Modern Freight Forwarding – A Comprehensive Guide
The significance of the role of a logistics manager can never be overstated, yet always remains unnoticed. In fact, the only time it gets noticed is when something goes wrong, and there is always a chance of that happening. This is because there are many responsibilities attached to this role, and even the smallest of errors can upset the entire system. A logistics manager always has to be on his toes, and has to plan for every eventuality, plan accordingly, and make adjustments quickly.
Besides these, there is a high level of complexity and risk that goes with the role, as well as immense loads of paperwork and the need for meeting short deadlines. All this results in a tremendous loss of effort, time, and resources to ensure that the various interlinked processes go smoothly. However, along with the industry, the role of a logistics manager is also evolving.
The rapid rate of technological change and faster access to a greater amount of data are resulting in a transformation of the freight forwarding process. According to several recent studies on the subject, there will be a significant reduction in the processing times involved in activities like shipping and customs. Similarly, logistics managers are also adapting to the changes so that they can meet future challenges more effectively.
However, to overcome these challenges, it is essential to learn about the four basic approaches that can make your job easier by streamlining the workflow. For that, we need to understand what are the most challenging aspects that logistics managers are expected to face.
The Legacy Problem – Challenges Involved
Those on the front lines of the supply chain management often have to deal with multiple types of challenges, such as:
Ø One of the roles of the logistics manager is to act as the liaison for various parties on different occasions. This involves procuring details of shipments at various times, and various legal requirements. On top of all that, the role requires conveying relevant information to the right people at the right time.
Ø An immense amount of information is required from multiple sources during various stages. In case this information is not centralized, the issue becomes even more complicated and requires multiple communications for collecting the required information. This ultimately results in delays and wastage of resources that could have been well spent otherwise.
Ø Besides the numerous responsibilities, the role of a logistics manager is accompanied with a lot of risk and complexity. The role is fraught with chances of getting involved in legal issues, exposure to physical injury, monetary losses, and other risks. The amount of information that you need to deal with can be overwhelming, especially since in most cases such information has to be handled confidentially.
Ø A proper supply chain management process requires end-to-end visibility and constant connectivity with the partners and suppliers. If these requirements are not met, meeting expectations can become much more difficult and can also result in further delays.
Ø Freight forwarding and supply chain management both involve a lot of metrics and cost report requests. It can be quite challenging to gather the data for such requests.
The Perfect Solution for Modern Times – Better Visibility and Control
- Making the Most of Technology
The freight forwarding process can easily be integrated with digital solutions, helping eliminate prospective hindrances and providing greater visibility to the lines of stakeholders. Technology helps bring all the necessary details and important snippets together in a centralized dashboard for the convenience of reporting and decision-making. Regular real-time updates also help logistics managers and stakeholders stay abreast with the status. This can go a long way in saving time, helping resolve problems more efficiently and opening up multiple opportunities for adding value to the brand.
- Working with Data
Always make sure to check the type of data and reports are available when assessing the services provided by freight forwarders. Such analytics can be helpful in identifying trends in various elements such as transit times, inventory stock requirements, fluctuating expenditures, etc. Analytics support the supply chain industry through better insights for business expansion and sensible decision-making.
- Depending on Advisors
It can be immensely exhausting for a supply chain manager to attempt to handle the various responsibilities of the role alone. However, to make the task easier, you can seek out industry experts that can show you the way forward. Such experts usually have a keen knowledge coupled with a vast amount of experience that can be of crucial help to the manager. To be successful in this industry, it is often beneficial to establish relationships with partners and experts that can help understand the dynamic conditions of the market for better adjustability. Expert advice can mitigate the numerous issues that crop up regarding forms and regulations. Such relationships only serve to make the supply chain more effective, and technology is already enabling faster connections by removing barriers to help create these relationships.
- Learning While Working
The ever-transforming landscape of this industry requires a logistics manager to be on the constant lookout for opportunities. Listed below are certain tips that can help logistics managers have a smoother sail in their job:
- Be aware of the latest developments and announcements relating to the industry, so as to prevent any issues from cropping up suddenly.
- Make sure to go through contract details to understand the service requirements properly.
- Considering cost-saving opportunities such as freight consolidation
- Enquiring about private air services for matching the capacity, origin, and destination with other shippers, when shipping via air.
- Check with the freight forwarder regarding various options that can help reduce cost.
Such options can help reduce the cost of transport very effectively.