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Logistics Technology

Data Interoperability in Logistics Technology

Logistics technology has come a long way over the years, automating an industry that once dragged its feet when it came to adopting new systems. Both freight forwarders and their shipper customers now have access to powerful and easy-to-use applications that can improve the way they run their operations.

Since we’ve written quite a bit on this particular topic, we’re including several other links to other relevant, key pieces throughout this article.

Read our previous blog: How To Be a Modern Digital Freight Forwarder

Read our previous blog: How To Choose the Right Freight Visibility System

While the freight forwarding industry wasn’t always so accepting of technology, it did have a few reasons to be a little hesitant. For one thing, the technology we did have was not cheap. And when people would talk about early logistics technology, they were really referring to a TMS or WMS within a larger ERP system. Then, the introduction of smaller, more easily integrated SaaS-based solutions completely changed the game for many companies of all sizes. This, fortunately, is where the industry is at today and a great benefit to freight forwarders.

Another critical development involved the increased availability of more specialized software that could handle a company-specific range of responsibilities. These crucial resources have allowed forwarders to build their own logistics technology stacks, which group together different technology from varying providers to create a customized solution that often meets a forwarder’s needs better than more expensive alternatives and in scalable ways.

Read our previous blog: Here’s What Your Logistics Technology Stack Is Missing

Without applications that provide true data interoperability, however, these types of solutions enabling users to easily cherry-pick the technology they want would not be possible. There are many ways forwarders and shippers can benefit from investing in specialized logistics technology, from gaining instant access to competitive contract rates, to capitalizing on state-of-the-art customer relationship management.

Read our previous blog: How To Identify Online Self-Service Freight Management Portals That Guarantee an Immediate ROI

Most freight forwarders rely on technology to manage many moving parts within their operations. GAMA’s platform seamlessly synchronizes data between forwarders, vendors, carriers, and customers, giving users direct visibility into rates, shipment status updates, and important shipping documentation.

Read our previous blog: Why Freight Forwarders Need Shipping Visibility To Survive Today

Read our previous blog: How Freight Forwarders Can Leverage Technology To Scale Their Business

The industry is past the point of relying solely on a TMS or other similar logistics technology platforms that would market themselves as one-size-fits-all solutions. Different modes have different needs. Highly specialized ocean shipping functions like identifying dynamic freight rates and applying complex customs markups come with their own set of unique requirements and looking nothing like truckload or air functions.

Freight forwarders and shippers can now choose from the wide range of web services and APIs today’s logistics technology provides to create a custom, cost-effective solution that not only addresses their needs on an individualized level but also enables seamless data sharing between systems. To learn more about how you can connect your existing technology to our algorithm-powered AI platform to automate your workflow and optimize overall productivity, visit GAMA.

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Rate Inquiry Tool

Here’s Why Every Freight Forwarder Needs a Comprehensive Customer Rate Inquiry Tool

GAMA’s leading Rate Inquiry Tool allows a forwarder’s shipper customers to submit rate requests directly to you, simplifying the entire process.

The tool is about more than just providing rates, however. It is a powerful, centralized platform that improves rate and cost management for both forwarders and their customers.

For shippers, GAMA’s advanced technology provides a way for customers to collect valuable logistics data and turn that information into actionable KPIs for their organization. The features will not only provide more visibility into their supply chain operations but drive more efficiency and savings for them as well.

For forwarders, it’s a way to better manage rates and margins, as well as communicate with agents, vendors, and other supply chain partners in one convenient location.

Here are some details on how it works:

The process and user interface are simple to understand. After your shipper customer selects the mode of transportation and identifies the general services their freight requires, the next section (titled Cargo Details) offers a place to specify cargo dimensions and special equipment needs. To complete a request, users can check any other box listed under Additional Services to ensure all shipment details and requirements are accounted for.

