Q. How was your experience being a sponsor this time at the FFFAI Convention? How do you find the FFFAI Convention in boosting the logistics sector?
Softlink is proud to have a long association as a sponsor with the Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI), the Apex industry association of freight forwarding, shipping, and commerce.
Being in the industry for more than 30 years, I have had the opportunity to connect with many of them. FFFAI convention is one event that I look forward to meeting my friends, peers, and customers and spend a good time, gaining & sharing knowledge, and closely knowing each other. This year was no exception; I truly enjoyed discussing various developments in the industry that my friends perceive in the years to come.
The contribution of FFFAI is commendable in empowering logistics, freight forwarders, and customs brokers in India, as well as in the international platform. Over the years, they have successfully transformed supply chain professionals not just as Logistics Experts but also as a Key Stake Holder and as the Central Nervous systems of Planning and Execution.
Q. How has digitalization changed the dynamics of the cargo and logistics sector in the last 2-3 years?
In the past 2-3 years, COVID-19 has exposed the weakness and inefficiencies of the small, traditional logistics service providers and left with the question of survival. The acute disruption brought by the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies as it demands survival, not just a competitive advantage. The dynamics of the cargo and logistics industry have seen an unprecedented change with the newer technologies re-shaping the marketplace and evolving customer expectations. The industry is now more open to leveraging digitalization that is enabling greater efficiency and more collaborative operating models. The pandemic has induced the agility to change existing processes, incorporate new initiatives, and redesign their customer experiences to respond to market demands and the dynamic business ecosystem.
Q. Do you think digitalization has become the backbone of the industry and how can it take the industry to new heights?
The logistics and freight industry has come a long way with various stages of technological adoption, starting with digitization to digitalization. But now we have gone further where freight forwarders and logistics companies are in the stage of digital transformation. We are moving towards a connected ecosystem that is bringing all the stakeholders under one platform. The objective of this common digital platform is to enable a seamless flow of information across various service providers. The platform ideally integrates all documentation related to the cargo flow, provides cargo visibility through track-and-trace, and establishes a link between invoice and payment points.
This is going to further enhance automation, secure data exchange, seamless partners’ connectivity, and increase productivity.
There are forwarders who have gone ahead and are in the digitalization state and started utilizing the digital data in a systematic and automated format to bring in an insightful and core change to the entire business model.
Q. What are your future expansion plans as Softlink Global?
At Softlink, we are aiming to expand our digital offerings to enable logistics service providers to run their entire operations digitally and explore the growth opportunities with data trends.
We are updating our products to capture deeper information from even more data points and are also adding more and more automation using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The goal is to provide even more insightful and detailed reports supported by hard data facts for LSPs which will help them increase their ROI.
We are also launching the Blockchain-Powered Digital Collaboration platform TradeCHAIN, which will facilitate instant sharing of data, documents, and messages securely across trading partners. We are working on many exciting technology products that will become the backbone of the industry in the coming times. For existing products, we are expanding our geographic footprints that are still not touched by our solutions.
Please feel free to add or modify any above questions and also, if you would like to share any other information or viewpoint about the industry, you’re most welcome.
Kindly share your expert views by August 20th along with your high resolution pictures.