Why should Instant Quotation be the top priority for SME forwarders in 2022?

March 16, 2022

The global digital freight forwarding market, currently valued at around $2.9 billion, is looking to further benefit from the ongoing economic recovery and the heightened need for transportation around the world.

Presently, the industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% during the forecast period from 2021 to 2030. 

While the APAC region has the most significant growth rate, the US contributes the largest share.  In the United States, the market has grown at an average of 3.7% per year from 2017 to 2022.

However, it is expected that the US freight forwarding market will boom during 2022, at 7.9%.

Digital freight forwarding is seeing a lot more growth due mainly to the sheer volatility of the logistics market over the past few years.

While COVID is primarily to blame, there have also been other issues, including geopolitical, climate, and labor shortages. These issues have created higher levels of demand and a lack of capacity, which, in turn, drives up costs.

It is expected that prices will remain high throughout 2022, much of which can be attributed to growing demand and the shortage of ocean freight shipping containers.

It is impossible and unrealistic to try and control such a chaotic environment in the current logistics market.

For shippers that want to be successful and profitable this year, collaborating with a digital freight forwarder can help focus on the aspects they can control. 

To stabilize their own operations, freight forwarders can begin by revamping their quote creation process. The manual process has various flaws.

The future is digital and the wide array of benefits have been explored in this article. 

Why do manual quotes lead to delays?

In a world where businesses seek instant results or immediate gratification, keeping heavily manual operations can break the value chain.

Traditionally, freight forwarders would spend hours calculating quotes and assisting customers with clarifications on various additional charges included. This makes the quote creation process take days to complete.

Manual Quotations are prone to human error. This could possibly add more time to the process as corrections are made, filed, and resubmitted. 

Why is the manual quote creation process inefficient?

The back-and-forth nature of the quote process isn’t just inefficient; it can be costly as well.

Shippers and carriers alike would run afoul of missed opportunities while waiting for a quote to be corrected, finalized, and approved.

Given the current nature of the global supply chain, those delays could be disastrous. 

An automated, digital process that could provide instant quotes would drastically improve the speed and efficiency at which a shipper could secure freight space, allowing them to get ahead of the numerous obstacles that are currently choking the supply chain. 

Benefits of instantaneous quotes : agility and profitability 

In general, there are plenty of advantages to going digital. However, concerning an instant quote process, here are the most significant advantages to consider:

  • Saving Time and Effort: It is easy to track customer requirements in an instant quote process. Personalized and professional quotes can be calculated and shared instantaneously using the spot rates available in the RMS system. As time is money, the sales team can direct their saved time towards other value-add activities. 

  • Control and Standardize Quotations: A single platform holds all the rates, schedules and quotes and hence, it becomes easy for the management to identify and control the costs. This process eliminates complex Excel sheets. Sales teams can create Quotes by adding default margins in percentages or on specific contract types. Quotes for frequently used routes can be further automated. This allows control of buying and selling prices. 

  • Increased sales and retention of customers: Instant and automated quotes proportionately translate to 100% of sales inquiries being responded to. This software equips the sales team to be accurate and competitive while quoting services. Customers appreciate partners who understand the value of time. Hence, with instant quotes that are precise, sales leads can be converted, and long-term partnerships can be built.  

  • Enhanced transparency: This is touted to be one of the most important requirements in building a profitable business. With instant quotes in a standardized format online, customers can experience transparency in the charges quoted. Ad-hoc fees, non-standard freight rates, or cancellation charges can be called out individually. This helps customers understand where they spend unnecessarily.  

  • Eliminates manual dependency: Digital quotes eliminate the calculation errors and omissions that arise out of human intervention. This also ensures that the various phrases used in a quotation including INCO terms and the variety of ad-hoc fees have a standard terminology and meaning. 

The need for instant quotes in an uncertain environment

The underlying reason for instant quotes being the number one priority for freight forwarders in 2022 is the current economic conditions.

The supply chain industry is still highly volatile, not to mention vulnerable, especially with COVID variants continuing to wreak havoc on production schedules. Demand for ocean freight is increasing due to the boom in global online sales.

Improving the supply of containers is not on the cards for another year, at the least. As a result, prices continue to be on an upward trajectory. 

Businesses and transporters are struggling to identify competitive costs that they can benefit from. As a result, freight forwarders and extended logistics teams can help businesses find the sweet spot when it comes to freight rates.  

For freight forwarders to extend uninterrupted support, they would require an instant quote facility that eliminates unnecessary rework. A rapid, reliable, and resilient practice that is managed through instant quotes can help freight forwarders foster relationships in this unstable and uncertain market. 

How are instant quotes possible? How do they work?  

Freightify’s Instant Quotation works on the principle that “Time is money, and speed wins customers”. Creating a quote digitally is simple and can be completed within 3 quick clicks. 

Using the comprehensive overview of live rates as well as those rates and schedules procured, freight forwarders can compile a single exhaustive database that holds all pricing information.

Based on what the customer requires, quotes can be drawn up by linking them back to the database. As a result, there will be zero misquotes. Margins can be managed on a sector basis or depending on the freight type. Additional charges can also be added on the fly. The quotes are then saved and sent digitally to the customer. 

These quotes can be changed at any point in time and can be generated as a PDF for easy sharing. Markups can be applied as whole values or in percentages. Further, markups can be added by trade route, liner, charge group, charge, and equipment types.

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