The number one reason freight forwarders should digitalize

Shippers are increasingly preferring online, instant booking platforms.

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Logistics has been thrust into the spotlight, especially in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. How freight services are sold and how goods are moved is no longer a background question. IT IS A KEY DIFFERENTIATOR!
Freight forwarding involves multiple stakeholders (shippers, carriers, truckers, customs agents, freight forwarders, insurance vendors, etc) coming together to move cargo from point A to point B. This involves complex communication, largely via email & phone,with these stakeholders across different timezones. This is a time consuming process that is overly reliant on manual intervention and lacks traceability and insight into important shipment data. Making matters worse is that all this effort, done by siloed teams, ultimately leads to higher costs and unhappy customers!
Shippers want more control and visbility over freight purchasing and services rendered. Close to 10 major shipping lines have established their own online, instant booking platforms for containerized cargo. This number is up from just 2, in 2018! Shippers need not wait for forwarders’ quotes to find out their potential freight costs. With spot rates becoming a new variable in the freight procurement process, shippers want to quickly compare contract and spot rates to arrive at a purchase decision. They will prefer to work with forwarders who provide them this data instantly to make these decisions quickly!
Forwarders should be able to provide shippers with an on-demand freight purchasing experience that is transparent, accurate and helps shippers make data driven freight procurement decisions. The icing on the cake? This can be done within a matter of weeks using the right technology without any investment in development costs. This allows forwarders to sell freight services with lesser sales and pricing costs compared to traditional freight forwarders. Most importantly, this gives forwarders a competitive edge to differentiate themselves from traditional competition by providing shippers with an instant freight booking experience.
Investing in technology can help forwarders provide a better freight experience to shippers, with greater visibility and transparency, while operating with smaller teams. With the future of shipping looking increasingly digital, forwarders who don’t start viewing technology as a key differentiator are going to be left behind.