Increasingly we’re seeing an uptick in forwarding agents seeking forwarder networks that provide software solutions and here is why… By joining a tech-forward forwarding network, agents gain better:
- Ease of communication and connectivity
- Planning, forecasting, and transparency
- Procurement advantages
The rest of this article will explain each of these topics in detail and explain what they mean for an independent freight forwarder.
Why ease of communication and connectivity matter for freight forwarders
Traditionally, freight forwarding networks have been regarded as “families” or “communities” of freight forwarding professionals. Which can prove to be loads of fun at annual networking events and while working on shared requirements together. But as every facet of the world becomes more digital, so too must the concept of the global freight forwarding network.
And like every other industry, the pandemic has pushed us to become more digital. Event managers across the logistics industry had to come up with creative online solutions to facilitate networking. The best freight forwarder networks have also made their annual meetings virtual to still be able to provide connectivity and a sense of community to their members.
The unintended consequence of this sudden push to digitize is our expectation and the expectation of our customers for faster response times. And this is where tech solutions become absolutely critical.
How a freight forwarding tech provides better transparency and aids in planning and forecasting activities
Many start-up tech providers tout the terms “data-driven decisions” and there’s a valid reason why. If you know what will happen in the future because you have the data to tell you in the present, of course, you will make smarter business decisions.
Today’s technology enables freight forwarders to forecast and anticipate market fluctuations. Historical data has been gathered all over the world web and through tens of thousands of parties and analytics software, can help us draw conclusions about the future which are highly accurate. Freight forwarder networks that provide freight forwarding software to their members help them with preventive planning and market predictions. Valuable insights regarding rate predictions and capacity volume changes can be provided through the data analytics tools within sophisticated booking platforms.
The purpose of these highly sophisticated systems is not only to help organize freight shipments but also to deliver the correct information to the right people at the right place and time. Automated triggers and alerts, like SMS or mobile notifications and emails, help keep all parties informed and up-to-date in the most transparent way possible.
How does a digital freight forwarder network help independent forwarders gain a procurement advantage?
Rapid innovation and our personal shifts into more familiarity and comfort with tech prove that the near future may be more digital than we ever had thought. This means that companies in all industries, freight forwarding included, must make the shift in order to survive. When independent forwarding agents get access to enough data, it leads to an increase in the optimization of procurement and carrier contracts.
In recent years, the focus of many technological solutions has been on optimizing capacity procurement for shippers and forwarders alike. As tech infrastructure can be extremely costly and an overwhelming task for a business owner to put into place in his or her company, this is where agency networks come in.
In freight forwarding especially, digital resources and data must be provided to small and medium-sized freight forwarders in order for them to navigate market volatility. Progressive forwarder networks embrace technological advances and use them to provide a higher level of service to their members. Through the data, optimization, transparency, and forecasting that tech brings, coupled with the entire network’s collective shipments, networks like 7ConNetwork can achieve better procurement opportunities.
Are you ready to make a strategic move to ensure the success of your forwarding business?
Almost every industry analyst agrees that the volatile shipping market we are facing today has become the new normal. Market disruption is here to stay. Meanwhile, aggressive moves by the likes of Maersk and others soon to follow are squeezing small and mid-sized forwarders. To remain competitive, forwarders are going to need 2 things: technological solutions and resource pooling.
7ConNetwork is one of the only global freight forwarder networks that go beyond simply connecting agents at an annual event. We provide our members with a comprehensive shipment booking platform that connects agents to agents as well as to shippers. A dashboard of analytics provides users with the ability to make data-driven decisions and plan for the future. And through our global presence and economies of scale approach, our members can gain procurement opportunities in times of tight space capacity.
Contact us today to learn more about how 7ConNetwork can give your forwarding business the boost it needs to become more competitive.