Freight forwarders in the 3PL west coast space today can utilize a variety of innovative freight forwarding software systems and collaboration platforms to help fulfill the demand for low-cost shipping and meet customers where they are. Below are some features to look for in this software that will greatly increase productivity within this growing industry:
1. Access to Real-Time Data
Shippers today require readily available information such as current shipment status, estimated time of arrival, cutoff dates, and any updates on delays or complications that may arise. Certain platforms can provide signals via data that indicate issues that can be acted upon.
2. Data Analytics
Analytics help provide an understanding of what shippers did, how they performed against established KPIs, if relationships are working properly and if costs are being managed properly. A powerful analytics platform allows you a way to monitor the performance of service partners and carriers.
3. Messaging Platforms
Customers today prefer items shipped to them quickly. Coupled with that need is the ability to communicate with forwarders on order status. A strong freight forwarding system should allow communication options and ways to manage them so that messaging with clients can be organized and actionable.
4. Cloud-based Recordkeeping
Helping customers with their shipping needs can often involve multiple stages of support with various updates throughout the process. A centralized system that allows for recordkeeping and oversight is critical for documenting these interactions. There are centralized options such as Cargologik – a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform – that allows you to capture and stay on top of those customer touchpoints and improve your operations.
5. Digital Document Management
Your freight forwarding software should have the ability to store digital documents and workflows. The system should offer the means for digital document management and digital shipment execution. It should include advanced search capabilities so you can easily retrieve any document you need to access in order to service customers quickly and efficiently.
6. Greater Transparency
Coupled with digital document management, a strong freight forwarding platform will limit the need for constant email management and create greater transparency for the storage of key documentation, including trade compliance filings, quotes, purchase orders, POD, etc. This will allow more seamless communication between forwarders and shippers.
7. E-Commerce Integration
Greater customer reach can be achieved for freight forwarders by integrating with major e-commerce platforms and shopping carts, including WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.
8. Mobile Shipment Tracking
Cargologik, the cloud-based centralized management system mentioned above, can handle mobile shipment tracking of orders as well. Since the platform is thoroughly integrated, shippers can stay on top of orders, and forwarders can also oversee items without additional logins.
9. Timeline Tracking for Logistics
The ability to track shipments across multiple touchpoints, parties, legs of transportation, and service levels is one of the biggest innovations in shipping logistics today. The use of timeline features allows even greater oversight when working with partners such as Amazon and DHL. Those shipping partners have specialized tools such as Amazon Logistics Timeline, and DHL Tracking Number are open systems that allow easier adoption to meet growing customer transparency needs.
10. Advanced Search to Locate Shipment Details
Perhaps the most important feature in a strong freight forwarding software platform is advanced search functions – a way to find on-demand information on shipments quickly. You will want to utilize a universal search that can track down information across all communication channels including emails, chats, carrier-generated updates, exception notifications, and documents. Generating these relevant results in a rapid fashion is advantageous for all sides of the forwarding process.
At Westhub Logistics we practice a client-first approach. We stand out with an unprecedented standard for personalized 3PL services. Our first goal is to listen to your needs and provide you with unique solutions. WHL can work with you to create a customized FBA plan, and you won’t have to pay for unnecessary services. If you are seeking logistics support, we’d love to hear from you, our team is ready to help. Give us a call today 408-585-9346 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org