What began as a health crisis in China has transformed into a global pandemic that has put the entire world in partial or total lock-down for months. During the Covid-19 crisis, almost every sector was affected directly or indirectly due to a complete shutdown and restrictions on operations.
The global freight forwarding market is already going through unprecedented changes due to rising fuel costs, completion from the start-ups, dynamic customer demand, technology implementations, changes in government regulations, and many more. The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed them further to reassess their supply chain operations and strategies at a time when change driven by technology, digitalization, competitive rate, and the need to develop sustainable supply chains was already accelerating. They have understood that the key to survival is to effectively respond to and mitigate potential disruptions, whether during the pandemic or changing market demand. COVID-19 has made urgent the move from traditional operations to digitalization to achieve business resilience against supply chain disruption.
At the beginning of 2021, the lessons learned from the once-in-a generation crisis of COVID-19 let us focus on a few factors that will help to take a resolution to restore resilience in your freight forwarding business.
A business continuity plan — With the lessons learned from the locked-down crisis, companies should reevaluate how robust their freight business was in handling the dynamic demand that arose due to the COVID-19 situation. Then they should analyze the situation and adopt a continuity plan considering people safety, workflow management, and transparency in communications with all stakeholders, to become more resilient against future disruptions and recovery.
Transform freight forwarding operations to address customer and business needs — E-commerce became the preferred mode of shopping during the pandemic that increased demand to provide real-time updates, fast delivery at minimum costs, and a great customer experience.
When you have access to real-time information, you can provide your customers with status updates on their orders or shipments at every step until delivery with a mobile app. Consider transforming your traditional freight forwarding operations into IT-enabled integrated operations to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and deliver greater customer satisfaction.
Single integrated cloud platform can be your savior– Implementation of integrated cloud-based solutions to improve freight forwarding operations and monitoring is the need of the hour. With the single integrated platform, you can automate the entire back-office work and mitigate manual and repetitive tasks from anywhere and anytime. Integrated freight forwarding software gives you the flexibility to manage the workflow across the organization globally. With ERP software in place, you can integrate your operations with accounts, improve cash-flows, reduce costs, and control revenue leakages.
The freight management system, which comes with advanced analytics, provides the right information at the right time to enable you to measure the business performance and correct the course of action that translates into reduced operating expenditures and savings.
Communication is the key to keep going — During the COVID-19 crisis, we have learned the importance of communications to maintain transparency with stakeholders. Clear, transparent, and timely communications are necessary when creating a platform to reshape the business and secure ongoing support from customers, employees, ports, shippers, vendors, customs, governments, and regulatory authorities. It is time freight forwarders should ask themselves if they have the right technology in place to withstand a disruption like the complete locked-down crisis in the future.
Take resolution now, not later — In 2020, we all have struggled to survive through the COVID-19 crisis. However, the pandemic taught us many lessons that we should analyze to understand our preparedness. So at the beginning of 2021, let us take the resolution to reevaluate our business operations to be resilient and agile enough, with digitalization, to reshape our business strategy to thrive in the future.