Secrets of High Performing Freight Forwarders
When we look at the highest performing freight forwarders there are a number of common traits which seem to drive that success. We are going to take a closer look at the top 5.
Within the logistics market, there are a number of complexities relating to regulations and legal requirements which vary from country to country. These must be adhered to in order for freight to be transported efficiently. Therefore it is imperative that there are employees within the organisation who understand all of these intricacies and the paperwork and admin that needs to be done. In the event that employees do not have this expertise, it will inevitably lead to customers receiving inadequate service.
They embrace technology
Gone are the days where a paper-based business will cut it. There are an array of technology solutions which have transformed the industry. Functionality includes but is not limited to online quotes and booking, track and trace, and digital data entering. The advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things is going to continue to positively disrupt the industry. Technology provides speed and efficiencies which the highest performing freight forwarders utilise to their advantage.
As in many industries, customers more than ever before are demanding tailored services that cater to their particular requirements. The best players in the freight forwarding industry recognise the need for flexibility across a number of factors – cost, time, freight destination, and freight specifications. They find the right balance between standardisation to offer competitive pricing and individualised aspects to the service. They have the flexibility built into their operating model to be able to offer their customers the best service for them.
This ties into the last point in that it is infrequently going to be the cheapest logistics provider that is the most successful. Customers will, of course, be interested in price, but will also review a number of other factors that offer them value. Competitive pricing should never be mistaken for the lowest price. The highest performers seek to offer value add services that their peers perhaps do not offer.
There are freight forwarders who have their own infrastructures, but the majority outsource at least some of their requirements for trucks, warehouses, port installations and so on. It would be quite unrealistic to expect any freight forwarder to have owned infrastructure across their global network. Therefore the success of a freight forwarder is reliant on the performance of the businesses they outsource to. On that basis, it is imperative to have close and productive relationships across this network of vendors.
In a crowded industry, businesses must work hard to stand out and take market share. There are some common attributes that the most successful freight forwarders exhibit which we have shared above, and those looking to make headway should consider imitating.