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Digital Freight Forwarder: What Is It and What to Avoid?

Digital freight forwarders are freight forwarders who have undergone digital transformation, which has become one of the most discussed topics in the business world. The unstoppable digital trend has driven countless industries, including freight forwarding industry, into investing heavily in digitalization. Unfortunately, few succeeded. Without well-planned strategies, digital transformation can be the reason for closure of businesses.

In this blog post, we will be discussing what digital transformation is, why it is imperative for freight forwarders and NVOCCs, and what you should pay attention to.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation can be generally defined as the process of integrating digital tools or technologies into all departments and areas of businesses. An example of digital transformation is Chatbot.

In the past, humans are the ones answering customers' questions through Facebook chat or on the companies' websites. Nowadays, ChatBots can be programmed to answer the questions and even place orders for customers. A freight forwarding example will be freight forwarders incorporating digital tools to provide instant quotes or real-time tracking information for their clients. By incorporating these tools, businesses can create new business models, processes, culture, services, and products to elevate themselves in the competition.

Do I have to become a digital freight forwarder?

Yes, freight forwarders must embrace the trend to step up their games. As a matter of fact, failure to become digital freight forwarders can eventually lead to being eliminated from the competition.

Here's why.

All kinds of enterprises undergo digital transformation to level up their products and services. As consumers, the clients of freight forwarders can order a product on Amazon and it will probably be delivered to their houses quite soon. By going to sites like Agoda and Airbnb, they have access to countless hotels for comparisons. Their expectations in the B2C sector will eventually influence their expectations in the B2B sector. They will eventually begin to expect faster freight quotation, better freight visibility, and more efficient services.

Aside from that, digitalization has allowed businesses to streamline their processes and improve productivity. For example, by switching from using phones or fax machines to messaging apps or emails to connect with their clients, digital freight forwarders can respond to their clients much faster. Furthermore, digitizing all documents instead of writing all information on pieces of paper also speeds up the documentation process.

Failure to integrate digital tools and become digital freight forwarders can truly put freight forwarders out of business.

Why do businesses fail to digitalize? What to avoid to become a digital freight forwarder?

Even though countless businesses have started digitalization, a good number of them have encountered obstacles and only a few of them manage to achieve the goal. Some common reasons are:

Freight forwarding industry has been considered the most traditional industry of all. However, this traditional industry has inevitably jumped on the digital trend. To survive in the digital age, forwarders must get out of their comfort zone and become digital freight forwarders. There are definitely other factors that might hinder the transformation process. Nevertheless, taking all the aforementioned factors into account, making contingency plans, and having clear planning and well-thought-out strategies will definitely increase the chance of success.

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