Technology is coming fast down the Freight Forwarding Tracks in 2019

Technology is coming fast down the Freight Forwarding Tracks in 2019

Technology is coming fast down the Freight Forwarding Tracks in 2019

A “Freight Forwarder” may be defined as a multi-function agent/operator who undertakes to handle the movement of goods from point to point on behalf of the cargo owner. However, that is about as complete a definition as saying a chair is a four-legged piece of furniture for sitting upon.

Freight Forwarders play a critical role in moving goods, but their knowledge is based on much more than mere transport, although that can span sea, road, rail, and air which can be a heady combination. Freight Forwarders are also experts in local customs compliance, port/terminal regulations, geographical issues, warehousing, packaging, and people knowledge. However, much of this experience is still handled in an old fashioned way through the use of faxes, couriers, telephone and paper – especially the bills of lading.

An Imminent Transformation

Technology is disrupting many traditional businesses across the world and freight forwarding is no exception. Consider the impact of UBER on traditional taxi services, something similar is coming down the line to Freight Forwarding and the industry has to be ready.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has already disrupted the passage of goods themselves – and for the better. Sensors can track goods ensuring temperatures are controlled, that weight is monitored to reduce theft or loss and provenance can be tracked.

60 years ago, containerization radically shifted the industry and created a new standard for the shipment of goods. Today, modern drones can replace the humble tugboat for dropping goods out at sea. Even Amazon is trialing its Airborne Fulfilment Centre which is in effect a floating warehouse equipped with drones to drop off products. We are even talking about autonomous ships – like the self-driving cars – only considerably larger.

Online Bookings for Freight Forwarding

Another tell-tale sign that is foretelling the shift towards digitization is the surge in online freight bookings. Mainstream players such as Hapaq Lloyd are witnessing a 6% rise in online bookings with their Quick Quote product and DSV, through its My DSV software, claims a bookings increase of 15%.

An influx of software startups in the area is certainly shaking up the traditional Freight Forwarding sector, but again, software alone is not the answer and is not currently displacing experience.

Shippers are also responsible for generating interest in digital disruptions. They want greater transparency, accuracy, and speed. To confirm this, a joint report by McKinsey and Google, highlight the new searches for ‘ocean carriers’ and ‘freight forwarders’ increased by 8% and 14% respectively, and 23% of those searches are carried out on mobile devices.

Technology will disrupt Freight Forwarding, but remember the days when Travel Agents were replaced by online booking engines? Only they weren’t. Many agents upskilled to serve the luxury or adventure market and other organisations converted into online portals. Again, the customer dictates to a degree what level of digitisation they are comfortable with. And with breakpoints across the system, with only 60% of forwarders online, this is not going to happen immediately.

As Consol Freight CEO Ernesto Vila suggests: “We are at the true cross point between traditional freight forwarding and digitization. We can combine our experience with new, faster technologies. We like to see ourselves as enablers – not disrupters – with everyone winning.”

For more information, visit the website


More information about Irish Tech News and the Business Showcase

FYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!

Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.

Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.



If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

Source link