How to choose the right freight forwarding system for small and midsize forwarders?
Freight Forwarders play a crucial role in the entire logistics industry. The role of Freight Forwarders in the modern world is simple but significant. Apart from arranging carriers to move cargo forward, they have a strategic advisory role in terms of documentation, planning, providing local services and execution of cargo movement. Complex, demanding, and the most competitive business scenario in the logistics industry is pushing freight forwarders to set benchmarks for growth. Increased cargo processing time, low level of automation, and complex paperwork and revenue leakage are some of the key challenges faced by Freight Forwarders in the current times.
Freight Forwarders today need a scalable and reliable technology solutions that offer enterprise-wide business functionality to handle multi-modal operations and security combined with an affordable cost of ownership. And this requirement has pushed freight forwarders to adopt digital freight forwarding.
Unfortunately, most of the freight forwarding management systems are capable of solving the challenges of large scale Freight Forwarders. Small and mid-sized players are not able to afford a fully functional forwarding system which is built to suit their business needs. Even though such software exists, they do not exactly contain the right applications and tools that a Freight Forwarder must possess. Here are some factors, which Freight Forwarders can consider in choosing the right Freight Forwarding System.
The first and foremost aspect of having a good ERP system for Freight Forwarders is integration with financial systems as well as other process oriented systems. In several cases, Forwarders find it difficult to consolidate data in all these disparate systems and prepare reports. A smart Freight Forwarding System will consolidate all financial and operational data into one system.
Information on cargo movement on a micro level is not available for the stakeholders. For example, once the cargo moves into the airport/port ecosystem, there is an abrupt lull in terms of status sharing and the same persists with the maritime ecosystem too. A freight forwarder being the custodian of cargo should always be aware of the movement of cargo on a micro and macro level. The right freight forwarding system will offer tracking of cargo movement between each milestone. With this, the freight forwarder can also see the stakeholder handling the cargo.
Generation of Reports/MIS
Handling of multiple reports and documents is a major concern for freight forwarders. Often forwarders find it challenging to deal with multiple documentation and result in A smart freight forwarding system will enable generation of hundreds of operations and MIS reports using different parameters. Moreover, these reports can be exported to Excel / PDF file as per user requirements.
Adhering to customs and regulatory guidelines is quite essential for freight forwarders while they indulge in documentation procedures. Every now and then a new policy change might surface that affects the entire documentation process. Therefore, a smart Freight Forwarding System will enable Freight Forwarders worldwide to stay compliant to various policy changes and keep upgrading their efforts.
Support for International Trade Documentation
In cross border trade, some key documents are involved such as Bill of Lading, Air Waybill, Delivery Order etc. The right Freight Forwarding System will offer support for international trade documentations such as the above in an electronic format. Yes, all these documents are now available in electronic format too with verification from regulatory authorities. A good freight forwarding system manages every aspect in a single frame and eliminates the need of standalone ERP applications. In turn, it would eliminate disparate forwarding functions and ensures time-efficient, cost-efficient operations as well as improved bottom line results.