Let’s Build Our Freight Forwarding Business To Be More Responsive

Amit Maheshwari, Softlink Global CEO

A ship won’t sail without a lifeboat. An airplane won’t take off without enough life jackets and other safety equipment. Such precautions and safety measures are for better preparedness in case of emergencies. But it’s not just emergencies that we prepare for, is it?


Our response to events—known and unknown—is measured by our preparedness. Running a business too is a test of preparedness. The more proactive we are, the stronger the response and recovery to extreme situations.


For freight forwarders, responsiveness must be a virtue. Customers continue to demand better and cheaper services. Businesses ought to see through a filter that shows them opportunities rather than challenges in these demands. For instance, research has found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Right there, we can turn customer demand into a chance to impress and secure loyalty.


There occur constant threats and hurdles that could throw us off the intended direction. To better equip ourselves with the knowledge of what’s happening and what may come, we must look toward apt freight solutions. In the following space, let’s look at how we can strengthen our responsiveness by widening the scope.


Demand fluctuation

Factors such as container space used, fuel prices, distance traveled, and terminal costs don’t affect freight rates as much as supply and demand does. Back in the day, the calculations required to respond to a customer’s quote were done using spreadsheets or desktop software. This used up a considerable amount of time but the customers weren’t as impatient as they are today. Modern freight ERP software calculates freight rates almost instantaneously so you don’t lose a customer because of a delayed response.


Tackling Competition

The dynamic nature of demand and supply will cause you to run helter-skelter if you don’t have the necessary visibility in place. Container shortage, transport unavailability, or carriers stretched to their limit in terms of the capacity will lead to difficulties to arrive at the best quotes. To meet your customer’s demand, having real-time visibility of your available assets and resources is paramount. This will grant you the edge over your competition even when times are tough for the industry.


Winning the Customer 

The pandemic forced many industries to go digital. That being said, if you still don’t have the means to accept customer quotes online then you’re missing out majorly. Optimize your processes and set benchmarks for how quickly your team needs to respond to customer inquiries. This can be applied to customer service as well. Track and trace portals empower the customers to locate their shipments and receive real-time progress alerts as well. Faster responses mean a lower rate of customer attrition.


Dashboards for self-improvement

No business has ever done well by limiting itself to a fixed level of performance; continual progress must be the goal. While customer feedback can be a true guide to improvement, past trends can also paint a good picture.


There is no denying that a healthy top line is crucial for a business. Hence, numbers are a good indicator of what’s working best for you and what needs tweaking. Your software must generate reports that tell you which are the most demanded routes and how profitable they are. You can base your customized rates on those figures for your best customers during peak season or slowdowns.


In summary

Preparedness breeds proactiveness, which in turn fosters robust decision-making. Utilize technology and tools like freight ERP to be responsive to threats and opportunities. Align your goals with responsiveness for a strong organization under “all-weather” conditions.