Let's start with size- because, in this case, size does matter.
Size tells you a lot about the character of the freight forwarder network. You might immediately assume “bigger is better”, however this is not necessarily true. With a network comprising thousands of members, you might experience low quality co-members or standards, an incohesive community and competition for deals in your location. Yes, that's right- the opposite of the very reason you joined the freight forwarder network.
You also want to avoid a network that is too small, because you're looking for better rates through combined purchasing power. Also, you've got to take the wider competition into account. As carriers change position in the market, investing large sums into digitization and developing more and more online applications, they're becoming a large force to be reckoned with. They've begun acquiring freight forwarders, thus intensifying current and future competition.
The right sized freight forwarder network is essentially a powerful group of independent freight forwarders acting as a singular entity, building business for each other through an economies of scale approach. This community of thoroughly screened members actively promote and support eachother in logistics, customs brokerage and local services through collective acquisition, as well as pooling of operational and financial resources.
So to find that perfect number, you’re looking for a freight forwarder network that has or aims for a local agent in every major location, and preferably only 1 specialist per modality. You’ll want to be that one specialist handling all the new business in said location.
More benefits of a freight forwarder network membership:
Every freight forwarder network is different, but some of the basic benefits that can help you with your business operations are payment protection plans, insurance, marketing services, tech solutions, partner discounts and perks, etc. The quality of service provided depends on the quality of the freight forwarder network itself. It’s important to dig deep and find out which extra services are provided and to which extent the network is willing to go to promote its members and acquire new business.
To maximize the full benefit of joining a freight forwarder network, consider digitally focused networks, like 7ConNetwork, who have a booking platform and quotation system and partner with tech companies to provide the most up-to-date products and tools for their members. And who also prioritize network marketing, guaranteeing that you will gain new business without having to pay extra out-of-pocket promotion costs.
Naturally, meeting your fellow members at an annual networking conference, further strengthens your personal and business bonds. These are quite standard and are normally held in vibrant, exotic locations- packed with 1-to-1 networking, after parties and regional tourism activities. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, these all have obviously been postponed until the pandemic situation clears up. Though to make up for the absence of physical meetings, most networks are turning to digital networking events to keep the community together and encourage continued business between members.
Memberships do come with a price, as does anything worth having.
And of course the principle of “you get what you pay for” is no exception in this arena either. For a quality freight forwarder network, you can reasonably expect to pay an annual fee of between 1,000 to 3,000 USD. While it may seem pricey, the financial gains far outweigh the costs.
You can look at it this way: you’ll save on those costs that you would have poured into your business development and marketing efforts, as a good freight forwarder network will heavily assist and drive success in that department as well.
Furthermore, think about the immense up-front costs of investing into digitizing your business. A necessary step even the smallest freight forwarder must take in order to stay in business long term in this rapidly advancing digital world. Utilizing the services of a digitally advanced freight forwarder network saves you the heavy costs, time and resources you’d have to pour into creating your own solutions or negotiating with an array of service providers.
When you’re ready, here’s the process:
Expect to fill out a form requesting your company details and submit. Before being accepted to a freight forwarder network, you’ll have to undergo a screening process to check financial stability, confirm the specifics of your organization and verify reputation to ensure a high level of trustworthiness and reliability for all members. The more rigorous the qualification process is, the more care the network is taking to maintain high standards for all members.
After approval of your application, and payment of the membership fee, your company details are submitted to the network database and become accessible for all members. You can find all members through the digital agent finder if the network is digitally progressive, otherwise the network administrators will send you a list. This is just the first step in promoting your services amongst the community.
Taking it further, upon submitting your company logo to the freight forwarder network administration team, they’ll begin to promote your company on your behalf. This is typically done through newsletters, social media and on their public website. On top of that, a high quality freight forwarder network works hard on bringing in new business to share with the network community.
Secure your location in an up-and-coming, exclusive freight forwarder network.
A final consideration would be to join a promising, up-and-coming network while there are still available seats in your location. In longer established networks, there’s a high chance your region is already claimed by a competitor in your specialization. This means you either don’t get in, or you do get in but still have to deal with “friendly” competition.
If you want to be part of an up-and-coming powerful network building on the principles of quality and expertise, joining 7ConNetwork will open doors from Day One. You will have access to a community of top-notch experts in all Multi-Modal categories. This will help you to diversify your services and win new business quickly.
Along with the above mentioned benefits, 7ConNetwork has already established prestigious global branding. Using the 7ConNetwork global brand name and platform will help you to compete against the major network forwarders by bringing you prestige and credi (ta) bility in the industry.