Are The Digital Freight Forwarders Gaining An Edge Over The Traditional Forwarders?

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In the past decade, digital forwarders have gained significant prominence in the shipping and logistics industry. We are living in an era, where to know anything, we do not any longer feel the urge to go to a library or ask a more experienced person. Rather, we prefer to find the answer by placing a simple query in the available web search engines. And instantly, we get to access enormous data on the concerned subject. Such is the power of the digital world. But the question is, doesn’t the old way of doing things hold ground in today’s world? Has it lost its value entirely? Let’s discuss this in detail.

How the digital freight forwarders came into existence

Necessity is the creator of new things. Competitors are entering this industry with new business ideas to improve customer experience by eliminating operational inefficiencies. But earlier, it used to take a long time (approximately 100 hours) to get a quote for the shipment of your cargo. If you can get the same price quote within seconds, will you wait for days to attain so? No, right? That’s how the digital freight forwarders came into existence. For all those back-office operations that needed quite a long time to get completed, digitalization is performing them in seconds. And it is also saving operational costs up to 40%.

How digital freight forwarders are using technology 

To have access to the benefits of a digital forwarder, all you need to do is sign in as a member of a reputed forwarder. You will automatically get included in their DF directory (digital freight directory). Henceforth you will be able to login into your account and use their services.

Once you gain this entry, you will witness how these digital forwarders are using technology to their benefit.

For improving customer experience, they –

  • Have developed pricing engine that gives instant price quotation
  • Have built a digital customer platform for handling the documentation
  • Introduced easy tracking system
  • Have brought transparency in the financial systems that have aided in receiving automated invoices

For efficient business operations they –

  • Are using advanced analytics to enhance forecasting
  • Have linked customer portals with the different operational systems
  • Have introduced automated shipment booking process
  • Initiated ways to introduce customers to third parties and use their services

What should the traditional freight forwarders do to stay in the competition?

To be honest, technology is not all. A freight forwarder has to be good at

  • dealing with customers
  • building networks
  • implementing the acquired knowledge and
  • using technological innovations

A digital freight forwarder may be ahead in the race when it comes to dealing with the new-age technology. But, what about dealing with the other three aspects of the trade?

A collaborative approach between the digital and the traditional freight forwarders can be introduced for efficient working of all the sectors of the shipping and logistics industry. Customers will get to utilize the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

We can only hope for both the traditional and the digital forwarders to work together. But in reality, both of them are running a race to determine whether the digital world will grow their knowledge horizon faster than the traditional freight forwarders or the latter will establish a digital platform sooner?

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