How to Overcome Common Roadblocks to Digitized Freight Forwarding

by | Industry

Digitized freight forwarding, or becoming a digital forwarder, isn’t just a hot topic in logistics these days, it’s on fire. And for good reason, the benefits of digitization are numerous, and some might even say that it’s the only way forward, given the complexity of modern supply chains and elevated demands of shippers. But, if you’re used to doing things in a certain way (like relying heavily on emails and calls for quotes and bookings), it can be daunting to make the leap into digitization. We’re here to remove some common roadblocks and clear the way to digitization for all freight forwarders.

What is digitized freight forwarding?

Digitized freight forwarding refers to the use of digital technologies and platforms to streamline and automate various aspects of the freight forwarding process, such as tracking shipments, managing inventory, and coordinating transportation. This can include the use of software, mobile apps, and other digital tools to improve efficiency and reduce costs for freight forwarders and their clients. It also means more real-time data and information available to all stakeholders, thus improving overall visibility and control over the supply chain. 

For example, the Magaya Digital Freight Portal is a branded, interactive digital forwarder portal that can put you on the fast track to digitizing your entire customer experience. From quotations and schedules to bookings, shipments, tracking, warehouse visibility, invoicing, payments and more, you can accelerate your workflows and automate your customer service with the Magaya Digital Freight Portal. And we’ve removed a big hurdle for you: you can use it with your existing back-end systems. 

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits of digitized freight forwarding include increased efficiency, better customer communication, and reduced risk of fraud
  • Despite clear benefits, some freight forwarders have concerns about adding a digital forwarder solution to existing IT infrastructure or are unsure about the future return on the investment
  • 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, and you don’t need to change back-end systems to use it. 

What are the common roadblocks to digitization?

Lack of technology infrastructure and resources

One of the main roadblocks to digitizing the customer experience for freight forwarders is the lack of technology infrastructure and resources to implement and maintain digital systems. This can include things such as not having the necessary hardware, software, and internet connectivity, as well as a lack of personnel with the technical expertise to manage and support digital systems.

Resistance to change

Another roadblock is resistance to change among employees and customers. Some employees may be uncomfortable with new technology or may not see the value in digitizing processes, while customers may be used to traditional methods of communication and may not want to change. You might also be surprised though, as employees become more accustomed to using technology in every aspect of their lives and customers come to expect new ways of engaging with businesses. In fact, 80% or more of shippers said they would be willing to pay higher rates to work with a freight forwarder that provides superior technology, visibility and control. (FreightWaves). Astoundingly, 20% said they would also be willing to pay for higher rates. In a hypercompetitive, low-margin industry like freight forwarding, this is a game-changer.

Concerns about data security and privacy

Data security and privacy is a major concern for freight forwarders when it comes to digitizing the customer experience, and for good reason! Freight forwarders handle sensitive information about their customers and their shipments, so they need to ensure that digital systems are secure and that data is protected from unauthorized access.

Limited budget and resources

Digitizing the customer experience can be a costly and resource-intensive process. Freight forwarders may not have the budget or resources to invest in the necessary technology and personnel to implement digital systems.

Difficulty in integrating digital systems with existing legacy systems and processes

Many freight forwarders have legacy systems and processes in place that have been used for many years. Integrating digital systems with these legacy systems and processes can be difficult, and may require significant changes to existing systems and processes.

Difficulty in measuring and demonstrating the ROI of digital investments

Freight forwarders may find it difficult to measure and demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of digital investments. This can make it difficult to justify the cost of implementing digital systems to management and other stakeholders.

Limited understanding of digital technologies and how they can benefit the business

Many freight forwarders may have limited understanding of digital technologies and how they can benefit the business. This can make it difficult for them to identify and implement digital solutions that will meet their specific needs.

Difficulty in finding and implementing the right digital solutions

Freight forwarders may find it difficult to find and implement digital solutions that meet their specific needs. There are many different digital solutions available, and it can be difficult to determine which ones will be the most effective for a particular business.

What are some key benefits of digitized freight forwarding?

Increased efficiency and automation of processes

Digitization allows freight forwarders to streamline their operations and automate tasks such as tracking shipments and generating documents, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings. Essentially, digitization allows you to do more with less.

Improved communication and collaboration

Digital tools and platforms facilitate communication and collaboration with suppliers, customers, and other partners, allowing for more seamless, faster coordination and better decision-making.

Greater visibility into supply chain operations

With digitization, freight forwarders have access to more data and insights into their operations, enabling them to identify issues and opportunities in real-time and make informed decisions. Customers benefit from increased visibility, too, and on their own terms: with a digital customer portal, your customer can track shipments and check warehouse inventory at any time, and from anywhere.

Reduced costs and errors

By automating manual processes and reducing the need for paper-based documentation, digitization can help freight forwarders lower costs and reduce errors associated with manual data entry and other tasks.

The ability to collect, analyze, and utilize data

Digitization provides freight forwarders with access to large amounts of data that can be analyzed to improve performance, make strategic business decisions, and gain a competitive advantage.

Improved customer service

Digital tools and platforms allow freight forwarders to provide customers with real-time tracking and other information online, improving transparency and customer satisfaction. Plus, if multiple teams in your organization are all working with a single customer, they all share the same up-to-date information in digitized systems, as compared to siloed in various email inboxes, etc.

Better ability to comply with regulations

Digitization can help freight forwarders meet regulatory requirements and customs clearance, reducing the risk of compliance issues and penalties.

Improved security and reduced risk of fraud

Compared to email, fax, and phone, secure digital tools and platforms can help freight forwarders reduce the risk of fraud, cyberattacks, and other security breaches.

Magaya Makes Digitized Freight Forwarding Easy

If you’re not looking for ways to digitize your customer experience right now, the hard truth is that you’re falling behind.

Your digitally-savvy customers want the convenience, speed, and control of being able to interact with you online. The era of doing business by phone and email is over.

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.

Ready to digitize and modernize your freight forwarding operations?

See how Magaya can help.