How These 5 Freight Forwarding Technology Innovations Boost Service Levels, Reduce Costs, & Improve CX

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.

Logistics Technology: 5 Big Benefits of AI-Powered Logistics ChatBots

Logistics technology continues to radically reshape the industry to make shipments faster. There are many benefits to artificial intelligence (AI) powered logistics. For each level of the supply chain, AI-powered logistics can enhance everyday practices. From cleaning up back-office work disorganization to eliminating missed deadlines, AI-powered logistics technology is truly transforming the industry. These bots create an invaluable service by eliminating time-consuming shippers tasks like back-office backlog and manual reporting or entries. 

1. Reduced Confusion Over Real-Time Shipment Status

One of the many benefits of logistics technology is reducing confusion. Knowing real-time shipment status will help eliminate the confusing process of resolving problems once they become known. With real-time status updates available and many employees having eyes on a shipment, catching issues before they escalate is a primary benefit of logistics technology like AI-powered logistics chatbots. Proactive, two-way communication boosts the effectiveness of the shipment. Confusion during shipments and deliveries that are not made on time can lead customers to take their business elsewhere. 

2. Increased Consumer Confidence with Around-the-Clock Service

When teams have confidence in their processes, consumer confidence also grows. With logistics technology growing in use, it is important to reassure customers that they are not sacrificing the level of attention or customer service they receive. New technology makes it possible for around-the-clock service, which also boosts consumer confidence. Many businesses should budget for automation so that they may also bring in these time-saving measures. 

3. Improved Throughput by Leveraging Automation in Routing and Scheduling

By integrating automations for freight forwarders, tedious tasks like paperwork, routing and scheduling become easier and much more manageable when tackling last-minute changes in a shipment and keeping up with changing sailing schedules. The use of logistics automation also helps eliminate delays and other issues, which vastly improves throughput. Expectations also soar because logistics technology creates a faster experience that many consumers value.

4. Streamlined Communication to Enable Collaboration

Streamlining automation with logistics technology enables deeper collaboration among all stakeholders. When paired with the right platform and partner, communication is streamlined and more effective. Planning ahead and proactively monitoring shipments becomes much easier. 

For logistics experts, this creates an effective and more efficient use of logistics technology as the barriers to visibility break down. And part of this includes using AI to reduce rework. According to INC42.com,AI plays a pivotal role in saving time, reducing costs, increasing productivity and accuracy with cognitive automation. It allows us to save time and money because it helps in automating various time-consuming processes and helps in demand forecasting.” It’s all about boosting the speed and clarity of communications to enable greater collaboration.

5. Predictive Capabilities to Intervene When Things Go Wrong

As well as streamlining services, transforming transportation also assists with the process. With these new logistics technology capabilities, it increases a team’s ability to intervene when issues arise. Logistics technology provides a doorway to making those on-time deliveries with no delays or issues. Predictive capabilities enable tracking shipments with real-time GPS location and visibility, revealing the shipment status at all times. With predictive technology, shippers can rest easy knowing they are in good hands and avoid costs associated with late shipments or missed deadlines.  

Tap the Value of AI-Powered Logistics Technology and Chatbots to Thrive

The future of the industry is here with the use of AI-powered logistics technology. Chatbots increase the ability to thrive and eliminate those time-consuming tasks. Do not miss any more shipments or wait for customers to get angry with missed deadlines. Get back in the know with AI-powered logistics technology via chatbots, and launch shipments into this e-commerce dominated world. Schedule a demo with RPA Labs today.

What Are Sailing Schedules & How Can Logistics Chatbots Keep Customers & Employees Always Up to Date?

For anyone involved in logistics, managing multi-modal shipping can be overwhelming, with navigating sailing schedules and those using different methods to transport their goods. Shippers can use customer service chatbots to keep their consumers up to date while staying informed with regard to shipment status. Real-time visibility provides status updates for freight forwarders and shippers as last-minute changes can cause disruptions for importers and exporters. Using outdated methods to transport overseas can cause hiccups like creating inaccurate sailing schedules. Chatbots leverage data sourcing from emails and other documents when providing updates that inform all stakeholders. Chatbots are quickly becoming extremely powerful tools allowing more proactive management of sailing schedules. 

The Challenges of Tracking Sailing Schedules

Traditional methods of tracking sailing schedules are outdated and frequently present new challenges. Without the right centralized data system, last-minute changes, delays, or other issues begin a ripple effect that reaches each level of transportation for shippers. As explained by MoreThanShipping.com, missing crucial cutoff times also affects everyone if scheduling is thrown off. Issues or delays in ocean freight will compromise efficiency, reliability and hinders faster shipping

Logistics Chatbots Leverage All Data Sources, Including Emails, to Keep Everyone in the Loop

One perk of utilizing a chatbot is that it leverages all of the data sources from emails to daily documentation for the purpose of keeping everyone in the loop. By doing so, schedules can be made available for everyone. In addition to ocean freight benefiting from this service, freight can be offloaded and ready for the next phase of transport immediately once the ship docks in port. This leaves little to no room for error and keeps the supply chain flowing with no hiccups or delays resulting in excess costs. It also helps transform transportation and automate logistics processes.

