Tag Archives: freight challenges

A Smarter Freight Analytics – Combat COVID-19 Logistics Problem

There is a way to get ahead and be at the forefront of the freight forwarding and logistics industry amid the COVID-19 chaos. This pandemic isn’t just attacking the health and financial costs but more so, the logistics sector.

The sudden drops in the supply and demand of goods affect not just many businesses but a lot of individual consumers too worldwide. There clearly is a logistics problem that calls for a solid contingency plan for every business involved in the shipping and freight forwarding industry.

The call for a data-driven technology is more resonant especially at this chaotic time. There is a great need for increased visibility, rapid responsiveness, and strategic connection to roll out an intelligent and efficient way to move your cargo or goods internationally.

Yes, Zip Logistics is all out to provide a more digitally enabled, flexible, and agile freight services despite the global lockdowns and freight restrictions. The global supply chains may be in turmoil but there is no way to stop the connections and networks that move economies.

Smart freight analytics with the integration of cloud-based apps and machine learning or the Internet of Things (IoT) will help revolutionize and speed up the movements of in-demand goods across the world with the use of alternative routes or transit nodes.

Getting Around the Logistics Problems  Surrounding COVID-19 Pandemic

Tech-enabled freight is the way to go in this turbulent time. Tapping into alternative and independent organizations, truckers, and liners is an excellent way to get around the logistics problems.

There is a great demand for consumables at this time such as canned goods, bottled water, alcohol, baby wipes, tissue rolls, and the like. Now, the movement would seem to be directly from the manufactures to retailers using available transportation routes.

COVID-19 might have been a problem for freight and logistics at the onset because of its global impact and disruptive effect but the number of companies and consumers demanding of these basic items are just growing immensely especially in the next weeks and months. It’s clearly a good signal for freight forwarders, shippers, manufactures, retailers, and all businesses worldwide.

One example is the increasing demand and need for medical supplies (apart from the basic goods or commodities) such as ventilators, masks, testing kits, thermometers, surgical gowns, and gloves, as well as other medical equipment.

In this light, medical supply companies, hospitals, government agencies, and retailers or businesses would be in contact with freight forwarders and shipping companies to move these medical supplies right away.

Enabling Freight Analytics, Machine Learning, and IoT Applications

The expansion of IoT applications creates and provides value to our customers. Innovations in logistics improve warehouse capacity, asset maintenance, real-time tracking of shipments, as well as rapid and efficient delivery.  

With the enabling of analytics and connected devices, different industries and companies are able to fully enjoy flexibility and visibility in all business aspects – from management, finance, and day-to-day operations.

This advancement in freight would allow better user experience, optimized customer engagement, speedy movement of goods or products, and the ability to cope with transport and technical challenges in the logistics sector.

The goal here is always to know the pain points and problems of customers and to provide applications and solutions to these problems. Addressing these pain points puts your business into a strategic position.

Adding and creating value to customers and businesses is an intricate and symbiotic interconnection of data analytics, communication, marketing, transportation, logistics, and management of the movement of cargo or materials locally and internationally.

A smarter and intuitive freight analytics tool will help you know how to play your cards right and where to position yourself in the ecosystem. The value of the IoT in the freight forwarding industry is completely realized when customers see the difference in how you provide services amid competition and today’s economic and healthcare challenges.

There is a high degree of risk but the demand curve shows that freight forwarding and shipping is a frontliner in this arena. IoT will help provide the accuracy, security, traceability, and timeliness that customers and companies would expect from freight services.

There is definitely a heightened demand to locate and move medical supplies and immediate or basic goods that are needed to combat the spread of COVID-19. A lot of major companies such as Apple, SpaceX, and Tesla are also in the works with manufacturing or sourcing medical supplies such as surgical N95 masks, disinfectants, and ventilators that are needed in the United States and other parts of the world.

Zip Logistics Provides Add-On VALUE to Client Base

This emerging and immediate need for sourcing and moving these medical supplies promote the increased need or demand for a sustainable, efficient, and analytics-driven freight forwarding company such as Zip Logistics. Making a technological system work would require a total understanding of the dynamics that happen in the freight and logistics industry.

