How digital integrations can help freight forwarders in the Covid-19 era

Globalization and the rise of e-commerce have disrupted the shipping industry, especially since the pandemic, and as a result supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and saddled with numerous challenges. The need for quicker and more efficient operations as well as the expectations of a high quality customer service have put pressure on the logistics and shipping sector to adapt to the new digital and technological era since the beginning, but now it’s imperative. More so when you realize most of the industry still relies largely on traditional processes like paper bills, manual bookings, excels or even calls when with just a few clicks that work would have been done and dusted in a few minutes.

Digital integrations for freight forwarders

When we talk about digital integrations we are referring to the various digital platforms and softwares used to connect each player involved in the shipping operation and which allows to the exchange of information between them.

This integrations and digital tools help improve and optimize the daily tasks of freight forwarders connecting them to consolidators, carriers , etc. from just one place and not having to connect to a different platform to work with each of them. Or worse, having to deal with multiple documents, physical and digital, that become a nightmare to cross-check and revise.
Thanks to the integrations and new technologies surrounding them (like geolocation) all the information from each player interconnects and makes access to it easier as well as allowing the automation of the more manual and inefficient tasks.

Given the state of the global supply chain in the Covid-19 era, forwarders are faced with challenges like labor shortage or uncertainty regarding freight capacity, availability and timings, which make their work much more difficult. By adopting digital tools and integrations into their workflow, freight forwarders can alleviate some of these issues and improve their business operations, developing more efficient processes and reducing operational costs.

Integrations for accurate data

We also live in a world driven by data. Numbers and information are one of the most important and valuable assets for any business, but only when those are accurate.
Managing data across multiple and different documents like PDFs, Excels, texts in emails or even images makes cross-referencing data and getting results from which make decisions really difficult and the conclusions may not be all that reliable.

Having an integration tool to streamline all that information and organize it in a logical way means forwarders can access all the data they themselves have created seamlessly, optimizing their future operations and saving them time in basic daily tasks, time they can use to improve their customer service.

digital integration tools for freight forwarders

Benefits of digital integrations

In TransGlory we aim to optimize our clients’ tasks and workflows eliminating repetitive tasks that don’t add any value to them, that’s why from the beginning we have worked to offer our clients smart digital tools.

Integrations can be done two ways. One ways is for forwarders to connect with the different existing shipping digital platforms like Inttra, Cargowyse or WWA’s own platform, and the other way is a direct integration between the client and TransGlory.

Choosing one kind of integration or the other and one platform or the other, will depend on the client’s preferences and systems used. TransGlory’s team will work closely with the client to set up the integration for them letting them know beforehand what is needed from them depending, again, of the integration platform and functionality chosen.

Main functionalities benefited from digital integrations are: bookings, BLs, invoices, schedules, cargo tracking and document sharing.

Advantages of using a digital integration tool

As we’ve seen in this article there are lots of advantages freight forwarders can benefit from using a digital integration tool to manage their cargo and import/export operations. They can be summarized as follows:

  • Gain efficiency.
    With and integrated digital tool you can access all the information you need about the schedules for your bookings and your cargo’s tracking in just one place, without intermediaries.
    Having all your information stored in in digital form avoids the use of PDF, Excels or emails for your Booking requests. Making them easier to consult and edit.
    Thanks to the interconnection between players, you don’t need to be constantly waiting for the supplier’s’ invoice to attach to the corresponding booking, as it will be automated.
    All of this helps save time and human errors, adding to the efficiency of the tasks.
  • Get instant responses.
    Having most of the functionalities automated, digital integrations make possible the instant acceptance of your Booking as well as automatically sending your BL details to our server.
    As for Invoices, the system will directly account your supplier’s expenses if the amount matches the provided one.
    But using digital tools to manage your logistic operations also helps you make faster educated decisions. Thanks to geolocation and tracking you know where your cargo is at any given time and get instant notifications if there are any unexpected delays or issues so you can adapt and minimize risks.
  • Reduce emails.
    Emails can become the bane of any forwarder’s existence. Reducing their number is easy when using a digital platform from where you can directly check all your information, edit it or input new one, upload and download documents, etc. without having to write constantly to the operative and wait for their response.
  • Improve quality.
    Another advantage of automation is the elimination of most of the human errors. Information is just written once by the client, avoiding multiple retyping and the subsequent possible mistakes and omissions on bookings, BLs, etc. For the shipping instructions the draft BL Will match the client’s requests, saving them the time to review it.

Get in touch with your TransGlory contact for more information!