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Top 5 trends in 2019 that are re-shaping the freight forwarding industry

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The logistics sector is slowly forging into new seas by capitalizing on digitization and automation. Lookout for these listed top 5 trends in almost every forwarding company, which is re-defining the sector as a whole:

#1 Focus on Cyber Security:

  • The onset of Cyber-attacks has caused disruptions in various ports around the world as well as shipping companies.
  • Hence, freight forwarders are shifting from traditional processes to faster, and more responsive, digital solutions.
  • After implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, several companies are strengthening their data protection & privacy system.  

#2 Making use of Real-time Data:

  • Co-ordination between ports and vessels regarding arrivals & departures have improved effectively due to availability of real-time data.
  • Last year, the ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg started using technology for sharing information about planned and actual vessel departure and arrival times between the two ports.
  • Real-time data sharing has helped ports in reducing congestion and improving cargo in-flow and out-flow by deploying labour and equipment in a more focused manner.
  • It has also proved beneficial to customers as they can keep a track on their shipments easily.

#3 “Internet of Things” solutions:

  • Apart from real-time data collection, forwarders can enrich shipping data using Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Forwarders who access data from sources like the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) and electronic sensors (installed in containers or attached to product packaging), are capable of monitoring goods more accurately. Thus, customers are able to their goods in a better way, especially for perishables and environment-sensitive goods.

#4 Growing Customer-centricity:

  • Freight forwarders are now giving away with their traditional method of doing business and investing in new technologies to appeal to their customers.
  • They are using digital solutions to enhance customers’ experience, by offering instant freight quotations, user-friendly websites, online payment options and social media marketing strategies.
  • With such tech-friendly strategies, forwarders are trying to secure customer loyalty.

#5 Block-chain adoption:

  • The logistics sector is slowly adopting block chain technology which is making an impact gradually.
  • For instance, Maersk’s TradeLens technology is used to streamline and secure the exchange of information between more than 90 companies and organizations involved in global shipping activity.
  • ZIM also has come on board with Maersk to harness blockchain opportunities.

The whole process of logistical digitization is gradually evolving. Thus, bringing forth a bunch of opportunities for the stakeholders. Shipping is becoming widely accessible to small businesses. SMEs who previously struggled to compete with bigger players are now opening up to global trade. Customers are benefitting from simplified freight procedures, transparent pricing and improved communications.

However, differences in opinions regarding certain aspects of digitalization are quite visible in current scenario. Rigidity in mind-set, technological illiteracy and inefficient data collection and analysis are some of disadvantages weighing down the pace of digitization. As digitalization & automation gains a foothold in the market in upcoming years, the need of employed man-power may be affected as well.

We at Swift Cargo, with a wide range of digital products, are sailing “under full sail” in this direction. These are:

  • Track & Trace: Track status of your shipments
  • Sailing Schedules: Get vessel sailing schedules instantly
  • Get a Quote: Request freight quote for FCL/Air and Book LCL shipments
  • SWIFT Interactive: Plan & book shipments 
  • SWIFT Collect: Online Payment platform
  • Sailor SWIFT: We value your need to interact with “real humans” and hence our “out of the box” chat box is serviced by our team of digital customer service team to handle all your queries
  • Our Mobile Application - SWIFT Easy Access: where you can track your shipments, get sailing schedules, request for freight quotes and much more

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