Why is Freight Forwarding Business not confined to the Price only?
Updated: Aug 1
Freight forwarders are continually executing various strategies to keep a firm hold on their positions in the market. One of these is the approach to reduce the prices of their services.
On the face of it, dropping prices to attract customers or beat the competition may not a difficult feat to achieve in the short term. But the inability to sustain the low pricing over a long period is where the troubles start appearing.
Historically, freight forwarding has been an industry with small marginal profits from its services. Attempting to win a bigger profit margin by reducing prices is like further slicing the thinnest slice of cake - you may just be able to achieve it, but you may not be able to repeat it.
On the flip side, if the lowering of price is well-executed, it could be favorable for a strong profit realization. Mindless price cuts could hurt the company's financials but a data-driven approach can be useful to attract and win a slice of the market.
There are other ways to stand out among your competition and it does not involve breaking the bank or waging a war. We list and explore them in the below space.
Providing a bouquet of services makes an attractive package
Reliability of timely deliveries for commitment
Differentiating by the quality of service
Setting up faster approval systems
View and approve shipping documents like Draft BL/AWB
Track progress of shipments
Receive consolidated reports daily or as scheduled
View Outstanding Payments
Providing a bouquet of services to shippers and exporters are likely to approach a freight forwarder to handle end-to-end activities related to moving goods from one location to another. The reasons for outsourcing could be time-saving, unknown regulatory procedures, or saving costs. For convenience, the shippers would like all activities like picking from the shipper's factory/location, container booking, customs clearance, warehouse, and final delivery to be handled by a single freight forwarder.
When forwarders integrate most or all of the services, they become the preferred choice of shippers. Freight management software with modules has eased this decision for forwarders. Plug-and-play modules like warehousing, inland transportation, and customs clearance help forwarders incorporate end-to-end services. Using cloud-based freight software, you can bring all operations onto a single platform and access it even from a mobile device.
The reliability of timely deliveries makes your company's identity synonymous with the commitment you make to your customers. Freight forwarders need to maintain extensive tie-ups with several entities like transporters, 3PL/4PL service providers, warehousing managers, carriers, and customs brokers to optimize the route, prices, and delivery times. It is the strength of the network and the ability to negotiate with various stakeholders that define the reliability of a forwarder. A freight forwarder software with CRM comes in handy to manage contacts for such negotiations and optimization for your customers.
Differentiating by the quality of your service is a process that can take years to perfect. Intricate details about the convenience of the customer must be taken into account while strategizing service quality. Incorporating a smooth experience from booking to delivery adds to your company's value proposition. Clear communication about customers' shipments prevents frequent back and forth email or phone calls. Simply providing the progress status updates to the customer resolves a majority of their queries. Timely information received by customers establishes a higher level of trust in them. Real-time tracking and the history of shipments give shippers clarity and access to information to plan better for the future.
Faster approval processes can be set up for your customers so that the mandatory documents can receive quicker signoffs. Online access portals that are part of Freight software allow the customers to:
Once the list of relevant documentation is ready at the time of booking, freight software aids in readying the checklist, and the regulatory compliance process is speeding up with reduced errors.
Making your company unique, reliable, and the preferred choice of shippers
A company that wants to prioritize customer's needs must deliver value in its services before expecting any profit gains. Among the countless Freight Forwarders out there, not many are known for exceptional qualitative services. Focus on understanding the means to resolve the customer's query. A good forwarder would not let the customer get troubled till his/her action is required.
Technology is at your disposal to amplify your capabilities and centrally manage all your branches and operations on one platform. How you manage documentation, insurance, invoicing, container and space booking to delivering the cargo on time and without damage define your identity as a forwarder.