Freight forwarding technology is designed to reduce costs, hasten bookings, and help international trade flow seamlessly. However, it can be confusing to think about how technology comes together to improve service-level performance and enhance user or customer experiences. In the end, it’s all about timeliness and speed, so let’s consider five technology innovations that work to achieve those goals.
Automated Data Entry
Automation in logistics for data entry is a fully loaded topic. It can be extremely useful for sharing details regarding containers and shipment status, but there are other opportunities for automated data entry to make an impact. For instance, using robotics process automation (RPA) within email platforms can compile data, enter it into a TMS, and trigger a series of activities to keep everything and everyone updated. Moreover, the same processes can be applied to further add context and streamline communications.
Streamlined Communications and Contextual Messaging
Remember that robotics process automation depends on data and reliable responses to a given question or topic. Within email and communication systems, the technology can be useful in pulling data in a reverse flow from that described above.
For instance, a virtual, email response bot could review an inbound email, pull data from a TMS, and generate a response based on the full context of the digital conversation. Together, it provides a contextual picture of what’s happening and allows for more collaboration and faster communications among stakeholders.
Reduced Confusion Over ETA and Appointment Scheduling
Technology also adds value for freight forwarders by generating predictive arrival times and managing the sailing schedules. Appointments might vary based on the type of mode in question. As another example, if the shipment is by sea, appointment times will need to be scheduled based on the ship’s expected arrival time, truck arrivals for drays, and subsequent unloading/turn times for the drayage provider.
Fewer Delays in Crossing International Borders
Another application of advancements in freight forwarding technology is rooted in the ability to share documents digitally. While a chatbot or email response bot could be empowered through the right integrations, this particular use of technology is best described as sharing links to documents. As such, it’s easier to keep track of documents, maintain compliance, and share vital information on demand. That’s a marked advantage when working to reduce delays in crossing international borders and ensuring all duties and taxes have been paid.
There is another use of technology in this instance. Documents can be linked directly through payment processing systems to shorten the payment clock, submit payments to customs authorities, and avoid further delays.
Better Rates Powered by Instant Quoting
Instant quoting across the preferred channel of communication is perhaps the biggest advantage of advanced freight forwarding technology. According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, up to 35% of supply chain professionals surveyed reported lost revenue due to supply shortages in 2020. Part of that shortage comes from a limited ability to forecast demand and provide quotes based on the sum of transportation activity. Freight forwarding technology enables companies to use automation to instantly assess the market through analytics, generate a quote, and confirm a booking amount — all of which help control administrative costs. Ergo, total landed transportation costs decline.
Achieve All These and More With RPA Labs-Powered Freight Forwarding Technology Working Across Your Operation
The advancements in freight forwarding technology reflect the ongoing digital transformation of the global supply chain. As technologies continue to emerge and evolve, companies are able to do more with less, reduce delays, and improve throughput. However, figuring out the right way to take advantage of automation often comes down to connecting the slow processes of email and manual status inquiries to lightning-fast responses. That’s where a solution in robotics process automation can add the most value to your supply chain. Connect with RPA Labs to get started today.