May 27, 2021

How Freight Forwarder Networks Are Navigating Volatility With Technology

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 Forwarder Networks

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.

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