5 Ways to Make Technology Your Competitive Differentiator in a Slowing Freight Market

by | Industry

If you’re finding it hard to read the headlines these days, you’re not alone. Doomsday predictions make for compelling copy, but the truth is that none of us has a crystal ball. While there are signs that imports are slowing to pre-pandemic levels and that an economic recession is possible, it’s hard to know just what the next few months have in store for us.

What is a freight recession?

A freight recession is broadly defined as a period of time when imports and shipping activities are in general decrease. This can be caused by a number of factors, including a decrease in demand for imports, an increase in the supply of shipping capacity, or a change in the overall economic climate. 

While a freight recession can actually work in favor of consumers and businesses that rely on shipping to move goods around the world, it’s a mixed bag for freight forwarders and other logistics service providers. That’s because a decline in shipping activity will typically lead to lower shipping rates, which will save shippers money, but it leaves less on the table for logistics service providers.  

As the global economy goes through yet another shift, freight forwarders need to be strategic and proactive.

“For freight companies, this year’s peak will be weak” – FreightWaves

“Slowing freight & manufacturing signals recession” – Reuters

“September plunge in US imports from Asia signals more declines ahead” – JOC

“Container imports to Los Angeles and Long Beach are plummeting” – FreightWaves


5 Ways Freight Forwarders Can Come Out on Top During a Freight Recession

  • Diversify Your Service Portfolio

One of the main causes of a freight recession is a decrease in imports. As consumer spending slows, businesses order fewer goods from overseas. This reduces overall shipping activity. To offset this decline, freight forwarders can shift focus to increase their exports business, for example. There may also be an increase in warehouse needs with goods already in the supply chain moving more slowly than before. By diversifying your service portfolio, you can insulate your business from the effects of a decline in imports. 

How can technology help you diversify your service portfolio? Seek a unified freight management software like Magaya Supply Chain to manage imports, exports, and warehousing efficiently, all in a single system. With Magaya Supply Chain, you can seamlessly exchange data in real time and manage all your logistics operations in a single system, from creating a freight quote to completing the necessary customs documentation, performing warehouse management procedures, and last-mile logistics. Avoid double data entry by creating bookings, pickup orders, warehouse receipts, shipments, and invoices, directly from one system.

  • Lower Costs and Maximize Efficiency

With dwindling rates and volumes putting revenue at risk, there’s no room for inefficiency or waste. We all tend to get into a rhythm with our day-to-day operations and sometimes forget to step back and evaluate opportunities to improve. But, in fact, it’s rare to find a freight forwarder that doesn’t have some room for process improvement that could save them time or cut costs. 

How can technology help you lower costs and maximize efficiency? The answer: it depends! At Magaya, our solution experts will work closely with you to understand your needs, evaluate opportunities, and design solutions that align perfectly with your business. Whether that means putting a Dimensioner in your warehouse to get fast, accurate cargo dims or making use of Magaya Customs Compliance to avoid penalties and save time with CBP filings, or something else entirely… we’ll uncover the hidden potential in your business.

  • Make Marketing a Priority

In a freight boom, it may seem like there’s more business than you can handle, but when things slow down, you probably need to work harder for your market share. During a freight recession, focusing on expanding your customer base and selling more to existing customers is a good way to ensure continued growth. You’re the expert in your domain: you know what your customers need most, what they care about, and why they choose you over the competition. Hone your message and consider channels like social media, your website, and yes, even emails to ensure you stay top-of-mind. 

How can technology help you make marketing a priority? Put your customer data in the spotlight with Magaya CRM. Integrated with Magaya Supply Chain, this time-saving logistics CRM solution eliminates redundancies and fosters collaboration across sales and operations teams with greater visibility, streamlined processes, and built-in business intelligence. Plus, you can create mass marketing campaigns, qualify and rank leads, and integrate with emailing solutions to get your message out to prospects.

  • Make Your Customer Experience Irresistible

Clunky, old-school processes still abound in the realm of freight forwarding. But, your customers are getting tired of waiting for email replies and phone calls for quotes, tracking, and other questions and answers. This adds up to a lot of time wasted, and can also lead to lost revenue for freight forwarders, as customers requesting quotes from multiple companies may not wait for all to respond. They want the speed and ease of use they’ve become accustomed to with Amazon, Uber, Netflix, and more. 

How can technology help you make your customer experience irresistible? Enter the Magaya Digital Freight Portal, a branded, interactive digital experience with all the functions of a digital forwarder in a single solution. Your customers will love the hands-on, insightful, easy-to-use portal, and you’ll benefit from streamlined processes, improved productivity, reduced costs, and an opportunity to grow your business exponentially. The Magaya Digital Freight Portal gets you quickly established as a digital freight forwarder to deliver the transparency, control, and ease of use that modern customers expect. From schedules to quotes, bookings, and reporting, we’ve got you covered with a branded and customized web portal that will set your business apart from the rest.

  • Keep a Close Watch on Rates

Transportation rates, quotes, and contracts are complicated and super volatile. Using spreadsheets to manage the complexity, volume, and constantly changing rates on these contracts is not an easy feat on the best of days, but with spot rates falling below contract, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of things. 

How can technology help you keep a close watch on freight rates? With fast, accurate rates and multi-lane quoting from a single platform, Magaya Rate Management is the number one choice for freight quotes and rate management software. Its ocean rate management ​capabilities are the most comprehensive in the industry, and include the ability to search and compare all rates in seconds, view surcharges, exceptions, schedule, and free time data, and even perform multi-lane RFQ searches with ease. Plus, its seamless integration with the Magaya Digital Freight Platform connects it with a complete ecosystem for managing every aspect of a modern freight forwarding business, from shipping and visibility to compliance, customer experience, accounting, and more.

Ready to digitize and modernize your freight forwarding operations?

See how Magaya can help.