Why Freight Technology is the Next Big Thing in Global Trade

Revolutionize global trade with freight technology. Choose freight forwarding software and freight tracking software for efficient operations.

Did you know that freight technology is revolutionizing global trade at a rapid pace? The introduction of digitalization has brought remarkable changes to logistics, offering improved visibility, connectivity, and flexibility. For the freight forwarding sector, the integration of these technological advancements such as freight tracking software holds great potential in streamlining operations as they help resolve strategic challenges. Achieving a careful balance between investments, customer needs, and capacity is crucial.

The COVID-19 pandemic, marked by significant supply chain disruptions and a surge in e-commerce, accelerated the adoption of freight forwarding software. The digital freight forwarding market, comprising approximately 8% of the total freight forwarding market, has been experiencing steady compound annual growth, boasting a remarkable 23% CAGR.

Let’s take a look at how automation and digitalization in the freight industry benefit businesses, tracing the evolution of freight technology from the 1960s to the present day and beyond.

How Logistic Software Boosts the Sustainable Growth of Freight Businesses

In today's logistics industry, freight automation is a game-changer because it enhances visibility, efficiency, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. Here's how automation in the freight logistics industry works:

1. Enhanced Visibility and Transparency:

Real-time Data Sharing: Freight tracking software enables instant data exchange among carriers, suppliers, and customers. This transparency provides a clear view of product movement in the supply chain.

Cost Reduction: Improved visibility helps identify bottlenecks, optimize routes, and reduce costs like demurrage and storage fees. It empowers data-driven decision-making for cost-efficient operations.

2. Streamlined Operations and Efficiency:

Quick Issue Resolution: Freight technology simplifies problem identification and resolution within the supply chain, reducing errors and boosting operational efficiency.

Cost Savings: Automation of operations and back-office tasks cuts costs by up to 40%, improving competitiveness.

3. Scalability for All Sizes:

Efficient Resource Utilization: Freight technology maximizes workforce efficiency. Automation of tasks allows businesses, big and small, to do more with less.

Competitive Edge: Smaller companies can expand their services, fostering healthy competition.

4. Agility and Adaptability:

Real-time Planning: Freight forwarding software enables on-the-spot planning and problem-solving to changes in supply or demand, ensuring faster, more effective solutions.

Improved Collaboration: Freight forwarders work closely with customers and partners, responding promptly to challenges and opportunities.

5. Customer-Centric Experience:

Ease of Interaction: Logistics software simplifies customer interactions. Clients can easily find, book, modify, and track shipments.

Value-added Services: Providing on-time delivery and quick responses is crucial. Digitalization helps offer these services efficiently.

Trends Upgrading the Performance of Freight Forwarding Software 

Freight technology is revolutionizing global trade, making it more efficient and responsive to customer needs. You can provide a better customer experience and increase customer retention rates through logistics automation. 

  • Autonomous Transport Revolutionizes Logistics:

In recent years, autonomous transport has revolutionised logistics. Autonomous trucks deliver with minimal human interaction. It promises to revolutionise logistics with freight tracking software. Tech giants like Google and Tesla have extensively invested in driverless vehicles. Google subsidiary Waymo is developing self-driving cars that might change transportation. Tesla, famed for electric cars, is developing self-driving semi-trucks for logistical efficiency and safety. Freight tracking software is crucial for managing these autonomous operations. Chinese startups prioritise autonomous last-mile delivery. Digital logistics businesses have received $150 million in venture finance since 2011. Logistic software is boosting confidence in autonomous transport's potential to transform global trade and logistics.

  • The Digital Transformation of Logistics:

The logistics industry is experiencing a digital overhaul. Tech adoption is boosting efficiency and IoT adoption is integral to this shift. IoT allows precise supply chain shipment tracking and monitoring, driving freight technology innovation. Consolidated goods and on-demand deliveries benefit from IoT. Logistics companies employ IoT sensors to track goods' location, condition, and status in real time. Today's fast-paced supply chains require this level of oversight, amplified by freight tracking software. Blockchain technology is also impacting logistics. Strong, tamper-proof transaction ledgers enable package tracking and safe transactions. Blockchain reduces errors, fraud, and disputes by increasing transparency. 

