Freight forwarders have always had complicated jobs. In the past, they had to organize and oversee the transference of their clients’ goods. They served as forwarding agents who used their shipping industry knowledge, international contacts, and ability to mitigate crises. Their responsibilities included –
- Expediting the international freight transport operations.
- Packaging the freight.
- Overseeing all customs clearance processes.
- Taking care of documentation
- Storage, handling, and final distribution of goods.
Modern-day freight forwarders have slightly different roles. They can simplify their tasks using automation and custom software solutions. By using these tools, carrying out the administrative aspects of their jobs becomes much easier. That’s why modern-day freight forwarders can focus on tasks like –
- Building relationships with clients using advanced communication tools.
- Offering perks to clients such as – instant quote generation, simplifying the reservation process, etc.
- Maintaining data transparency between customers and shipping companies.
- Reducing the costs of transporting goods by optimizing freight routes.
Modern-day freight forwarders have to be efficient information managers. That’s why they need to use the latest technologies that the transportation and logistics industry has to offer. The best freight association will always use tools that streamline supply chain responsibilities by reducing the need for manual work.
Why should freight forwarders pick associations that use the latest technologies? The demand for digitization has skyrocketed because of the pandemic. Many leading freight forwarders worldwide use digitization to make their supply chains more resilient, transparent, and agile. With the right online platforms, freight forwarders can –
- Add value to their supply chain processes by making their services more data-based. Data-based services are also likelier to be less expensive.
- Ensuring 100% traceability on all freight.
- Remote transport chain management via integrated software solutions.
- Access up-to-date route information to predict delays, risks, etc.
- Generate quotes for customers using pre-designed software solutions.
- Group shipments in a way that earns them major discounts.
Freight forwarders are digitizing quickly because there’s a lot at stake. In 2021, m-commerce (online shopping via smartphones) increased by 18.3%. Freight forwarders who want to serve these new-age online shoppers must adopt the latest digital platforms and software solutions. Or else – independent freight forwarders won’t be able to compete.
The Perks of Joining a Tech-Focused Freight Alliance
There are many independent freight forwarders who want to digitize but can’t because of the costs. Building custom order management or shipping platforms costs a lot. It makes more sense for the average freight forwarder to pay monthly fees to join tech-focused freight alliances. For monthly fees, they can get access to –
- Up-to-date and innovative technology solutions that instantly boost their ability to perform business operations more efficiently.
- Fully integrated shipping platforms that support instant quotations, easy bookings, hassle-free invoicing, etc.
- Custom SaaS solutions for digital sales.
- Tracking systems that allow them to track their cargo using just container numbers, bills of lading (BOL), etc.
International shipping will always be complicated. But, technology makes things easier. That’s why independent freight forwarders must select associations that give them access to the best tech solutions.