Technology Freight Forwarders Should Have in Their Tech Stack
Technology is changing the face of the shipping industry. With these constantly churning times when everything seems to demand immediacy, it is imperative to have freight forwarding technology to stay on top of everything from resources to costs to the competition. Words like automation, data, and cloud-based are becoming almost as synonymous with shipping as terms like shipment, invoice, and pallet.
This blog lays out for freight forwarders what type of technology they should be using to operate their business effectively, but just as significantly, what is the state of their tech stack that allows them to serve their customers. CargoWise, a leader in freight forwarding technology, uses Expedock’s AI-powered automation service to provide businesses with myriad ways to improve and achieve greater things.
To manage the goals, requirements, and needs of a freight forwarder, a technology stack should have certain aspects covered:
So many outside influences have affected and continue to affect the shipping industry, from the pandemic to quickly increasing freight rates to the dearth of storage containers. Freight forwarding technologies must adapt to keep up with expected and unexpected changes. Here are some ways freight forwarders use technologies to adjust and improve operations.
Technology and a tech stack have become essentials in the shipping world. Let’s take a look at different types of common freight forwarding technology.
CargoWise, a powerful and deeply integrated global logistics execution platform, makes trade easy. This secure and reliable cloud-based logistics software brings branches, departments, and the workforce together in a single platform. Freight forwarders can experience enhanced order and shipment visibility, improved shipment planning and inventory management, predictive analytics, and standardized systems and processes. It cuts down on data entry and the need to run multiple platforms, all while increasing productivity, visibility, and communication among your users and network of trading partners. After incorporating Expedock’s software through CargoWise, freight forwarder MHM Global saved money while increasing productivity by 30 percent. That percentage didn’t even include the resulting increase in sales revenue, company director Joey Lin said.
The comprehensive accounting system from Cargowise provides strategic management of costs, revenues, profits, and cash. It also manages day-to-day logistics processes. Expedock and CargoWise help companies streamline accounting operations like never before by turning paper documents into digitized data and automating e-doc uploading and freight invoice auditing and posting.
ClearFreight, a California-based custom broker with almost 50 years of experience, can attest to the success of this relationship. “As an accounting team, it used to take us three days to reconcile a monthly statement from our Pier Pass vendor or forwarding agent against what’s been posted in the system. Expedock came in and automated reconciliation for both shipment and brokerage files. They are the only technology provider who can review the same document and audit it against two or more Cargowise modules,” said Jo Basit, head of accounting for ClearFreight Los Angeles. “Now our import and brokerage operators are able to focus on customer service because we’re not chasing after them for invoice entry and reconciliation.”
Getting every part of your business on the same page is one step, but getting all the parties involved and working together in shipping a product from Point A to Point B is another matter. Having visibility gives you a system that provides real-time tracking information on each load to everyone in the supply chain — shippers, carriers, 3PLs, and customers. With greater visibility into that process, companies gain access to more data and can use that to improve decision-making. That will then help in building better relationships with carriers and customers. The core mission of track-and-trace technology is to create a transparent end-to-end supply chain. Customers, partners, and logistics companies then know not only the exact location of goods but the shipping status (for instance, the shipped product’s temperature) at any time during the entire trip. The immediacy and alert process of both types of technology also mean the path the product takes is more efficient because if something is out of kilter, it is quickly identified and remedied.
Customs clearance has always involved a complicated web of regulations and documents. Keeping up to date with everything demands a keen eye, a dogged determination, and a clear understanding of the rules. That’s where the right freight forwarding technology can come in handy. Software that can keep a well-organized documentation record also can provide visibility into the customs entry and export process. Staying on top of the process in real-time means hurdles can be noticed and dealt with quicker, meaning fewer shipping and customs delays. Other tasks, such as post-clearance audits and the evaluation of payment of duties, are also bits of information that technology can provide to help in future use.
Financial backing is almost always critical for continued growth and success, especially during uncertain times. Trade and freight finance software can be used to estimate the total cost of importing or exporting goods, including dock fees and transportation costs. Having that data up to date and readily available makes it much easier to determine where a business sits financially. It can be challenging for some small to medium freight forwarding companies to get conventional financing. But there are new trade finance solutions, including Fishtail, which has an advanced underwriting system to help you take on more business.
Freight forwarding technology can sometimes feel convoluted. With so much data to be sorted and comprehended, it’s crucial to have a technology partner that can simplify it and help you uncover the bits of information most vital to your business. Expedock, an AI-powered automation service behind some of the leading players in the $7 trillion global supply chain, can be that helping hand. Expedock’s application on CargoWise can build a robust data infrastructure that will drive unprecedented efficiency and profitability. It will help your company reach new heights in visibility, scalability, tracking, and flexibility. To learn more about Expedock and get a free trial, check our website.