• ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American Shipper

Forwarder booking processes still lagging, Freightos says

The technology provider, which operates a freight rate marketplace, conducted a mystery shopper exercise that found most big forwarders still take days to quote rates.

   The freight forwarding industry is still lagging when it comes to providing direct online quoting capability, according to a new report from the technology provider Freightos.
   The report is similar to one Freightos, which operates a curated marketplace for ocean and air freight rates, released in 2015 about the length of time it takes forwarders to provide rates after being asked for a quote by using a “mystery shopper” approach.
   The shopper purported to be a rapidly growing mid-sized U.S.-based wholesale company needing to move a less-than-container load (LCL) shipment from China to Chicago.
   Twenty top forwarders were contacted, which included: APL Logistics, Bollore Logistics, CEVA Logistics, C.H. Robinson, Damco, DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, DSV, Expeditors, Hellman Worldwide Logistics, Kerry Logistics, Kintetsu World Express, Kuehne + Nagel, Nippon Express, Panalpina, Pantos, Sinotrans, UPS, UTi Worldwide and Yusen Logistics.
   “When dedicated quote request pages were lacking, contact forms on websites were used,” Freightos said. “When those were lacking, no quote requests were submitted.”
   The report notes that it took, on average, 101 hours to provide a manual spot quote, 11 hours longer than in 2015. It took an average of 15 hours to personally follow up a quote request. Only nine out of the 20 forwarders provided a quote (the same number as in the previous report), while only three subsequently followed up.
   The report also said the top forwarders are not using marketing activities associated with driving customers to book online.
   “The last year saw a conversation shift in the executive suites and boardrooms of logistics industry leaders,” Freightos CEO Zvo Schreiber said. “The talk is of online transition. Freight may be incredibly convoluted but other industries – like banking and insurance – also faced tough transition challenges. Not every forwarder will survive. Top forwarders have the inside track for now but technology adaption over the next few years will spell out who wins.”
   In recent conversations American Shipper has had with a number of forwarders, it’s clear that they are cognizant but not overly worried by the threat of booking automation. Most argue two key points: that pricing transparency touted by new technology startups is not fundamentally new to the industry; and that larger forwarders win business based on services and visibility technology more than ease of booking.
   The forwarders, as well as software companies that cater to the forwarding industry, also point out that larger forwarders are more digitally prepared than they are made to seem. Most invest continuously in proprietary or off-the-shelf supply chain management technology.
   Still, Freightos is right to point out that “venture capital firms (are) voting with their wallet,” in terms of the number of technology providers aiming to either disintermediate forwarders, or better enable to reach and serve customers.

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