Over the years, the whole freight forwarding industry has embraced sophistication in order to better cater to as wide of a client base as possible. Availability in as many levels of a supply chain has also allowed freight forwarders to become a crucial part in it, no matter how big or small.
Building a logistics company may not exactly be as different from setting up any other business, but it does have its own complexities and level of diversity that set it apart. These complexities result from the constantly changing landscape as well as the heavy focus that the industry has on networking and effective communication, aside from cargo transportation.
On Marketing Freight Services
In today’s freight industry, whether you specialize in local freight or international freight, fierce competition make it so that every logistics company in Singapore has to look for effective strategies to adapt and market their services in more ways that stand out among your competitors.
Size, for instance (with the exception of well-known international freight agencies), is no longer the main criteria that customers consider when looking at a freight forwarding agency. The entire industry is even made up of different firms that have their own specializations.
For instance, some may have more extensive connections with cargo transportation agencies, while others specialize more in consolidating and even providing the necessary software and methods to keep track of the cargo.
Here are five ways you can bring your business to adapt to the ever-changing industry:
1. Find what makes you different – and bank on it
Whether it’s your business model, your deep expertise in customer and shipping industries, or cutting-edge IT tools to stay up-to-date on the routes and quality of every shipment in your business in real time, it’s important that you quickly establish the key qualities that set you apart from your competitors.
For small freight forwarding businesses, it might be the quality of service and the more personal touch when it comes to treating your customers that sets you apart from your competitor businesses. Another way that you can be distinguished as a service is your connection to different transportation services, be they air freight or sea freight.
2. Incorporate multiple services into your business
With the fast-paced world of freight forwarding, customers now expect fast means of transporting of goods, may it be outside or within Singapore. The forwarding agent who can give consumers lesser shipping time always wins the game, so it is important to offer a speedy service as much as possible.
Don’t assume that they know other options when it comes to air freight, sea freight, or other types of cargo transportation that they can take to save time and money – you have to take the lead and provide these options to the client yourself. The more services you provide, the better your relationship with your clients will be in the long run.
It’s also no longer enough as a freight forwarder to quote prices for each shipping company, get in touch with the shipping company (or companies, depending on the type of cargo and the chosen service), book the client’s cargo, and call it a day.
Providing additional services, such as booking warehouses, drayage, is also another way for you to gain a competitive edge in the business.
3. Use EDI, Logistics, and Tracking Software
Supply chains are expanding and connecting to each other all over the world. However, most supply chain technology available to many a shipping company is not built to handle the demands of the industry, whether it’s local freight or international freight. This creates potential risks and blind spots caused by a significant lack of coordination.
Many logistics services companies try to make their existing operating management systems work by creating work-arounds or attempting to connect disparate systems, but still fall short.
This is where logistics technology gives you an advantage over your competitors. Especially when you deliver cargo by air transfer from Singapore, digital and technological advancements such as GPS (global positioning system) and EDI (electronic digital interface) play an important role in cargo handling, tracking shipments and guaranteeing consumers the safety of their shipped goods via an air freight.
4. Keep your business plan flexible and versatile
In an industry of constant change, the truth is that it’s companies themselves – not entire industries – that don’t evolve and adopt new strategies and technologies that eventually die out.
By staying cutting-edge and adapting to the latest market trends, as well as preparing to embrace emerging ones that could change the way the industry is played, you can plan ahead and shift your business plan according to what will draw customers to your business.
However, you should keep in mind to keep everything in your freight forwarding services agency, from standard operating procedures (SOP’s) to Incoterms, clear and defined to avoid any potential confusion, as well as minimize potential conflicts that could end in liabilities.
5. Perform Market Analysis
The freight forwarding industry in Singapore grows increasingly more competitive every year, which makes staying updated on customer needs and trends a lifeline for every logistics services hoping to stay in the industry in the long term.
Being able to utilize market analysis not only provides you with valuable information and insight, but in the right circumstances, it can even tell you how your business is doing and help you take the necessary steps to stay ahead of the business curve.