Added Benefits of ChatBots to Manage Sailing Schedules and Share Updates

Managing sailing schedules is mundane, tedious, and time-consuming. That time can and should be spent on more important tasks that drive company growth. Additional benefits of using chatbots to manage sailing schedules include:

 

  • Automate emails and reduce time spent trying to sift through them. Downloading emails to a shared platform will reduce the amount of time spent looking through them to see what pertinent information is being shared. This time could be spent on other work that does not involve clerical hassle. 
  • Create a solution to outdated software that causes errors through the data. Paperwork errors frequently cause shipping delays. These prove to be costly in the short and long term. Upgrading software for sailing schedules will be the best option for shippers to eliminate such errors. 
  • Upload documents automatically and reduce back-office error and backlog. Access to documents does not have to be an issue. Many documents can be uploaded automatically and shared in real-time, accommodating everyone who needs access. 
  • Instant visibility and more organized scheduling for ocean freight. Providing instant visibility creates a more transparent experience and increases insight for shipments. Organized scheduling begins with effective, timely communication… and chatbots perform this function. 

 

Share Sailing Schedule Information Seamlessly With Chatbots That Can Make a Meaningful Difference

Integrating chatbots can minimize risks and make all the difference in that final mile. Keeping sailing schedules organized to help prevent costly delays or holds is an important feature of this software. Streamline the process by automating those time-consuming and mundane tasks of clerical work and keep everyone in the loop. Creating that instantaneous visibility with software bots empowers every level of the supply chain to work in harmony and prevents backlogs created by delays. Do not lose one more customer to disorganized sailing schedules. And don’t forget to book a demo with RPA Labs today.

Track and Trace Technology Automation & Customer Alerts: Using Chatbots to Improve Service & Shipment Visibility

In the supply chain industry today, track and trace technology refers to the ability to quickly access and distribute information about any package’s logistics and shipping history — including those with delivery still in progress and those already delivered. Track and trace processes are often challenging for some transportation service providers that struggle to adjust to the market changes as e-commerce and digital shopping trends continue to grow exponentially. Track and trace technology with automated status monitoring and AI-based chatbots can make the entire process easier for logistics managers and customers alike. Starting with proper budgeting for automation and solid onboarding and unitization, this technology opens doors for future growth and advancement. 

Traditional Pitfalls in Shipment Tracking and Communication

While modern advances have changed the way track and trace technology applies to the supply chain network, there are some pitfalls that outdated tracking and communications methods present:

  • General lack of data compatibility within disparate systems and platforms. 
  • Supply chain visibility issues and significant gaps in end-to-end transparency.
  • Decreased efficiency within the supply chain logistics and transportation systems.
  • Increasingly inaccurate supply and demand predictions and inadequate budgeting plans.
  • Sharp rise in manual input errors and human errors with processing and record-keeping.
  • Lack of access to real-time data and up-to-date tracking status information.
  • Delayed choices and poor decision-making for disruptions and exceptions. 
  • Poor management and tracking of shipments on a local and global level.

These issues with traditional monitoring and communication methods can improve significantly and, in many cases, be eliminated almost entirely with automated track and track technology. 

The Rising Need for Track and Trace Technology Automation and How Chatbots Keep Customers in the Loop

Track and trace technology systems prove to be a significant game-changer in the modern supply chain and transportation industry. Utilizing chatbots and automated communication platforms makes it quick and easy to meet customers where they are and give them the information they need when they need it most. According to Forbes,  customers switching companies because of poor customer service is estimated to cost U.S. businesses more than $1.6 trillion annually. 

The same report found that a loyal customer to a brand or company is up to five times more likely to do business with them again and four times more likely to recommend the company to a friend or family member. There should be no doubt that customer satisfaction remains critical for supply chain growth. Automated technology and AI-based chatbots are giving companies the tools necessary to keep customers in the loop at all times thanks to hardware and software innovations.

Tips to Track Shipments in Real-Time With Automated Status Updates and Pre-Programmed Chat Bot Services

While the use of chatbots is not a new concept to many online service platforms and businesses, the level of logistics automation that is available today is revolutionizing the industry.  Among the latest trends in digital marketing is the growing popularity of pre-programmed and robotic processing automation. This includes chatbots that can quickly and easily integrate with any platform and management system. This advanced track and trace technology is designed to automate repetitive tasks, handle basic information search and distribution, and streamline communication lines within the supply chain. 

They also help enhance customers’ experience tremendously by giving them what they want and need: real-time access to updates and information about shipments and services. Automated systems and chatbot services can provide all of this and more to ensure customers will always know where their shipment is and when it will arrive.

Provide the Best Customer Service by Implementing Chatbots to Improve Service Shipment Visibility From Start to Finish

Tracking and tracing shipments requires collecting, analyzing, and distributing data regarding location, transportation modes, transit speed, geological locations, weather and infrastructure delays, and anything else that can hinder or disrupt on-time delivery. These innovative processes are often a challenge within today’s supply chains due to the outdated systems still in use and the sheer volume of items being handled, shipped, tracked, and delivered daily. Embracing the innovation and power of track and trace technology, including chatbots and automated system platforms, can significantly improve shipment visibility and improve freight forwarder services from start to finish. Connect with RPA Labs to get started.