Freight Technology Transformation: A Journey Through Time (1960 to 2020+)

This journey through the decades highlights the evolution of freight technology, from its early beginnings to the cutting-edge innovations shaping global trade today.

1960s - Laying the Digital Foundation

  • Freight technology in the 1960s laid the groundwork with a focus on accounts receivable and inventory management.
  • Freight tracking software was not prevalent during this time.
  • Integration was functional, often supported by mainframe computers.
  • Business applications in this era primarily centered around transaction automation, an early sign of freight technology advancement.

1970s - Emergence of Transport Planning

  • The 1970s marked the emergence of freight technology, with transport planning applications gaining traction.
  • Siloed functional applications became prevalent, shaping the landscape of freight technology.
  • Integration remained functional in freight logistics.
  • Business function automation expanded, driven by the nascent technology.
  • Mini computers played a significant role in supporting freight technology solutions.

1980s - Comprehensive Systems on the Rise

  • The 1980s witnessed the rise of comprehensive systems, including Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
  • Freight forwarding software and logistic software evolved during this decade.
  • Applications portfolios expanded.
  • Functional integration remained the norm in this era.
  • The feasibility of desktop and workgroup automation was realized, thanks to personal computers and local area networks, further advancing Global Trade.

1990s - Enterprise-Wide Automation

  • The 1990s saw a paradigm shift towards enterprise-wide automation.
  • Key systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Decision Support Systems (DSS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) played a prominent role in freight technology.
  • Integrated systems and the emergence of web 1.0 technologies reshaped the global trade landscape.
  • Integration focused on internal end-to-end integration, a hallmark of logistics software.
  • Enterprise-wide computing became the cornerstone of supporting technology.

2000s - The Internet Era

  • The 2000s marked the advent of the internet era.
  • Internet-based systems like ERPII and e-logistics networks became integral to freight forwarders.
  • Service-oriented architecture and web-based services transformed freight technology capabilities.
  • Integration shifted towards external integration across the extended value chain.
  • The internet and web platform played a pivotal role in advancing freight tracking software.

2010s - Collaboration and Mobility

  • The 2010s saw the dominance of internet-based community systems and mobile apps.
  • Emerging trends included multi-scale ecologies, cloud computing, web 2.0, and mobile and social networking, all influencing the evolution of freight forwarding software.
  • Integration now focused on multi-enterprise, collaborative value networks, expanding the horizons of freight logistics.
  • Cross-industry automation and flexible configurations became possible, offering versatility.
  • Major freight technology support came from the internet, web, and mobile platforms, driving innovations.

2020+ - The Future Unfolds

  • The 2020s and beyond bring forth the future of logistics software. 
  • Modern freight logistics systems encompass industry-wide IoT platforms, private and public blockchains, and smart supply chain systems.
  • Emerging IT trends like blockchain, Web 3.0, IoT, and AI are driving innovation in global trade.
  • Integration now focuses on distributed network integration and automation.
  • Business applications are evolving into insight-driven systems, harnessing big data analytics, visualization techniques, and machine intelligence, revolutionizing freight forwarding software.
  • Crucial technology support comes from blockchain-enabled distributed networks, 5G communication, and quantum computing, paving the way for the future.

Freight technology is poised to revolutionize global trade. We've explored the historical evolution of digitalization in the freight industry, spanning from the 1960s to the present day. This journey has seen the emergence of comprehensive solutions and integration, enabling businesses to excel in logistics operations. Amidst this transformation, the versatile capabilities of freight tracking software like Gama further empower businesses to stay competitive and responsive to the changing landscape.