Why Cloud-Based Logistics Software is a Must-Have for Modern Freight Forwarders

Jun 8, 2021 | Industry

Companies are moving to the cloud in record numbers, and for good reason. While the forced pivot to teleworking accelerated the trend in the last year, in reality, it’s been a long time coming. Recent survey data found that 61 percent of businesses moved some or all of their workloads to the cloud in 2020, and experts predict the public cloud computing market will be worth $800 billion by 2025.

For many freight forwarders, however, cloud hesitancy remains high. From existing legacy processes that are still “getting the job done” to concerns around security and staff adoption issues after making the shift, there’s a level of uncertainty around the integration, operation, and advantages of cloud-based logistics software.

But as noted by The Boss Magazine, the increasing complexity faced by modern freight forwarding operations — including port congestion, customs compliance, staff shortages, and supply chain disruptions — speaks to the need for cloud-based solutions capable of both meeting current needs and scaling to solve new challenges.

The Changing Face of Freight Forwarding

As recent global events have made clear, even seemingly stable supply chains can suddenly dry up — and even reliable shipping lanes can suddenly become unusable (or prohibitively expensive). In isolation, these events suggest the need for more streamlined freight forwarding processes. At a macro level, however, they point to a sea-change in the market at large.

Informed by digital-first operations that depend on real-time reporting, total transparency, and the ability to engage with customers wherever, whenever, freight forwarding operations are no longer sustainable using legacy programs and procedures. Now, businesses need agile, connected, and adaptable solutions capable of bridging the gap between paper-heavy processes and on-demand consumer and customs expectations.

Put simply? Freight forwarding is changing. Businesses must adapt or be left behind.

Challenges in Modern Operations

For modern freight forwarding operations, common challenges include:

  • Speed

With data tied up in paper processes and redundant operations, it’s difficult for many freight forwarders to quickly respond when rates, fees, or shipping details change. From reporting this data to customers to making internal adjustments that help ensure profitability, speed is essential.

  • Security

Data security is critical for both operational compliance and customer satisfaction. Compromised databases could lead to shipments being held at ports or refused entry, while customer data breaches may lead to reputation damage and potential legal challenges as clients look to recoup lost costs.

  • Accuracy

While the use of manual processes for common supply chain functions like dimension recording, shipping manifest completion, and tracking data updates is familiar, it can also lead to the dual problems of task redundancy and reduced information accuracy. If multiple staff must complete the same task multiple times — and their collected data doesn’t agree — freight forwarders are forced to waste time and money tracking down and remediating these operational errors.

  • Simplicity

As noted above, complexity is now a key challenge for freight forwarders. From the advent of ultra-ultra-massive container ships that must be as full as possible to generate revenue to the increasing challenges around streamlined goods processing at border checkpoints, seaports, and airports, forwarders need software solutions capable of reducing the number of steps required to enable key processes or find specific information.

Embracing the Sky-High Benefits of the Cloud

Adopting cloud-based freight forwarding solutions — such as the Magaya Cloud — offer substantive benefits for modern freight forwarders, such as:

  • Reliability

The Magaya cloud offers daily data backups along with redundant cloud systems to ensure your data always remains secure and accessible. We also work with secure data centers that have high-reliability ratings — such as SSAE 16 Type II compliance — and offer redundant infrastructure frameworks. Put simply? Your data is always available when you need it — and kept safe from prying eyes.

  • Reduced costs

While legacy systems offer the benefit of familiarity, they also come with significant cost increases over time as existing hardware and software reach its end of life and must be replaced. With the Magaya Cloud, you get the benefit of low up-front investment since all hardware acquisition, deployment, and maintenance are handled by our IT partners. Rather than worrying about massive CapEx spending every few years, you can rely on much more stable and streamlined OpEx expenses each month.

  • Easy upgrading

Along with regular hardware and software updates to ensure optimal performance, you also get automatic access to the latest software features and functions as they’re released. Even better? You choose when upgrades and updates happen to help minimize system downtime.

  • Accessibility

Modern logistics software must include the ability to respond in real-time as events happen. From issues with tracking or shipping to changes in scheduling or fees, freight forwarders need the ability to engage with and respond to customer concerns anytime, anywhere. With the Magaya Cloud, all you need is an Internet connection. Access your logistics systems wherever, whenever – and from any device.

  • Scalability

As noted above, speed is now critical for freight forwarding success. Many legacy logistics systems, however, work against this goal by frustrating staff efforts to access key data or process critical requests on-demand. With the Magaya Cloud, meanwhile, built-in scalability means that your systems scale up along with your operations — and at no extra cost — to ensure server bandwidth, database settings, and software features are all aligned for optimal performance.

  • Reduced time to ROI

When it comes to the cloud, deployment and integration are often key barriers to effective use. If companies get caught up in the technical details of cloud solution deployment — or if employees aren’t convinced of their benefits — these investments may struggle to deliver ROI.

With Magaya, ROI comes standard. We take care of your initial cloud setup and deployment to help you get up and running as fast as possible. Plus our intuitive, clean, and simple-to-use interface makes it easy to onboard staff and get them familiar with new, cloud-based processes. As a result, we can help significantly shorten the distance between cloud investment and reliable ROI.

Put simply, you focus on running your business — we’ll take care of the technology.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Digital-first markets combined with evolving disruptions across supply chains and port processes have conspired to make modern freight forwarding much more complex. Legacy solutions designed for familiar forwarding processes can no longer keep up — to stay current and get ahead of the competitive curve freight forwarders need streamlined, secure, and scalable cloud logistics solutions.

Magaya makes it easy to move your freight forwarding operations to the cloud. 

Schedule a demo to learn more!