From your perspective as a forwarder, GAMA provides complete control in very important ways. Administrators have access to every rate request pending vendor and customer input. By gaining transparency into each individual request submitted by all of your clients who utilize this tool, you can leverage newfound insight into the customer quoting process.

On top of having the ability to immediately select and send cost requests to your agents and other individuals throughout your vendor network, our Suggested Vendors screen also automatically pulls information from your saved vendor database. Choosing the most suited agent for a job is made simple, so you can be assured your customers are receiving the best rates and service options available.

Here are some additional GAMA feature highlights for freight forwarders:

  • Build your customer’s rate based on the info provided in the Rate from Vendor section
  • Search carrier vessel schedules to offer up-to-date sailing data
  • Add any necessary markups based on either percentage or value and apply them to the selected lines
  • Create Quote Templates that include a place for you to identify varying types of charges and your company’s own fees
  • View the total amount broken down into buy/sell rates as well as the expected profit per agent submission

From allowing you to submit all vendor rate and service options for your customer to select the one that works best for their business, to offering a complete breakdown of charges and feedback, to providing total transparency to your customer base, to enabling you to instantly book shipments online with the Look-to-Book feature, GAMA’s customer Rate Inquiry Tool will strengthen your customer relationships and improve the profitability of your forwarding operations.

Visit GAMA to learn more.

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Digital Freight Forwarder

Why Freight Forwarders Need Shipping Visibility To Survive Today

The freight forwarding industry is facing an unprecedented amount of disruption in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. With freight forwarders and their shipper customers struggling to overcome one crisis after another, from the pileup of vessels at ports on the U.S. West Coast to the now infamous Suez Canal blockage, many have realized just how invaluable visibility can be for mitigating risks and maintaining supply chain resiliency.

First, we have the Ever Given’s unfortunate accident and its impact on container capacity as well as carrier scheduling reliability (which was already at an all-time low well before the Suez Canal blockage). Then, to further illustrate what some are calling “the port version of March Madness,” the Port of Los Angeles “handled 957,599 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, up 113% year on year — the highest March number in the port’s history,” according to FreightWaves.

If you want an even clearer mental picture of the situation, the containers on these ships would extend from Los Angeles all the way to New York if placed end to end. With February’s global schedule reliability falling under 35% and even more blanked sailings on the horizon, freight forwarders have to identify the tools that can help them and their customers adapt more seamlessly to these shipping slowdowns.

The Power of Visibility

Speed and efficiency are vital in a post-pandemic world; however, without the right technology to give you true transparency into your forwarding operations, you can’t see what’s coming. This not only severely limits your ability to quickly respond to rapid marketplace shifts but also leaves you at a disadvantage against your competition.

By leveraging automation to increase visibility, forwarders can lower costs and optimize their customer’s delivery networks, while proactively identifying and managing issues in real time. Vendors, dock managers, production planners, and any other related party can stay well informed too and make the necessary adjustments on their end without having to wait for you to get back to them.

Tracking technology helps reveal costly, inefficient blind spots related to inbound shipments and makes information far more accessible as well. While there are many types of freight forwarding technology out there, what you really want is a platform that offers a comprehensive view of your shipper customers’ transportation processes across every mode.

More advanced software allows companies to easily share data with one another. APIs, for instance, eliminate the need to make unnecessary phone calls or send out redundant emails because they increase data connectivity and simplify communication. Forwarders can also start collecting the data that’s now visible to them and their customers to develop a more accurate understanding of their business and better evaluate supply chain performance over time.

If you want to reduce freight spending, increase your margins, enhance collaboration, gain data-based insight, and better scale your business, then it’s time to invest in the automation that will give your company the visibility and flexibility it requires to survive the murky waters of today. Visit GAMA to learn more.

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Digital Freight Forwarder

Here’s What Your Logistics Technology Stack Is Missing

The value and importance logistics technology provides to every transportation company is not up for debate anymore. While some businesses may be slow to adopt new forms of automation, smart forwarders understand they need technology, like a TMS, to improve their logistics operations.

