Trends in Digital Freight Forwarding

The ocean freight forwarding industry is expanding at a CAGR of 7.4% through 2025, reports MarketWatch. Its value in 2018 was U.S. $99.8 billion, and it will swell to U.S. $164.5 billion by 2025. Average market size and growth is even more significant considering the volume of shippers exploring land and air freight forwarding, but accurate statistics for a combined value are unavailable. The trends in digital freight forwarding allude to a future where real growth could exceed projections. Shippers looking to reduce freight spend should know the top trends in digital freight forwarding and how they will impact productivity and efficiency.

The Number of Digital Freight Forwarding Companies Will Increase

The rise of the Internet offered big promises to small companies. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) could finally take advantage of tools and resources comparable to those used by major retailers without the steep investment costs. The average price further declined as cloud-based computing grew in popularity and capability. Therefore, of the trends in digital freight forwarding we’ll address in this post, the nature of digitalisation begets more forwarders saying they are digital freight forwarders. Digital begets more digital “claims.” Still, be suspicious and vet out your service providers.

Shippers Will See More Disingenuous Freight Forwarders Enter the Market

The use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) payment models did level the playing field for companies looking to tap into the value of new, digital services. Unfortunately, some new freight forwarding companies appeared with other intentions, offering freight forwarding services at a lower price and with fewer benefits. Now that might sound like the typical goal of freight forwarding, but the companies in reference only offer a small selection of resources and fail to ensure benefits to shippers. Yes, disingenuous freight forwarders are entering the market, and it is up to each shipper to realise that when a forwarder promises unrealistic expectations, they are likely too good to be true. Ultimately, if the forwarder sounds like it would be an easy switch, although it may be true, do your research online; always review the company’s history and third-party sites before making a selection.

Web-Based Platforms Will Become Standard

Digital freight forwarding can also be broken into two forms—terminal-based freight forwarding and web-based platforms. Terminal-based systems offer the benefits of digital freight forwarding, but they come at a cost. Your company must maintain your equipment, install updates when necessary, and suffer setbacks from limited remote access.

In turn, web-based platforms, one of the most prevalent trends in digital freight forwarding, eliminate these concerns, retaining the whole platform within the cloud. Users can access the platforms from any location with internet connectivity, and since the platform is held off-premises, physical risks to your business do not necessarily contribute to cybersecurity risks.

Digital freight forwarding will undergo another transformation this year: cybersecurity. Of all the trends in digital freight forwarding, cybersecurity is what should be a top of mind trend for all companies. Many more of those professionals in the c-suite are now looking to increase their cybersecurity measures and ensure compliance with new laws. In fact, following the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), notes World Maritime News, digital platform security will take a more significant role in the freight forwarder selection and implementation process. Failure to do so could result in additional fines and penalties assessed from failure to comply.

Blockchain Will Make Its Global, Public Debut

Blockchain is not a new technology, but the use of public, open-based platforms is. Unlike the significant blockchain consortiums of last year, public blockchain solves the crises of data ownership and centralised controls. By definition, blockchain’s value lies in decentralisation and shared data. Thus, more digital freight forwarders will look to leverage public blockchains to increase traceability and tracking as well.

The trends in digital freight forwarding indicate the industry is moving forward toward digital transformation and greater efficiency. More importantly, the role of technology and connected systems will continue to expand as companies realise the potential of faster, more responsive solutions, notes Transport Advancement. The automation of processes will give shippers more insight and accountability into their use of freight forwarders. Find out how your organization can put the power of a digital freight forwarder to work by visiting Shypple online and requesting a demo.

Subscribe to our blog updates