Four Signs it’s Time to Invest in Freight Forwarder Software

Apr 7, 2021 | Industry

Freight forwarding frameworks are more complex than ever. From shaky supply chains to evolving regulations to increasing consumer demand for end-to-end transparency, freight forwarding companies need the ability to see exactly where shipments are, when they should arrive – and what needs to be done to streamline the process.

To solve this challenge, supply chain agility and visibility are critical. But how do current operations stack up? With many freight forwarders still relying on legacy logistics software that has historically gotten the job done – but are now be falling behind – organizations must evaluate current operations against evolving operational requirements.

Not sure where to start? Here are four signs it’s time to invest in robust and reliable freight forwarding software.

 

1. Detention and Demurrage Charges are Getting Out of Control

Detention and demurrage charges are on the rise. As noted by JOC, a coalition of truckers, shippers, and customs brokers recently petitioned the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to consider suspending detention and demurrage at busy ports in California, New York, and New Jersey. The coalition argued that in 2020 alone they “have paid well over $150 million in unreasonable detention and demurrage charges in the twin Southern California ports and the Port of New York and New Jersey due to the massive congestion created by record-setting volumes, coupled with a shortage of both skilled labor and available chassis.”

Put simply? Massive supply and transportation demands coupled with labor shortages thanks to COVID-19 have permanently changed the freight industry landscape, resulting in significantly longer stays for freight both inside and outside port terminals, in turn driving much higher D&D charges.

And while it’s impossible to completely eliminate the impact of this new detention and demurrage landscape, freight forwarding software that includes rate management can help reduce total costs by providing total visibility into tariff charges, web-based rate data, and free storage time for specific ports to help forwarders make informed shipping decisions – before they’re on the hook for big detention and demurrage costs.

 

2. Freight Forwarding Inboxes are Full, Full, Full

As noted by Trans.info, rapidly-increasing cargo volumes are putting more pressure on freight forwarders to get the job done – and get it done quickly. In fact, many complex orders now require 40 emails or more to effectively manage carrier, importer, shipper, and customs concerns; as total order volumes tick up, necessary email messages increase exponentially.

The result? Even the most skilled forwarders are drowning in emails, forced to sort through message after message to determine what’s necessary in the short term, what can wait and what needs to be done right now.

The right freight forwarder software can help. For example, shipment tracking tools like Magaya LiveTrack make it possible to incorporate a measure of self-service into the freight process, allowing customers and clients to proactively answer their own questions – in turn allowing forwarders to work smarter, not harder.

 

3. Your Profit Margins are Falling

With port space at a premium, many companies now find their profit margins falling. And while S&P Global suggests a slow return to shipping normalcy over the next six months, freight forwarders need a way to solve for-profit problems now if they want to survive current business conditions – and thrive in the new normal.

Here, the right freight management software can offer the advantage of data-driven insights that collect, curate, and compile key data sources to help companies understand what’s working, what isn’t, and where they can improve.

Consider the costs associated with shipments sitting inside port facilities for days or weeks past the contractually-defined free time offered, or the potential fines associated with shipments lacking key paperwork to meet specific import regulations. Intelligent, data-first software tools can help solve these problems by providing freight forwarders a complete shipment picture that includes key details about origin, destination, port rates, import requirements, and potential fines to help shippers make data-driven decisions on-demand.

 

4. The Competition is Getting Faster – and Fiercer

As freight forwarders digitize, customer demand ramps up, and regulatory oversight increases, competition is getting faster and fiercer. Effective freight forwarding frameworks are now table stakes – clients and customers expect their shipments to arrive on-time, every time. Today, market differentiation is tied to value-added benefits such as real-time mobile tracking applications, intuitive customer experiences, and immediate response to client concerns.

For the freight forwarder, the result is that legacy processes and practices aren’t enough to stay competitive – without real-time visibility and the ability to respond on-demand as shipping environments evolve, forwards will soon find themselves left in the wake of more adaptable organizations.

In practice, increased competition underscores the need for robust, cloud-based freight software solutions capable of supporting freight forwarding and needs anytime, anywhere. By aligning business practices to the changing nature of shipping, receiving, and import environments, it’s possible for organizations to future-proof current infrastructure and ensure that they’re on the leading edge or market change – instead of running to catch up.

 

The Future of Freight Forwarding Frameworks

Informed by global conditions and driven by consumer demand, freight forwarding frameworks now require responsive, real-time operations to stay ahead of the competition. The shortest path to success? Cloud-based, data-driven freight forwarding software that puts forwarders in control of critical processes to reduce detention and demurrage charges, reduce total complexity and increase overall ROI.

Software designed for the unique needs of freight forwarders. 

Discover a better way to run your business. Work smarter, not harder with Magaya.