What many companies (even the more progressive ones) don’t realize, however, is that a TMS is not always a complete solution on its own. Yes, a TMS performs many important tasks that ultimately lead to better shipping execution, but it only makes up one piece of a complete logistics technology stack puzzle.

To get the most out of a TMS, forwarders need the information that drives and enhances the user experience, which requires making connections outside of the system. By using a TMS as a starting point, freight forwarding companies can then tack on additional technology to create their own ideal combination of logistics applications and shipping related data sources.

Forming a Comprehensive LogTech Stack

Most forwarders focus on connecting their TMS to an external source that offers rates, capacity, and tracking information. All of these data points are now easy to integrate into modern TMS systems with pre-built API and EDI connectivity capabilities.

The reason most technology stacks take shape this way is because while a good TMS platform is a powerful tool, it’s only as good as the data available to it. A TMS can’t fix inaccurate rates or make up for gaps present within your carrier tracking information. Fortunately, these problems are exactly what specialized logistics technologies strive to solve.

Advanced freight forwarding software paired with the right TMS fills in the missing data that’s critical to freight forwarders and their shipper customers. Many believe that building off of a TMS really only gets you lower rates, selling the idea of what logistics technology can actually do short. The best integrated software solutions give a TMS (and the forwarders that count on this technology) many other advantages though, including:

  • Interactive, hassle-free online booking and invoice payment options
  • Real-time track and trace technology that updates users throughout the entire shipment process
  • Direct front-end visibility to reliable rates across all modes
  • Deeper, more accurate information enabling strategic, data-driven decision making
  • Intelligent connectivity that increases workflow automation

Few forwarders can say they have no room for improvement in any of these areas despite how simple they are to attain with today’s resources.

Logistics Technology Is Easier Than You’d Think

The process of implementing new technology has developed a bad reputation for being expensive and complicated. In the past, this perception may have been true when connecting systems and sharing data was a lot more difficult. Now, modern platforms are built based on the expectation that they need to be easy to use and capable of freely communicating with other systems. There is also a far greater emphasis placed on creating a seamless user interface, so training and operating costs are much lower too.

The point is that you should be leveraging and building on fundamental technology like a TMS at the very minimum. A well-planned technology stack is not that hard to construct at a reasonable price. Forwarders that still rely on basic logistics technology are merely treading water rather than standing out from the competition.

Smart and progressive companies, however, are already well aware of the benefits that come with combining exceptional logistics technologies. Visit GAMA to learn more about how you can design the best logistics technology stack for your organization.

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Digital Freight Forwarder Logistics Technology Shipping Visibility

How To Identify Online Self-Service Freight Management Portals That Guarantee an Immediate ROI

Transparency and reliability are two of the most important qualities freight forwarding operations need to have in order for forwarders to meet the rising expectations of today’s marketplace and effectively manage a post-pandemic shipping environment. When the only thing that’s certain about the new supply chain norm is how uncertain we are about what lies ahead, it’s crucial to be able to differentiate your services and keep your customers satisfied.

This is why more and more forwarders are adopting online self-service freight management portals that offer customers and other users direct visibility and access to rates, shipment information, and important documentation. Given how many variations of these software platforms there are currently on the market, here are some of the top functions logistics professionals need to look out for to ensure they’ll get the most value out of these tech investments:

• Instant access to competitive contract rates

International shipping rates are always complex. Managing rates and keeping on top of surcharges and fees that are constantly changing is impossible without the right system to oversee it all. Search for an ocean freight management system that will deliver the competitive contract rate transparency you need, as well as the ability to create accurate quotes in real time.

• State-of-the-art customer relationship management services

You don’t want to waste your time on customer information that’s not current or accurate. This specific feature can help forwarders prioritize the right people by ensuring their data is up-to-date and automating most of their basic administrative processes. Since data entry no longer has to be so time-consuming, you can help your business avoid having to devote valuable company resources to more simple tasks, like sending follow-up emails or scheduling calls.

