December 18, 2019

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

Miles Varghese
Miles Varghese
Helping independent freight forwarders/brokers better stay in-sync, collaborate, and improve operations with their shippers/clients. Co-founder & CEO @ Cargologik.com
freight communications platform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invest in an Integrated Freight Communications Platform to Stay Competitive

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

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