The freight forwarding sector has a reputation for conservatism and isn't renowned for being a trailblazer in terms of embracing new technology or modernizing its methods of operation.
In general, shipping firms and freight forwarders have established procedures and are rather strict about enforcing them, and their clients are expected to do the same. This is primarily due to the need to abide by strict national and international rules as well as treaties controlling marine affairs, but it is also a sign of a lack of client-centricity.
The poor workflow causes delays in answering customers' questions and addressing shipping problems, which in turn lengthens end-to-end lead times.
Contrast this with the expectations of modern business, where top eCommerce websites are pushing for same-day delivery to become the standard, putting more pressure on retailers and exporters to quicken their supply chains.
As a result, in the conventional freight forwarding process, the focus is placed more on merely adhering to decades-old methods of operation than on satisfying customer expectations or creating creative solutions to enhance clients' business models.
Customers' and exporters' problems:
Logistics transportation services Singapore are at a clear disadvantage as a result of the various gaps in the freight forwarding industry's operational model, which reduces their ability to compete in the global market.
The following are some issues that exporters frequently encounter:
Taking too long to quote or respond to price inquiries:
When an exporter has a confirmed order and needs the cargo to be delivered right away, he would often asks for a price. This suggests that to start the delivery procedure, he wants the rate quotation right away.
However, the first quote from forwarders might take up to 24 hours under the existing manual method. The pricing and parameters of the quotation will then be negotiated by the parties, which may take a few more days. Two to three days may have passed since the day of the inquiry by the time the rate is accepted and entered into the forwarders' pricing systems, and only then will the booking be confirmed and made.
End-to-end shipment visibility and alarms for different milestones:
Modern supply networks are quite sophisticated and span several different nations and continents. Additionally, the "Just in Time" inventory management principle, which is widely used across industries and nations, places a premium on maintaining low inventory levels.
As a result, importers and exporters need to be aware of the precise status and location of each shipment as well as the date of delivery. They must also be aware of anticipated delays or deviations from the intended movement to prepare appropriately and take the necessary corrective action.
Therefore, end-to-end visibility of their shipment is stressed by both importers and exporters, with daily updates on the location and anticipated arrival time.
Additionally, importers appreciate getting timely updates and pre-alerts on key milestones, such as vessel arrival dates, discharge dates, empty container return dates, and other important events to arrange the pick-up, cargo handling, and inland transfer of cargoes.
Under the existing procedure, updates are given sporadically and irregularly, and exporters and importers typically aren't aware of the status of their shipments.
Collaboration challenges with foreign clients and suppliers:
Because of globalization, supply chains now include several stakeholders from different nations, working in virtual and multicultural teams. A distinct set of difficulties arises while working across time zones and places.
The time zone difference, for instance, can lengthen response and coordination times if the freight forwarder is in Singapore and needs to communicate with the customer's office in the USA. To immediately reply to the US-based consumer, the Singapore office will need to be open late at night, which may not always be possible.
How the latest technology can help?
Even though the top logistics services Singapore have always had a wealth of data at their disposal, it is difficult to combine, analyze, and derive relevant insights from it since information is kept in numerous sources and forms.
Supply Chain Management tools are available today that acquire data from many sources, evaluate the data using sophisticated algorithms, and deliver insights and prescriptive solutions in a consistent style.
By removing the industry's reliance on antiquated practices and putting a laser-like focus on the needs and happiness of customers, these technology solutions seek to transform the freight forwarding sector.
The many pain points that exporters and customers encounter has been recognized by supply chain platforms, which has subsequently allowed freight forwarders to become more client-focused.
Freight forwarders may now give quotations in a couple of minutes while assuring that the final rate is correct and legitimate by utilizing technology. Additionally, pre-alerts on certain delivery milestones can be shared proactively, along with frequent updates on shipping progress.
The result of this modern strategy is a more advanced method of operation where the Supply Chain is solely customer-centric and created to support the exporter's business rather than just providing essential transportation services.