• Seamless API/EDI-enabled integration process

Some freight forwarding software may need additional support from third-party systems, which is why you should verify whether or not the technology can be easily integrated with other software. It’s critical that forwarders trust the reliability of their freight management systems because no one wants to be stuck with something that’s a nightmare to implement.

• Real-time tracking capabilities

It’s essential to know where your freight is and when it will arrive. Keep in mind that all freight management systems don’t have the same level of real-time tracking capabilities. For example, software with basic tracking functions may still require you to manually add and check freight information. More sophisticated software, however, can notify you and your customers of important updates without any effort on your part.

Investing a little into the right software for your freight forwarding company can go a long way. Don’t take too much time to debate over this decision, however, because you’ll only get left behind by the competition. Once you integrate a solution that’s capable of managing all of your forwarding needs, the ROI will follow soon after.

Click here to learn more about how leading software solutions like GAMA’s can help you enhance the customer experience by reducing errors, cutting costs, and increasing productivity.

Categories
Digital Freight Forwarder

Why the Modern Freight Forwarder Needs Logistics Technology To Succeed

This article is about providing some tough love for many of the freight forwarders out there – you’ll know who we’re talking about after you read this.

In order to provide a seamless shipping experience for customers, freight forwarders need to be using the latest available logistics technology. We’re in an age of digital transformation, yet the freight forwarding industry’s hesitation in accepting this reality has become one of its biggest obstacles. While much of the world embrace advanced technologies like self-driving cars and Artificial Intelligence (AI), some forwarding companies are still stuck using outdated TMS platforms, or worse yet, manually recording every transaction in a spreadsheet.

It’s not fair to say the industry is completely in the Dark Ages because it’s necessary to recognize the role freight forwarders have played in enabling progress like the rapid acceleration of global e-commerce. Without the flexibility and efficiency logistics service providers have contributed to supply chains in recent years, online retail wouldn’t be where it’s at today. That being said, it’s equally important for forwarders to understand why the industry gets criticized for its refusal to get with the times.

Technology Is Not Just a Trend; It’s a Necessity

The pressure placed on freight forwarders to capitalize on new forms of automation is rising. As competition continues to heighten, progressive forwarders are left scrambling to identify the technology that will give them the innovative customer experience they need to effectively differentiate themselves as market leaders. Technology that improves a forwarder’s customer experience is the most direct way to offer more than the competition. Without technology creating a better experience for customers, however, a provider is inevitably stuck competing on price — which is never a good thing.

More importantly, it’s shippers that are driving this trend of expecting more technology from their forwarding partners. From many shippers’ perspectives, great technology is table stakes to even be in the game. Every company involved in the global supply chain is affected by the advancements of modern technology. It’s up to forwarders if they want to keep up or be left behind.

Moving Forward

Shippers are waking up to how much better new technology is at facilitating faster, more efficient cross-border shipping and trade compared to the ‘old’ way of doing things. Despite a generally negative perception of the industry, some forwarders were able to see the benefits of technology long before the disruption of digitization forced them into it. Marketplace leaders like GAMA have been pushing for real-time shipment visibility, supply chain flexibility, and data automation before it was trendy.

It’s time for the rest of the industry to catch up and invest in the self-service platforms that will give them and their customers instant access to reliable rates and shipment documentation with the click of a button. Your employees should be focusing on what matters rather than wasting their time sweating the small stuff. Online booking and freight management are no longer luxuries — they’re expectations. The sooner forwarders embrace that, the easier their lives will become, and the profits will be quick to follow.

Visit GAMA to learn more about how we can help you make 2021 the best it can be by automating your workflow.

