freight forwarders

In the freight forwarding industry, where each activity is time-bound, following manual processes means staying in the past. Technology has touched almost every industry in one way or another. Tech-ready digital freight forwarders have gained popularity among customers due to being transparent and helping speed up operations. This popular demand increases the risk of traditional forwarders becoming obsolete if they don’t transform their processes from manual to digital sooner.

Because of the detail-oriented nature of the freight and logistics industry, professionals must be ever vigilant about details. In freight forwarding, in particular, it’s important to optimize every step of the process because time is money for forwarders. That’s why a lot of companies have turned to technology to streamline processes, increase productivity, and reduce manual operations wherever possible. If you are to win over new prospects, here are things you must stop doing manually.

Maintaining spreadsheet for sales process

Your sales team work on leads and prospects that eventually convert into customers. But the process is not straightforward. After many meetings and repeated information sharing, only a fraction of all leads may convert. A sales process involving spreadsheets takes up too much of your salesperson’s time. Tracking the progress made after each lead must be easy to view, update and take action. Use a sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to track and update progress, set meeting reminders, and record follow-up notes.

Spending time creating quotations

Part of the sales process is sharing quotations with prospects. Remember a sales quotation is a only formal quote and not a legally binding document. There could be changes requested, even after sharing the quote. Thus it becomes vital to simplify the process of creating a fresh quote and duplicating for revised terms. Freight management software can help you create a fresh quotation in just a few clicks. Features like these help boost your team’s productivity.

Learn more from our experts how you can digitalize your freight forwarding & logistics business.

Manual Documentation

Shipping cargo has compliances at various touchpoints. This requires supporting documents and invoices handy whenever needed. Frequently required documents include:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Commercial invoices
  • Packing List
  • Bill of Entry
  • e-airway bills
  • Customs duties
  • e-invoices

Traditional forwarders that don’t believe in technology continue to use physical hard copies for compliance. This introduces problems at checkpoints locating when documents go missing. Handling volumes of physical documentation is inefficient and prevents smooth processing of shipment. 

Digital documentation unlocks a seamless, productive, and organized method of customs and accounting compliance. Simplified document storage and access streamline and speed up critical processes from start to finish.

Sharing shipment progress status

The exact status of your shipment must be a bigger priority for you than your customers. Without real-time data access, the process of coordination with different vendors and partners can affect your shipment schedule. If you’re still logging into your email client or making phone calls to know shipment progress, you can’t expect your customers to stay loyal for too long.

Web portals, mobile apps, and notifications are a few self-service methods to provide progressive updates to your customers via freight ERP.

Keeping accounting and finances in check

One of the most prevalent justifications for why companies fail is a lack of cash flow or the visibility of complete financial health. Forwarders must keep track of their expenses and the ones spent on their client’s behalf to get accurate profitability. Technology-averse forwarders continue to use cheaper alternatives to modern technology. The way unorganized physical documentation can create hurdles to cargo movement, and unstructured money matters could mean chaos at all levels. 

Integrated freight software fits well as a solution to streamline your finance and accounting. By tracking freight business expenses in a central location, you can also control costs and know what is outstanding and available. Since businesses must file their taxes every month, having your expenses and incomes recorded in the system saves you from the last-minute scramble.

Takeaway

Manual processes affect the speed of operation, cause possible errors and make you unattractive in competition. Switch to modern technology and put in place trusted solutions to get the best out of your freight business.

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