Traditional Vs Digital Freight Forwarders – What would you prefer?
Digital transformation is the need of the hour. Not a single person today moves without a mobile device, all the transactions are done while on go. With all industries understanding its importance have moved ahead with digital and online platforms, the freight forwarders have also embraced the technology. The digital world is disrupting all the traditional ways and accepting the challenges to find enormous avenues of success.
In a recent survey, it was said that around 92% of freight forwarders are partnering themselves with technology to optimize their processes and to add value to customers. The old traditional ways are time consuming and require loads of people to get a small work done; there is no ease in work. Actually, for a long time, the freight forwarders did the work in the same traditional way, but with the arrival of technology, many traditional freight forwarders have adopted it as it is seen as an opportunity that takes over the traditional workflow with a new and modern one.
The most important difference that one can find between traditional and digital freight forwarder is quite significant and it brings a huge impact to the organizations. Let’s look at the difference through the tabular table:
|Traditional freight forwarders||Digital freight forwarders|
|Contact||Here, the freight forwarders don’t have any digital platform and rely completely on written communication which is stored in financial books. There is no connection with the customer that can impact the overall efficiency of the transaction..||Using digital tools and applications allow customers to get in touch with each other instantly. This helps in communication flow and get answers in a short while.|
|Buying Experience||The customers have to connect with different shippers to know the pricing and quotations and even have to negotiate to get the best price and this may increase time and efforts.||The work efficiency is improved as the quotations and prices are uploaded onto the application and the customers can know all details in a single click. A complete transparent system that offers comparison of different shippers to get the best deal overwhelms the customer to opt for a digital way of operations.|
|Documentation & paper work||In traditional freight forwarding, the customer has to run pillar to post to get the documentation ready and on time. Mails have to be checked to find and create the right documentation for each party associated with the shipment and this might cause delay in the movement of the ship. Sometimes email can get lost and documents cannot be generated creating havoc.||Digital freight forwarders try to reduce paper work, by generating, uploading and sharing all documents on the web platform, providing easy access to all stakeholders. The documents can be revisited any time in future whenever required. It is a safe, quick and reliable way to manage documents for shipping.|
|Tracking & tracing||Customers, nor the freight forwarders are left helpless without any idea of when the shipment will arrive. Without a tracking system, it’s difficult to trace the shipment and on top of it, customers have to call each time to know the status of the shipment.||With notification and alerts mapped with the system, it’s easy for the customer to get notified about each milestone, and deliveries. With that, it becomes easy to make sound business decisions at the right time. With track and trace feature, customers can easily know the position of their delivery and the expected time of arrival.|
In the above-mentioned table, it’s easily seen that digital freight forwarders are mostly having an edge over the traditional ones. Even though today we can still see traditional freight forwarders, they are also moving towards digitizing themselves to be on par with modern freight forwarders. Digitalization has done good for freight forwarding and it has benefitted the industry to a great length. Technology is here to stay and so are the digital platforms that offer ease, flexibility and operational efficiency to freight forwarders as well as the customers from across the globe.