Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeOpinionIT in LogisticsFreight Forwarders Are at A Crossroads

Freight Forwarders Are at A Crossroads

In an ever-changing business landscape, the quality of decision-making defines true leaders. But situations like the pandemic can throw your plans off track. Unprepared forwarders have just managed to make it past with makeshift adjustments. In rare cases, some even have had to shut shop. But the wise ones saw opportunities disguised as disruptions.

Now, as normalcy returns, forwarders are faced with another situation where they must act carefully.

Today, forwarders are at a crossroads as they plan their next move. The dilemmas currently facing freight facilitators are how to:

  • approach return to complete normalcy
  • differentiate from the competition
  • bring efficiency in operations
  • manage demand fluctuations
  • brace for disruptions
  • attract customers and maintaining customer satisfaction
  • increase profitability

The role of forwarders isn’t much different than from two decades ago. But today’s demand, competition and customer behavior asks the question: Are you doing enough?

If any of the above puzzles you too, read on for some insights to plan your next move.

Forwarders’ action plan must include analyzing past events, addressing the customer’s current pain points, and preparing to capture the future.

Breaking down history

Shippers want convenience. If your company can’t convert customers even after receiving inquiries, your process may have gaps. With the advancement of technology, customers demand a faster response time from forwarders. Today, the average time to receive a freight quote from a digital freight forwarder is less than 60 seconds. Can you imagine today making your customer wait for 3 days for a similar quotation?

It’s time to move on from a forwarder-focused approach to being customer-first. At the crossroads, you must aim to become fully equipped to provide timely and quality service.

What do your customers want?

Real-time information matters. Customers want to know where their shipments are. Like speed and transparency, real-time information also has become a customer priority. Traditionally, getting approval for documents and invoices for your customers is a manual process. But freight billing software is changing that.

With automation, you can avoid billing and invoice errors just like in the past. To provide the customer with up-to-date details, you must have processes that facilitate auto-scheduling of timely information. From quote to invoice, show your customer that you stand for transparency.

Although freight forwarding involves coordination with multiple parties, your customer expects to view updates in a central location. A freight forwarding ERP software helps present your customers with a consolidated view of reports. At the crossroads, also plan to give your customers real-time information at their convenience.

Safeguarding vs breakdowns

Forwarders must be consistent. Sustained progress weathers the storm of disruptions. How you navigate through demand fluctuation, financial and operational challenges can define your ability to pull through tough times.

Without complete visibility of your current operations, your decision-making can suffer. Via a freight ERP software, you can leverage data to make operational and financial projections. At a crossroads, fight the roller coaster rides of disruptions with strong control over your finances. A forwarder aided with a view of past trends and can make projections is adept at managing uncertainties. Develop the ability to mitigate risks with data-backed decisions.

Taking a customer-centric approach gets you closer to your customer. Technology helps overcome inefficiencies of the past, fend off disruptions and build responsive processes that fulfill your customers’ current expectations. So at a crossroads, rethink customer expectations, revamp processes and march into the future with confidence.

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