Many of us strive to be at the top of our professional game. We choose an area of expertise and commit years to learning everything there is to know about our industry, our craft, and our (sometimes niche) line of work. We take courses, spend hours and hours and hours on the job, and learn from wise mentors all around us. But wouldn’t it be convenient if someone were to create a succinct outline of best practices in your field? Something you can reference quickly as a daily reminder?
So, what are a few best practices that top freight forwarders should always follow?
If you’re a freight forwarder striving to be the best you can be, you’re in luck. We’ve broken down the top best practices for professionals in your industry. Because no matter where you are in your career, it’s always great to have a refresher and ensure certain values stay top-of-mind at all times. Stay scrolling for a crash course and note the importance of software in the freight forwarding industry.
Care About the Customer
Many professionals say this, but with freight forwarding, it really is true. Customer service is the pinnacle of your business. It’s important that customers are receiving real-time updates. Customers must also have access to a user-friendly portal where they can easily view and track shipments and communicate with you or someone on your team directly.
It’s also important to provide fast and accurate rate quotes for shipments. Connect your freight forwarding platform to carrier rates via API and give your customer, and yourself, a better and more seamless experience when it comes to estimating price.
Depend on Data & Analytics
Do you have a system that quickly captures shipment data? A business decision holds little weight or meaning without the data to back it up. However, data is important for more than just the obvious. Yes, data helps you understand trends in your organization and make better choices that improve efficiencies and add value and service to your customers. But you can also use data to build relationships with shippers and carriers over time through data-driven negotiations and, ultimately, better deals for customers.
Hire the Best
This may sound obvious, but it’s important to surround yourself with people who care about the industry as much as you do. Your job is tough and there’s no way you can keep tabs on everything and stay abreast of industry trends 24-7 without the help of other dedicated professionals.
In interviews, always ask candidates about customer service, a time they had to communicate clearly in a high-stress situation and adapt on the fly. The freight business is ever-changing and oftentimes unpredictable. And if your business operates internationally, always make sure the people you hire are well-versed in shipping rules and regulations within various countries. These can be incredibly complex and legal expertise is always a must.
Integrate Top Software for Freight Forwarders
Cut the traditional spreadsheets. It’s the 21st century, and there’s simply no way your business will run as efficiently without freight forwarding software. You need automated invoicing and reporting, a customer portal for customer convenience, and everything accessible through a cloud for on-the-go solves. And make sure with whatever software you choose, you’re allowed a free tutorial beforehand. Testing before you invest is essential. You must make sure you’re choosing the best software system possible. It shouldn’t require an extensive learning curve and should integrate seamlessly with any existing setup and major carrier portals.
As much as we’d like for it to be, freight forwarding isn’t an exact science. There aren’t always hard-and-fast rules to follow for success and oftentimes, no matter how well-prepared we are, unpredictabilities happen. But should you ever experience bumps in the road or feel like your business just isn’t growing the way it should, the above is a great roadmap to get you back on course and freight forwarding software ties it all together.
More questions on how freight forwarding software can enhance your company’s best practices and take it to the next level? CSA Software can help. We offer the best freight forwarding software products in the industry. Always at the forefront transportation industry trends, our resources and capabilities allow us to have the competitive edge over our competitors.
Our freight forwarder products include an operational TMS, shipment management, software for LTL shipments, warehouse management software, accounting for freight forwarders, EDI services, and much more. Call us today for your Free Software Demo!