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Digital Freight Forwarder

Top Challenges Facing the Freight Forwarding Industry in 2021

With the ongoing rollout of the new vaccine and more concentrated attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 well underway, many expect 2021 to be a year focused on recovery. Despite the damage control that’s been attempted so far, there’s no doubt that the pandemic has left a permanent mark on global supply chains and the freight forwarding marketplace.

To no one’s surprise, this has left a lot of challenges for freight forwarders. As we all settle in to take on what 2021 has to offer, here are the top challenges the industry can expect moving forward:

  1. Shifting demand

The pandemic played a huge role in boosting e-commerce demand to an unprecedented level in 2020, and the spikes that many online retailers experienced are not showing any signs of slowing. Because businesses were essentially forced to transition from brick-and-mortar stores to maintaining an almost exclusively online presence in a matter of months, forecasting e-commerce demand has been a lot more difficult for them and their supply chain partners. It also doesn’t help that consumer spending patterns have been wildly unpredictable as well. For forwarders, this means that you’ll need to be quick on your feet when it comes to responding to your customers’ needs.

  1. Capacity limitations

2021 is predicted to be a seller’s market, so those who don’t control the capacity need to prepare for a continued struggle to secure what they can. It’s a mess out there right now for importers. As vaccines become readily available and supply and demand start to go through their typical cycles, these capacity issues should improve over the long term, but that still remains a bit of an unknown. In the meantime, however, it’s important for forwarders to strategize the best ways to manage the short-term ups and downs in capacity and shipping rates by putting effort into things like strengthening their carrier relationships.

  1. Visibility expectations

Digitization is no longer optional. If you don’t have technology that provides you with real-time freight visibility and allows you to make data-driven decisions, then you’re going to be at a severe disadvantage in 2021. And by visibility, we don’t just mean providing a container’s location; visibility includes having up-to-date rates as well as making all kinds of data available to everyone who needs it throughout the supply chain. It’s crucial for forwarders to work on improving visibility within their transportation operations because that’s what will give them the insight they need to proactively deal with issues before they have a chance to produce costly supply chain disruptions. Increasing visibility will not only positively impact your bottom line, but it will also help you increase your customers’ confidence in your ability to manage their freight.

  1. Cyberattacks

One major downside to the forwarding industry’s digital evolution is that cyberattacks appear to be evolving too. Malware is going to be a major concern throughout 2021 for many forwarders, especially those who work from home. While this is not exactly a new problem, advancing technology requires sophisticated protection against advancing cyberattacks, so forwarders will need to step up their security measures to protect data integrity and keep customers at ease.

It’s important for forwarders and their shipper customers to understand the hurdles they will likely face over the next year, so they can create and integrate more effective strategies that will keep their supply chain processes flowing smoothly. Visit GAMA to learn more about how we can help you overcome challenges like these in 2021 by bringing more automation and security into your freight forwarding operations.

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Digital Freight Forwarder

How Freight Forwarders Can Leverage Technology To Scale Their Business

It’s not a news flash to say that the freight forwarding industry is known to be hesitant when it comes to adopting new technology compared to other industries. Some forwarders are still choosing to rely on manual processes rather than investing in even basic automation for their operations. In order to provide seamless customer service and drive real efficiencies, however, companies need to fully embrace what has quickly become the future of freight forwarding: internet-based shipping platforms.

According to a recent report, shippers are now using online platforms to book more than 10% of their volumes. As competition in the freight forwarding market continues to grow, leveraging specialized solutions like online booking and real-time tracking to improve the customer experience are key for companies looking to differentiate themselves and scale their business.

Benefits of Digitization

Despite the forwarders who are still a little behind the times, many have come to understand the wide range of pay-offs digitization provides that extend far beyond saving money.

Increase customer retention

At the end of the day, every company’s goal is to keep their customers happy. When you use technology to streamline your operations, you’ll find that the resulting increase in efficiency will enable you to offer customers better pricing. Also, by integrating a centralized system into your shipping processes that gives both you and your customers instant access to more accurate data, you can lower your operating costs and improve their overall experience working with you as well.

