Technology has shaped the way in which the freight forwarding world has become all encompassing, and truly global. We have seen a steep rise in our technological way of thinking, and the way in which we innovate the tools at our disposal to fit in with the freight forwarding industry. Since the internet boom technology has become intertwined with every stage of the supply chain for many in the industry.
Many have seen this increase in technology throughout the industry as a something of a crossroads. Is this going to be the rise of the machines, doing away with loads of jobs? Is it going to be a revolution meaning more efficient distribution throughout the sectors?
Online load boards, cloud-based freight marketplaces, connected containers and online customs processing have had an increasingly beneficial outcome on the industry. They have allowed better communication, along with improved visibility for many different companies. This has impacted consumers on such a level that to say that technology is having an adverse effect on the industry would be absurd. If companies do not embrace the new technology flooding distributions chains all over the world, it is the equivalent of using fax rather than email.
With freight forwarding always being a service and not a task, we cannot expect technology to take over the jobs of anyone in the industry. As Supply Chain Dive have said in the past, ‘Until technology can offer the same level of customer service and relationships, freight forwarders will not bat an eye.’
Technology is a friend to many in the freight forwarding industry. Many freight forwarders still cannot provide many customers with automated online quotes, nor can they track their orders with absolute precision. We can really see that the freight forwarding world isn’t yet completely digital, and I am indeed aware that technology overhauls can be costly. ROI remains uncertain, but many in the industry need to look at technology as a way of future-proofing their business.
At FORWARDER we are always keen to provide the most recent news regarding technology and how it can help (or hinder) your operations. Don’t be afraid to get in touch to find out more.
Matt Dailly, Editor, FORWARDER magazine