are Working to Streamline the Order-to-Cash Cycle

Newer supply chain startups are also transforming the order-to-cash cycle. Instead of relying on an outdated, paper-based approach to freight settlement, modern freight management parties can leverage digital platforms to centralize the process. 

Systems that produce and maintain a system of record, a “truth” if you will that all parties can clearly see as objective truth for much faster resolution and cost savings on both sides.

As a result, brokers, forwarders, carriers, and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can get paid faster and are more likely to accept freight tenders in the future – while coming back to do more business.

Everyone Still Wants End-to-End Visibility and Easy Controls

All companies still expect end-to-end visibility and access to real-time information. Supply chain transparency and traceability are hot-button topics in logistics and companies like Amazon have created global customer behaviors and high standards for all logistics companies to live up to and strive for. 

The inability to offer such functions has given rise to entirely new logistics startups, devoted to unlocking real end-to-end visibility and doing so for the businesses that need it most like independent forwarders/brokers who stand the most to lose.

Logistics Startups Need a Freight Forwarding Platform That Works Without Sacrificing Value as a SaaS-Based Resource

While the global state of logistics startups continues to reveal one trend, advancement, companies will be faced with a choice. Will forwarders, shippers, brokers, and carriers continue working within the status quo, or will they fully embrace digital transformation with a final and digital alternative?

Our bet is that it’s on the latter. That forward-thinking, customer experience focused logistics operations that think holistically about their business and stakeholders will succeed.  We believe that their vision allows them to pick the right fun and easy systems that their customers and team will enjoy using. Sign up for Cargologik online to get started on your fun, new digital freight forwarding collaboration platform today.

Freight Forwarder Trends: Top 5 Challenges Facing Small to Medium Forwarders Today

Freight forwarder trends track innovation and digitalization. While the freight forwarding industry moves toward digitalization, problems in management remain. These problems are the result of a not fully understanding how a modern freight forwarder still operates behind the scenes of a digital freight forwarding platform. 

Even if the customer completes the transaction automatically, the forwarder still plays a role, explains Supply Chain Dive:

“Yet the freight forwarding role doesn’t go away just by using an online platform. “You still have to have a freight forwarder doing the work behind the scenes, arranging the ocean freight, trucking, and customs clearance. The online software companies are the front end, the customer-facing software to make the process easier, but the freight forwarders are still in the background.”

To further illustrate the facts, consider the top five freight forwarder trends and challenges facing small to medium forwarders today.

1. Freight Forwarder Trends Include Higher Costs of Forwarding

The first of the top freight forwarder challenges to address surrounds the continuous increase of the costs of freight forwarding services in the global economy. As explained by Boss Magazine:

“The USD remains the primary measure of freight forwarding rates, and it affects the freight rates as they might change at any time. Not only the prices of the freight forwarding services are impacted, but it also affects the customers as the price of goods increases. Also, when expensive payment methods are used like bank transfers, they involve hefty fees that are added to the total expense.” 

Meanwhile, disruptions to economies of scale always trickle down back to the small and medium businesses, including freight forwarders. It is clear that independent forwarders need a way to control total spend without sacrificing service.

2. Container Capacity Remains a Problem

Another related issue is around container capacity. While the industry recovered from the capacity crunches of the last decade, new disruptions have come to light. Container capacity, while available, lacks available sailings, and even public policies threaten to limit available cargo transport between international borders. However, effective management of capacity through real-time monitoring and updating of freight forwarder trends and rates can help provide a hedge against failure.

3. Commoditization of Freight Forwarding Makes It Hard to Stand Apart From Other Forwarders

As companies around the globe turned to technology to improve freight management, freight forwarders have faced a tougher challenge in gaining and retaining customers. After all, what good is a forwarder if companies can do the process themselves? So, the only solution lies in working with forwarders that offer a better customer service experience and have the capabilities to back up technology with their people.

4. Unforeseen Disruptions to Trade Cause New Challenges

The fourth challenge is the risk of unforeseen disruptions. Some might argue all disruptions have warning signs, and it is up to the company to make the decision to protect assets against disruption. However, even with planning, sudden changes in public policy or other Acts of God may lead to limited resource availability and even the need to rethink workforce distribution. Again, small and medium forwarders must rely on technology to augment their capabilities and overcome disruptions in real-time.

5. Staffing Shortages and Retention Continue to Undermine Performance

Last, staffing shortages and retention of employees, or the lack thereof, undermine the performance and success of smaller forwarders. With the modern freight forwarder trends focused on technology and its use, it’s easy to think of people as the weakest link. 

Yet, technology can help forwarders augment operations to remote locations, avoiding the risk of employees spreading pathogens, not to mention lowering overhead costs along the way. Moreover, technology and supportive systems give small and medium forwarders the ability to rapidly augment staff and leverage instant quoting capabilities to gain more clients, avoid losses, and build value.

Overcome the Obstacles With a Platform That Addresses the Leading Issues in Freight Forwarder Trends

The technologies in question that embrace the top freight forwarder trends allow small and mid-sized forwarders to maintain scalability, unlock faster quoting, book more shipments, and achieve stronger profits. Of course, finding the right technology is another process, and building it in-house is troublesome and laden with risk. Instead, consider partnering with a proven forwarder platform vendor, such as Cargologik. 

Head over to our website to learn more and reach out team@cargologik.com to learn more.