Enabling fewer transitions and optimized transit nodes will help manage the smooth and fast flow of goods. This provides and creates new value that customers and companies need in today’s real-time challenges.

The meshed networks and technologies offer a much better option for supply chains. This aims to eliminate bottlenecks in communication with a single data system. This allows multiple companies to gather and share information that will ease traffic and allow speedy turnover of cargo or goods.

In addition, new challenges also help create new business models or expand revenue streams. This is what makes you stand out amid the competition. Optimized and customized shipping creates premium packages or pricing while also providing unique and unparalleled value for your client base.  

Key Challenges Faced By The Freight Forwarding and Logistics Industry Today

There’s bound to be a curveball somewhere when it comes to how Zip Logistics handles freight forwarding and logistics.

We become disruptive in the sense that we ease into a world that constantly takes on different forms. Just like any other industry, the freight forwarding industry has its share of challenges and trends that create that air of uncertainty to the economy.

Apart from the fact that the volatile nature of the global economy affects the freight forwarding and logistics industry, there are other internal and external challenges and processes that impact both small- and large-scale freight forwarding companies.

Supply Chain, Trade, and Technology Wars

One factor is how much influence the e-commerce sector has today. Technology has made people communicate and even do business in the quickest, convenient and innovative ways.

Every business would require shipping or delivery of raw materials, products, and goods in different places. There is a raging war of machines or technology that clearly depicts how logistics can clearly win you more leads and sales or could contribute to your loss in the supply chain wars.

Freight forwarding and logistics are now facing a market or audience that is fundamentally shopping-crazed. Well, you couldn’t really blame customers because e-commerce has made shopping and business transactions a walk in the park.

Logistics helps take care of the laborious part like delivery or cargo shipping, so you can easily focus on optimizing your business or shop ‘til you drop; so-to-speak. And that is just a part of how freight forwarding and logistics work by the way.

Up Against More Competition

Freight forwarding companies are widely fragmented. It’s a dog-eat-dog kind of competitive arena because, in order to stand out, the freight forwarder must bring to the table the best prices and services when pitted with other companies.  

The international trade and supply chains are complex as it is. Now, freight forwarders must be equipped both in data and physical technology to cope with upcoming trends and disruptions in the industry.

Even Amazon and Alibaba have joined the freight forwarding arena by having their own distribution systems. This could pose both a threat and an opportunity for many freight forwarders to step it up and add more value to their client processes.

Disintermediation

Freight forwarders are basically intermediaries in between supply systems or the freight carriers and shippers. Disintermediation works on getting the middlemen out of the picture.

However, freight forwarding companies have become very proactive using digital and cloud-based technologies to enhance data management and automate their processes which include online booking, online reporting tools, freight quotations, as well as track-and-trace capabilities. This facilitates speedy communication and also enhances flexibility and transparency in transactions.

These attempts to getting rid of the middlemen or freight forwarders have only made these companies more agile and competitive than ever. This has raised the bar for everyone that benefits the entire trade industry.

Even small startups can now have the entire world as a target market for a minimal cost because of freight forwarding services that offer a more personalized and customer-centric approach.

Increase in Forwarding Costs

The international trading currency would be usually in the US dollar which is very volatile. This affects both freight forwarding costs as well as market prices which impacts customers the most.

Rising oil prices in the international market also directly influence freight forwarding costs which hits freight forwarders the most.

In addition, service charges or fees also vary from point to point which is also carried over by freight forwarders. Transport infrastructures too are not always ideal which could result in increased maintenance costs.

The Main Challenge – Price Tag Vs. User Experience

Many people or businesses see freight forwarders as mainly the “delivery company” which puts more emphasis on the price tag rather on the quality of services. This is referred to as commoditization.

So, this makes it harder or challenging for freight forwarders to win based on user experience when shipping companies would win by price.

The main challenge of many freight forwarders today is clearly how to put the spotlight on “user experience” and personalized services especially in a market that is always on the lookout for cheaper and quicker deliveries.

Providing integrated, value-added, data-driven, technology-backed, and customized services with cheap pricing allow Zip Logistics to remain competitive in this game.