Technology in Freight Forwarding

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The Challenges of Outdated Freight Forwarding Management

Outdated freight forwarding simply refers to a manually driven process.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. 

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.

Making the Business Case for Technology in Freight Forwarding

Digital transformation permeates all aspects of supply chain management and transportation. And for freight forwarders, the proper use of platforms and freight forwarding technology allows companies to do more with less, lower barriers to efficiency, and secure more bookings with fewer tender rejections. 

It all trains the attention of shareholders in building a business case for technology in freight forwarding. 

And as reported by Eric Johnson of JOC.com, “To remain relevant in a fast-changing freight environment, global freight forwarders need to use technology as a means to drive business process changes and reduce fixed costs associated with serving shippers. The triple threat of e-commerce retailers, logistics technology startups, and ocean carriers pushing into the logistics services space is creating pressure on forwarders to innovate in the way they adopt new technology and engage with shippers to maintain value in those relationships.” 

Companies that do not keep up with the pace of innovation will eventually be left by the wayside, and if they haven’t already, begin taking steps to a more digital future.  New freight forwarders need to know a few things about building the business case for that technology by following three steps.

Recognize the Fundamentals of a Successful Business Case

A successful business case must include the core components of an opportunity assessment, options, executive summary, cost breakdown, implementation approach, and recommendations, notes Supply & Demand Chain Executive. It’s a tall order, but those core sections can be best presented in a cohesive story-line. And done properly, any business case for technology in freight forwarding must focus on the short-term and long-term ROI and improvements to efficiency. Strategic thinking isn’t just a long-term approach, but a medium and short term one as well with hidden opportunities along the way to begin transforming your organization’s culture into a more digital one.

Define the Problem That Technology in Freight Forwarding Will Solve

Remember that the basic business case should put technology in freight forwarding first. However, that’s easier when the problem is clearly defined in the first place. It all begins with assessing the business opportunities and creating an objective, clear message of how technology will and will not affect current operations. Simultaneous review of the problem and its impact on the existing metrics surrounding staff performance and carrier/LSP utilization help build a strong assessment.  If the talent does not exist within your organization, seek out expertise, fellow industry peers, and yes – even sales professionals – to learn more about what you will need in this regard.

Emphasize New Opportunities Created Through Freight Forwarding Collaboration

The next step is to emphasize how new technology in freight forwarding enables collaboration. The modern supply chain works together and not against other freight management parties. Even direct competitors, such as larger freight forwarders, may hold lucrative partnership opportunities in their midst. 

By looking at more data and connecting with more freight management parties, freight forwarders of all sizes can achieve more profitability and reduce risks. Moreover, the increased number of freight forwarder and logistics startups is a testament to this fact. 

As reported by Supply Chain Brain, “new players have stirred the competitive pot in such a way to have caught the attention of the traditional forwarders. According to a 2017 freight forwarding survey conducted by Logistics Trends & Insights, 92 percent of survey respondents indicated that digitization adds value for forwarders. Furthermore, 58 percent of survey respondents indicated that the improvement that will be utilized the most in the next five years for forwarders will be the digitization of all services.”

Deploy the Right Technology in Freight Forwarding With Cargologik

Freight forwarding is undergoing supply chain adolescence; new innovations in SaaS, cloud-based resources allow small and mid-sized forwarders to connect with more partners, reach more clients, secure bookings in real-time, avoid delays, and enable real-time performance measurement and improvement. This shift to SaaS from legacy technologies and lifetime license are real, and it’s time to start thinking more agile to effectively keep up with increasing customer expectations and demands.

It’s an exciting time for the industry, and it all begins with the right business case for technology investment. Start by ensuring your business case includes the three core areas listed above. And remember that maintaining a competitive advantage in freight forwarding depends on balancing technology and people to drive results. Sign up for Cargologik online to explore more about how your company can add value through digital freight management.