Improve carrier relationships

Carriers want to work with forwarders who are reliable and can coordinate shipments with ease, which usually requires some form of automation. Since technology makes their life simpler by eliminating time-consuming paperwork and optimizing routes, it frees up time for them, which can get you reduced shipping rates. For instance, if any issues pop up regarding Bills of Lading or Customs documentation, digitization helps resolve these problems in real time, preventing them from holding you and your logistics partners up for too long.

Guarantee more accurate quotes

Technology can increase a forwarder’s confidence because it guarantees more accurate quotes for customers. International shipments can be extremely tricky to price out sometimes, but this is where technology can help you keep rates competitive without accidentally undercharging a client. Cloud-based software solutions also make the process more convenient, since all of your important information is contained in one place.

Differentiate your business

Yes, low rates are always a great way to attract customers; however, they aren’t the be-all, end-all because you aren’t going to get very far trying to compete on price alone. What will really make a difference for your reputation and help you see substantial growth is the level of service you provide to shippers. If you want to improve your margins in the long run, then you’ll need to invest in the technological tools that will make your interactions with customers stand out from your competitors.

The role of a forwarder is evolving, and technology is playing a big part in this transformation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to invest in the systems that can take care of your day-to-day tasks and let you focus on expanding your place in the industry.

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Digital Freight Forwarder

How To Be a Modern Digital Forwarder

Shippers are quickly learning that they need digital forwarders as transportation partners. With the demands for faster and cheaper transportation placed on global logistics professionals these days, the old methods of doing business with forwarders won’t work anymore.

This means that when it comes to technology forwarders like you need to lead the way for your shipper customers. The systems you use to run your business and service your customers’ needs are what will differentiate you from your competitors. So, when a potential customer asks what makes you better than their current provider, you’ll be able to give them a great answer: We are a true digital forwarder!

A TMS Is Not Enough

At the same time, forwarders need to remember that simply having a TMS does not make you a “digital forwarder,” since there are a lot of things TMS systems don’t do very well or even at all. Forwarders can be limited by the weak functionality in specific areas of a TMS such as real-time tracking and ocean container booking. TMS data also remains siloed and unavailable to most parts of a shipper’s organization.

At the bare minimum, forwarders should have a TMS while also understanding that it’s not enough by itself. It’s just the first step of creating a complete solution. The most successful forwarders take advantage of data interoperability and build their own technology stack to connect the best solutions for their customers’ specific needs.

What Makes a Forwarder Modern?

To really be “digital,” a modern forwarder needs to provide its shipper customers with a comprehensive range of solutions that are easily accessible online. You probably use a TMS already — most forwarders do. There’s nothing special or modern about that.

This means you need to find technological tools that do more by filling in the gaps and offering your customers a complete, digital platform. Most importantly, you need to give shippers a reason to leave their current provider and work with you. That’s not easy, but it can be done.

Here are some additional ways you can serve shippers by using technology and convince them to choose you over the competition:

  • Presenting an easy to use portal for quoting and scheduling shipments (WITH booking confirmations)
  • Providing true online real-time track and trace for all modes, including ocean, air, and road
  • Giving instant contract conversions with the ability to add markups for tariffs and customer-specific rates
  • Acting as a one-stop, multi-modal freight facilitator
  • Using up-to-date reporting and data analytics to drive strategic decision making
  • Offering online payment opportunities
  • Eliminating inaccurate data, digitizing documentation, and speeding up data entry
  • Connecting to a client’s inventory management system for real-time updates via API

Are You Losing Business To Digital Competitors?

You likely are — even if you don’t know it yet. Shippers are beginning to demand an online user-friendly interface from their transportation partners. And, the industry is already seeing a migration of customers to digital forwarders. There has been nothing normal about 2020, but as things stabilize over the next 12 months, you may find some unpleasant surprises when you see what pre-COVID business you’ve maintained.

