Friday, August 16, 2013

Challenging Issues to Know About Freight and Logistics Industry

The role of a freight forwarder has evolved over time. Basically, a freight forwarder or an agent was just a link between the goods owner and the carrier. The primary job of the forwarder is to assist the owner to transport their goods to their destination. But in recent years, the word ‘assisting’ has been replaced by ‘undertaking.’

Freight Forwarder

So, modern freight forwards ‘undertake’ to get the goods transported from one place to the next while ensuring security and safety of the products being transferred. Undertaking entails all the processes involved in the transfer of goods like processing the means of transport, arranging all types of necessary documents needed for the safe transfer of the goods from the origin to their destination.

The freight forwarding industry has gained grounds across the globe because of the increasing volumes of international trade

Experts predict a rise of 10 per cent or more in the yearly revenue growth. But the industry has its own ups and downs due to the shifting patterns of the demands and evolving consumer base. The biggest challenge is to ‘stick on’ through offering competitive prices to new customers from developing countries. The relationship with shippers is also undergoing change and switching costs that are no longer relevant. In order to address this issue and ensure long time survival, forwarders need to understand the dynamics and adopt strategies accordingly. 

In the industry, size doesn’t matter. Large freight forwarders can provide better rates from carriers because they have the capacity to book in advance. They are also deemed to get preferential treatment from carriers. The costs are reduced because of the increasing size. So, it is best to expand business by focusing on a region and particular industry. This way, you can get familiarity and expertise in a particular region or in an industry that would potentially translates into higher profits. By doing this, freight forwarders can outdo their rivals who are doing business in all regions and gain advantage in starting a new business. 

It is also wise to club ‘Freight Forwarding’ with ‘custom clearance’ n the single package for the customers. The client will be more interested in a freight forwarding company that offers both services. Statistics also reveal that customers who have longer relationships with providers who offered up these two services. This also opens up avenues for new business opportunities with the shippers.

Lastly, it is vital for every freight forwarding company to develop a strong customer relationship and sales oriented approach. For every business industry, this is the key factor to win and expand business relationships and to anchor success in the industry. It is also essential to establish a customer support or a means of contact between the forwarder and customer at all times. A toll free number or live chat can be of great help in resolving issues or disputes quickly.

The market challenges faced by freight forwarders are quite daunting. In order to become the best freight forwarding service provider, it is best to think and perform outside the box. Convenience and honest service are the key points to make the logistics business a success. 


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