By utilising digital technologies there are various functions in which digitisation in the freight forwarding industry can happen. As the digitization of freight forwarding is widely viewed as an ongoing process, a report issued this week by Freightos, a SaaS-enabled logistics technology provider focused on instant freight quotes for freight forwarders and shippers, highlights how the ongoing road towards digitization and will change customer service differentiation. IAG Cargo today… Traditional Freight Forwarders vs Digital Freight Forwarders Under the advent of a digital revolution that is ubiquitous across all industries, the Freight Forwarding Industry hasn’t really been left behind.Digitization is disrupting the traditional ways of doing business and it is imperative that forwarding as an industry also adapt to this wave of change. Startups, suppliers, and even customers are using digital technologies to develop a variety of innovative business models that will dramatically improve the customer experience and eliminate entrenched operational inefficiencies. 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A range of different platform types has emerged, each designed to solve a particular problem for forwarders or shippers. From portals to integration. Events such as the China/US trade war or the United Kingdom’s chaotic progress toward exiting the EU can impact on shipping strategy and execution. Paperless air freight forwarding has multiple benefits. It is probably too early to say whether solutions like these will revolutionize the freight forwarding industry, but blockchain technology certainly appears to be gaining traction. “Freight forwarders need to understand the power of going digital.” Alvarez and his brother, Juan Alvarez, founded Logixboard in Miami in 2017, but soon after moved the software company to Seattle because of its tech-rich pool of logistics talent and the ability to raise more venture … Some examples include: From the customer perspective, the arrival of the online freight-shipping quote should be a breath of fresh air. If customers receive access to such solutions via forwarders’ digital platforms, they will not only gain real-time insight into shipment progress but will also be able to monitor the condition of their goods—especially valuable for perishables or items sensitive to environmental fluctuations. We’ve tackled how speed often is a key differentiator in today’s ‘digital business‘ context before. The freight forwarding industry is no exception. The trade war, for example, makes it difficult for shipping lines to position assets effectively. The imposition of trucking permits could create a road-freight capacity shortage and drive shipping rates up. Transport Advancement is a leading information centric website for latest updates within the industry. Freight forwarding companies across the globe are at various stages of adopting technologies, these levels being commonly termed as digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation. Hence it goes without saying that freight forwarding companies need to take advantage of this opportunity and open up more sales channels to be able to keep up with this growing trend. The slow embrace of new digital technologies by the freight forwarding industry has inevitably become something of a cliché. The digitization of the freight industry is about improving speed and efficiency. The digitization process of the shipping company has changed our price channel, which gives us the opportunity to reduce our reliance on the first-level agent, and to some extent to narrow the cost gap with the first-level agent. Many shipping and freight forwarding companies seem to integrate blockchain technology to secure the privacy of data, as well as, authenticate and report transactional data with the use of cryptography. The digitization of cargo transportation processes is an evolutionary step change, presenting new challenges and opportunities for freight forwarders. But these moves, in themselves, are not enough. About Shipa Freight “Fundamentally, we believe that freight-forwarding companies shouldn’t build their own technology,” Alvarez said. We also mentioned how real-time economyevolutions affect org… The incident was a wake-up call for the freight forwarding and shipping industries, stimulating forwarders’ consideration of the need to strengthen data protection and guard against future attacks. But at its core it is providing a simplified, frictionless and transparent experience to shippers. Shipment tracking is still mostly dependent on exchanges of electronic messages between various partners, but as logistics partners begin to layer in data from IoT solutions like the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) and electronic sensors (installed in ocean-shipping containers or even attached to product packaging), forwarders will be capable of more accurate tracking. Agile businesses need agile partners, and it will be the logistics providers and freight forwarders that leverage technology to provide that agility that will flourish. When used well, speed is a competitive advantage. The next is to enrich shipping data even further with the aid of the Internet of Things. Much has been said and written about the digital era we live in. Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track your shipments online. Traditional freight forwarding has been around since the 18th century, whereby they would be tasked with carrying out all interactions with carriers, custom agents and other authorities that would be needed for a successful shipping transaction. Digitization is one of the key tools helping more progressive logistics providers bring this transformation about. For example, the rise of inbound marketing is one such channel which can be used in order to get customers to visit your website and gain leads to garner business. From control and procurement, to state-of-the-art transport management systems and more, digitisation in freight forwarding can be a definite … However, if the freight is a no-show at the port, the shipping line receives all the deposited tokens. In order to fully digitize the freight forwarding process, each step the forwarder manages must be automated — from the ability to book and monitor cargo on truck, rail, air and ship, to the customs process to a seamless transfer of data between the forwarder and the client. The arrival of apps and software for freight forwarders, that allows everything from invoicing to freight tracking to be done digitally, means that a paperless future is a possibility. However, in 2017, McKinsey stated that freight forwarders would become redundant whereby digitization in freight forwarding would make manual shipment transactions obsolete in the future. While the digital frontier is the future (and present) of freight forwarding, there are core characteristics that an excellent 3PL must have that don’t come through just the best technology. From control and procurement, to state-of-the-art transport management systems and more, digitisation in freight forwarding can be a definite success with freight forwarders ascending to newer heights. But one thing is clear: embarking on the digitization journey is no … First, let’s briefly look at the importance of speed and timing in general as they are essential everywhere. Digital trends have in the past disrupted how traditional transactions occur and have paved the way to what we know now. As you can see, there are a … Why would they wait up to 100 hours for a quote from a traditional, non-digitized forwarder once it becomes possible to get quotes from digital forwarders and complete a booking in a matter of minutes. Despite elegant automated systems, all the digitization in the industry can’t prevent the surprises, and freight … By utilising digital technologies there are various functions in which digitisation in the freight forwarding industry can happen. Julian Alvarez looks to automate interactions between freight forwarders and shippers. Of those, only Shipa Freight currently provides instant quotes for full-container-load (FCL) shipments, in addition to LCL and a full range of air freight options. The digitization of cargo transportation processes is an evolutionary step change, presenting new challenges and opportunities for freight forwarders. In the past 10 years, some freight forwarding companies have provided online customer portals, says Ting. But, when considering how customer appraisal ofthe market has radically shifted, it may be the only path forward. The shipper and the carrier deposit cryptocurrency tokens as part of the freight booking transaction. Trade lane requirements can change with very little notice, and rates can fluctuate significantly. IBM’s rescue from the brink of collapse in the early 1990s to global technology leader today is generally credited to its leadership’s ability to pivot and make major changes to its established businesses – primarily from a focus on hardware to software, cloud computing and services. As globalization has taken hold though, and many smaller businesses find themselves in need of shipping services, freight forwarders are under pressure to cast off the conventional approach and place customers at the forefront of modernization efforts. They represent a platform of reliability, and provide optimisation in concern to time and costs between the shipper and carrier. Maersk’s TradeLens technology, for example, is a blockchain solution currently in use to streamline and secure the exchange of information between more than 90 companies and organizations involved in global shipping activity. The platform hype in freight forwarding The freight forwarding industry is said to be a business model prone to dis-intermediation, with many players aspiring to realize its platformization potential in recent years. Of course, that’s not all under the freight forwarder’s control. These seven trends all have ramifications for shippers and will be worth watching during 2019. Cathy Morrow Roberson , president of the consultancy, maintains that the advent of non-traditional players riding the wave of e-commerce growth—such as Amazon, Alibaba, and the many new tech-based startups—are changing the face of forwarding. Even though the terms sound similar, they have a distinct meaning in the application. Freight forwarding digitalisation has also been backed by blockchain technology. The divorce could render companies trading between the UK and EU subject to expensive tariffs. Meanwhile, the acceleration of technological progress continues across social, cultural and business interactions today, from the emergence of self-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) to self-driving cars. To deliver such an experience, forwarders must provide unprecedented levels of visibility and ease of shipment tracking. Feel free to skip this part and go to the topics you’re most interested in, using the table of contents above. The same is evident with the digitization in freight forwarding, with traditional freight forwarders needing to keep up in the midst of threats from digital disruptors. 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