It’s About That Data

Shippers rely on their forwarding partners to be the lynchpin of their supply chain. A big part of this goes beyond the physical movement of their freight. When you are a digital forwarder, you become a vital hub for shipping data, which drives many other parts of a shipper’s business too. From purchasing to operations to customer service, they need you. Being digital means having the ability to freely move a shipper’s information back-and-forth between systems throughout the entire supply chain process.

Do This Now

Five years ago having a website and a TMS classified a forwarder as tech-enabled. That may have been advanced then, but those days are gone. Today, shippers expect forwarders to provide a seamless online experience that covers quoting, booking, real-time tracking, and more.

So, if you are a freight forwarder who wants to be a long-term logistics provider for your shipper clients, you need to think of yourself as a hub of data and information. To do that, you’ll need to integrate the best technology throughout every part of your operation. While a TMS makes a great foundation for your forwarding technology stack, it’s systems like www.gamasuite.com that actually complete the picture and enable you to become a true digital forwarder.

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Sales Tips

Top Sales Tips for Freight Forwarders

As a freight forwarder, you’ve already found some amount of success selling to shippers or you wouldn’t have a business — obviously. But there is a good chance you have a goal of growing your revenue beyond where it’s at today and you’re looking for new ways to do so.

If your growth feels sluggish, it may be that your standard sales approach needs a little fine-tuning. Buyers today are smart. They also usually have a lot of options in the freight forwarding space, so improving sales comes from developing and employing the right strategy to connect with your audience.

Long-term sales success for freight forwarders comes from doing more than competing on price. It takes work and a thorough understanding of your prospect’s perspective. Here are some tips for freight forwarders looking to improve their sales game:

Perfecting Your Pitch

First, you need to know who the decision makers are in the company. This includes the people you may be engaged with, as well as those behind the scenes. This may seem like Sales 101, but it’s still a step many salespeople surprisingly skip right past. Understanding their unique pain points and making them a part of your proposed solution is the ONLY way to get the conversation past rates to build a trusting partner-level relationship. Next, make sure to stay in constant contact, and don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions.

Logistics Technology and Business Transformation

In any shipper’s sourcing strategy, the make vs. buy debate is a critical decision when it comes to technology. Many shippers rely heavily on the technology their logistics partners provide as an alternative to making large investments in logistics tech themselves.

As a forwarder, you’re providing the best-in-class technology to your customers, right?

You need to show prospects you’re on the leading edge and make a point to challenge industry norms, while also helping shippers explore the ways they can innovate. Savings and ROI aren’t the only factors involved in driving transformation for shippers. To support this, you can inspire prospects to take action by showing how your company has made a difference through content assets like case studies and whitepapers.

Know Your Target Audience

Shippers put a lot of stock into cost and work process efficiency, so let them know how you can help them differentiate themselves from their competition. It can be helpful to include the positives of incorporating a third party into your proposal as well. Try to offer benefits exclusive to them and show an understanding of the demands they feel every day – like lowering lead times and addressing the pressure to decrease costs.

You want to treat prospects like you would treat your top client. This is not the time to keep your best players in the reserves, so make sure to bring your A-game. Once you identify the thought leaders in the organization and leverage your personal relationships, don’t stop the preparation there. It’s your job to know their business better than they do, so become their continuity.

Forwarders can create a more compelling story with a sense of urgency by highlighting the things their competition is already doing to stay ahead of the curve. Since shippers are especially risk adverse and prefer to budget for freight rather than innovation, try to de-risk the opportunity.

It’s important that forwarders demonstrate how their company can deliver shipment visibility in real time and ultimately transform a shipper’s freight management process with proactive decision making. Figure out what matters to these companies, negotiate what matters for sales, and take the lead by planning ahead for quarterly business reviews. Find a way to under commit — without selling yourself short — and then, overdeliver.