October 12, 2022

8 Freight Forwarding Systems Use Cases to Automate Repetitive Documentation & Data Workflows for Freight Organizations

8 Freight Forwarding Systems Use Cases for Automation

Freight forwarders are always playing catchup with their work, and when their time is wasted on tedious labor that requires manual data entry, much of their day is spent doing mind-numbing repetitive tasks. That’s why automation is greatly needed right now, and why Expedock’s application on top of Cargowise’s freight forwarding system can take away a great deal of that burden and wasted time. To further explain the importance of that Expedock-Cargowise partnership and to see the fruit of its success, we’ll look at eight use cases for AI-driven automation and how it transformed freight forwarders.

Leading the Way to a More Successful Future

Automation is helping to transform the freight forwarding industry. Through the help of AI Cargowise helps companies transform paper documents into digital data. The technology also helps automate freight invoices making it easier for companies to stay organized with their bills.  

Automation in Freight Forwarding Procedures

Automation is playing a rapidly growing role in freight forwarding procedures. AI-driven automation helps collect and organize data across platforms. It can assist in identifying and reconciling costly anomalies in accruals and statements of accounts, as well as provide information instantly that can help the freight forwarder immediately know where it stands with all of its shipments.

8 Use Cases of Technology to Automate Repetitive Documentation and Data Workflows

There are many ways that automation can help reduce mundane tasks and increase the efficiency of data workflow. This new section will describe how AI technology is making a positive impact on freight forwarders, including accounting, operations, and management.


  1. Reconciling accruals versus invoices for FCL & LCL shipments: First, the Expedock automation extracts data from a document to get the exact line items and data points needed. Expedock AI is then able to match a particular charge code with a charge description. When totals do not line up or a line is missing, the automation will flag any discrepancies instantly and the user will be allowed to correct it. When Rose Containerline partnered with Expedock, employees spent less time doing manual data entry, freeing them up to focus more on customers. Results from just a couple of months of automating workflows shortened the cash cycle from weeks to a couple days. Alongside this, it also increased the overall accrual compliance by over 50%.

  1. Reconcile statements of account against what was posted from freight agents and Pier Pass vendors: Expedock AI starts by understanding the document. Then, it boxes the right coordinates on the image for extraction before transforming different values to map to Cargowise values. The automation is able to extract each line item that represents a unique invoice number and can also handle different permutations and multiple pages. In addition, all invoices in a statement of account can be audited with the click of a button. There is even a column to show the days past due. Expedock customer Clear Freight left their previous technology providers because the development speed was too slow to cover everyday freight use cases. They decided on Expedock because it could support Statements of Accounts.

  1. Know which invoices to pay and when: With a dashboard built by Expedock, the freight forwarder will be able to easily see which arrival notices are ready to be paid in the next five days. Clients will also be able to immediately review arrival notices in that same time frame that have discrepancies and prioritize them by, for instance, the amount of the discrepancy.


  1. Create and amend shipment and consolidation files: The AI automation from Expedock can instantly extract information from any bill of lading and booking confirmation to create a related shipment on Cargowise. Many fields of information will be transferred without a hitch, including things like time stamps, container numbers, and ETA and ETD. Expedock customer Ascent Global logistics provides a perfect example of what this automation can do. The new process means their staff no longer has to think about the data entry of commercial invoices and bill of ladings when creating or amending a shipment. They simply forward the document packet to Expedock in an e-mail and the shipment is created or amended on Cargowise for them.

  1. Processing commercial invoices and packing lists: Expedock’s automation can also extract line-by-line items from commercial invoices and packing lists. For both documents, more than 20 different pieces of data can be transferred, from the manufacturer to payment type to the vessel name.

  1. Get a clear view of shipment milestones in real-time: Using business performance graphs compiled from information assimilated by Expedock’s automation, shippers can easily visualize how shipments compare to each other in both per milestone or per operator categories.


  1. Scale your business while keeping headcount low: Often linked to an increase in business is an increase in manpower. But in the case of a company using Expedock’s automation and services, clients don’t have to worry about increasing headcount. JUSDA Supply Chain Management, a long-time Expedock customer,  provides an excellent example. With all the procedural things being taken care of by the automation, JUSDA no longer needed to spend time and money on recruitment and training in order to grow their business aggressively.

  1. Reallocate your staff to revenue-generating tasks (sales and customer service): In addition to not having to add more manpower, the automation allows businesses to shift employees originally burdened with the tasks of data entry and documentation workflow to other departments. MHM, a freight forwarder and Expedock customer, reported a 30% increase in revenue because Expedock's full-service solution opened up a chance for its staff to focus on upselling and increasing volume from its shippers rather than being saddled with previously time-consuming assignments. Also, within two weeks of adding Expedock’s solution, Ascent Global Logistics was able to switch workers to customer service.

Are You Ready for a Game-Saver?

AI-driven automation can save time, money, and help managers avoid headaches. With this kind of technology, freight forwarders can streamline their operations and make the world of those managers move a little more smoothly. That’s why Expedock’s application on top of Cargowise’s freight forwarding system can be a game-saver in many ways, helping various departments either directly or indirectly, as these eight use cases have shown. To be Expedock’s next success story, visit their website today.

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