The freight forwarding industry is transforming steadily. Big Data, IoT, AI, Cloud Computing, TMS, are some of the digital trends that have serious consequences for this sector with regards to customer service, cost control, speed, and resilience. In this background logistics 4.0 has become crucial for independent freight forwarders looking forward to positioning themselves successfully in the industry.
|Today we are publishing a special report on the beginnings of FreightViewer with valuable insights from Mr. Manual Cardona, the IT Manager of Conqueror Freight Network and the Developer of FreightViewer.
How an idea led to FreightViewer
Four years ago, Antonio Torres, President and Founder of Conqueror Freight Network, realized the importance of Logistics 4.0. He took into consideration the up and coming technologies that were setting new standards in the transportation and logistics industry. Technological innovation started allowing players in this industry to boost efficiency, reduce expenses, and explore new business opportunities.
Many forwarders used phone and computers to manually enter the same info into several IT systems. As pointed out by Conqueror’s IT Manager Manuel Cardona, “The logistics industry had been stuck many years in outdated customer interfaces, and age old manual processes. However, everything was changing very quickly. We noticed that freight forwarders were running the risk of getting overburdened with inefficient asset utilization, and declining response time that ultimately eroded their customer base. This motivated Antonio Torres to find a way to allow Conqueror members to take the first digital stride. This was when he got in touch with me.”
Nevertheless, digitization is not just a matter of adjusting the freight forwarders’ business to the new market using ground-breaking technology. Digitization also entails the creation of a foolproof digital strategy that is sustainable in the long run. This process necessitates thorough preparation and constant engagement with clients so as to make an informed decision and invest in the right tools.
That is why it took two years of hard work and substantial private investments, for Conqueror to launch its member-exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer. “It was a very exciting moment. We were doing something that was going to make history. We were offering 260 members the capability to compare competitive freight rates, immediately receive an instant quote , book online, organize and share shipping documents effortlessly and track shipment in real time all neatly organized in one place”, continues Manuel Cardona.
How FreightViewer has become a revolutionary quotation software
A TMS or Transport Management Software is a platform capable of managing and optimizing regular logistics operations. The greatest advantage of TMS is that it processes most of the shipping operations within a unique channel. In an industry where promptness is crucial, a TMS can make regular logistical operations way more efficient.
Manuel Cardona is of opinion that TMS will play a vital role in the process of digitization. Its major advantage is the simplification of tasks in a very complex business. Additionally, it improves your response time and enhances customer experience. Most importantly, it reduces costs, saves time, cuts down the steps involved in the operations, and improves security and visibility.
The evolution of FreightViewer
“Of course, once FreightViewer was launched there was a lot of work to be done. First of all, many members have been helping in the updates, changes and new features implemented in the software to make it more practical, more easy-to-use and adapt it to its work reality. Then, we had to explain members how to use it, its benefits, its upgrades… All was done thanks to Conqueror’s FreightViewer Coordinator, Andrea Martin, who has been key in the development and update of the software, as well as in the teaching and presentations process.”
FreightViewer, is a freight rate management software that not only helps with instant quote generation but also offers a host of advantages. Moreover, every year Conqueror’s IT team adds significant updates to this software thereby immensely increasing its capacity as a powerful digital tool to help with the day-to-day office chores of members.
As Mr. Cardona points out – Conqueror is constantly partnering with companies to improve the usability of this software. Conqueror aims to integrate the main co-loader’s buying tariffs on a global scale into FreightViewer. Our agreement with SHIPCO allows us to offer their LCL buying rates online through FreightViewer. Additionally, Conqueror is presently negotiating the same with Webcargonet which will enable us to upload and update more than 14 million buying airfreight rates to FreightViewer. Furthermore, we have a partnership with Onus Cargo Services, an insurance broker offering rates from different insurance companies. Therefore Conqueror members can insure their cargo directly through FreightViewer. Moreover, we are working on the process of reaching competitive insurance rates for Conqueror members.
A look at the contemporary digital freight forwarders
Eight out of the top ten carriers have created their own instant quoting platform. This proceed started in 2008 when Maersk launched Maersk Spot Booking, their online booking platform. Currently, fifty-two percent of Maersk spot cargo are booked on their online platform.
In the last couple of years digital freight forwarders like Freighthub, Flexport and Freightos came into the picture. This only shows the importance more than ever to become a digital freight forwarder to stay ahead of the competition. According to a Freightos report just 25% of the world’s top 20 logistics companies are providing LCL online quotes. It takes customers a minimum of two days to receive a freight quotation. This implies that there is a dire lack of transparency in operations.
“This is the reason why we have been working hard on FreightViewer- a platform with upgraded capabilities, adapted to the freight forwarders realities and with an insuperable benefit over other software. Unlike the rest, Conqueror is a network which boasts of 260 members in 135 countries around the world. This implies we can have rates from almost every corner of the world.” adds Mr. Cardona.
The importance of a change of mentality in the digital transformation in this sector
Even after all the digitization efforts in this for from companies like Flexport or Freightos funded by millions of dollars or top logistics multinationals such as Twill or KN Freightnet, a large percentage of freight forwarders continue to miss out in the race of digitization. To quote Mr. Cardona, “One of the preconditions of digitization is considerable investments in an IT team and training of your employees. However, small and mid-sized companies don’t always have the necessary resources to keep pace with the needs of the hour. This is why Conqueror provides the agents with a very useful digital platform that allows them to initiate this process of digital transformation without investing a dime.”
FreightViewer will allow Conqueror members to be at the cutting edge of technology
The first and foremost thing that independent freight forwarders need to do is boost the level of client engagement. For example, tools like Conqueror’s TMS FreightViewer will provide you with the required capacity to meet your customers’ expectations. The technological impact on the freight forwarding industry in the last few years has been considerable. Most of the top players in this sector are investing in enhancing their services by implementing a well-rounded digital strategy.
FreightViewer allows forwarders to effectively manage rates, put together personalized quotations, and send them instantly or save them in PDF. They can also follow up with their clients and customize their websites. Mr. Cardona sums up, “This intuitive platform not only helps with instant quote generation but also allows for better customer service and helps with customer retention. Moreover, every year Conqueror’s IT team adds significant updates to this platform thereby immensely increasing its capacity as a powerful digital tool to help members with their everyday office chores.”