Tag Archives: freight forwarding

global supply chains

How To Strengthen Your Supply Chain Amid The Pandemic

Freight forwarders are moving critical health and medical supplies in this pandemic. This poses a challenge to the safety and robustness of supply chains in America and around the world. The situation now has flipped dramatically as freight volumes go up and the markets are making tremors.

 It has been pretty unstable – still going through the up and down motion – as we are facing uncertain times with this pandemic still on but our strategy is to keep freight moving.

This is how Zip Logistics acts when we sense troubled waters.  We don’t crumble or head for the exit. We act on it! We integrate flexibility in shipping goods, implement advanced technologies, and develop or extend the good working relationships with more suppliers.

Communicate and Act On It!

Sound processes don’t simmer overnight. You must be able to make quick decisions and act on it right away. In this time of uncertainty, the best way to cope and survive is to communicate and to act quickly.

Shipping should always be speedy and up-to-date. An emergency action plan should always be in place to hasten delivery in this time of crisis. This helps ensure the safety of your staff, secure assets, and manage business continuity.

An Emergency Action Plan should include the following:

  • Work-from-home setup for employees
  • Solid platform for communication in place
  • Business compliance in line with government directives
  • Assessment of supply chain risks
  • Plan on response protocols for emergency case scenarios
  • Outline of risk management policy

Strengthen and Expand Networks

To ensure the stability of a supply chain, you must expand your network and strengthen existing ones. Building new relationships is crucial to get the business moving.

Negotiate with new suppliers and analyze the value of each one. Aim for a mutually-beneficial relationship.

It’s not effective to cut costs at this point. You cannot lower your standards of efficiency by cutting on suppliers or staff members. The only way to bolster supply chains is by keeping them in a solid lineup.

You can’t yank the chain and expect excellent results – especially at this pandemic. These people are the ones who would work to find solutions and help manage threats to your supply chain.

The more options you have in your network, the better your chances of surviving and continuing operations despite market dips.

Adopt New Technologies

You can make your supply chain resilient and secure by adopting advanced technologies that can help provide real-time tracking updates, enhance security, and streamline your processes.

Human errors can be minimized when you are able to automate your technology and track each node. Some of these business applications or technologies worth adopting are artificial intelligence (AI), integrated circuits, near-field communication (NFC), and radio frequency identification (RFID).

These technologies are easy to implement, scalable, and easy on the budget.

Redundancy is a Must!

There should always be an extra layer or excess in your supply chains across locations. Having reserves help beef up business efficiency and act as a leverage to keep daily operations running on clockwork.

There should be a strategy in place to deliver products having fewer disruptions and extra transport options. Your nodes should be redundant and dispatched in different locations.

Create a Shortcut

You have a way to cut corners in this business and become more effective. One way to ensure business continuity is by sourcing from nearby suppliers.

This enables your business to respond right away without adding up to your customer’s chaos and worries.

With the right technology in place, your supply chain can be flexible and reliable. You then become more proactive (and less reactive) as well as able to provide quick solutions to customers this way.

customer service

The Value Of Excellent Customer Service in Freight Forwarders – What Clients Look For

If you run a service-oriented company, then customer service certainly highlights your day-to-day operations.

As a freight forwarder, customer service is not just basic but a key element to attracting potential customers and retaining a loyal and engaged audience.

At Zip Logistics, we take customer service at heart. It’s not just about responsiveness to your queries but understanding and knowing exactly how we can serve your needs the best way possible.

Our customer service representatives are available at certain business hours to ensure that your queries are addressed immediately even with the pressing COVID-19 situation.

Customer Service in the Front Lines of the Business

It’s this time of uncertainty that we feel we are more able to help people and businesses thrive, move packages, and discover the opportunities amid the economic and health crisis happening globally.

Yes, it’s scary but we can’t and won’t allow it to paralyze our services. This is how we battle COVID-19 head-on.

Logistics is truly an important component that supports global businesses and supply chains. Communication is very crucial at this point in the form of customer service to ensure smooth logistic operations.

Responsiveness and Quick Communications

People trust companies because of how efficiently and quickly they are able to communicate and address certain issues or inquiries on services.

You can’t afford to trust someone that can’t communicate with you when you need it the most. It’s a very deep-rooted gut feel that puts trust and communication aligned and pushes the sales process to the next level.

For instance, updating clients regarding the status of delivery or logistics would speak volumes of how precise your process is and how transparency is valued from beginning to end.

Letting customers know of certain delays is a plus point because it allows your clients to make adjustments in their schedules. It’s good business ethics or practice to be fully invested in informing your clients of shipping status.

Speed is an Edge

We can’t be complacent. When we speak of speed, this does not just point to how quickly the packages or goods are delivered but also on your rate of responsiveness to customer inquiries or complaints.

Being available and reachable at certain hours to provide the information they need will allow your customers to trust the process.

Consistency is Key

This adage is certainly popular because it’s a fact that consistency is about “showing up” in a timely or predictable manner.

If your customers feel gaps along the way or holes in your services then this could signal a red flag for them. Being consistent is also a matter of establishing reliability and trust in your business relationship.

Integrity

This is a gem in the industry. Not every freight forwarder carries the flag or honesty or integrity. You need to be able to communicate all information necessary and be transparent with the process and operations.

You have to set expectations and be able to meet all points. Accuracy and consistency in relaying information and processing of data with confidentiality in place increase your trust score with clients.

Continuous Learning and Training for Your Staff

Manpower is still a company’s greatest resource – nothing beats a dedicated worker. Having a reliable and trustworthy staff is an asset to a company.

You can buy skills on any given day but an employees’ integrity and dedication or love for the company and his or her job is simply priceless. I bet you can’t buy that from any store.

Training your staff to enhance competitiveness and skills at different levels will help you deliver top-notch services plus also improve how you handle customer queries and complaints.

In this time wherein technology drives every curve, your employees should be able to keep up to the shifts and changes in processes or solutions.

This will help you deliver top-tiered services to your clients. Having specialists or trainers in certain technologies or skill sets will help you improve productivity at all levels.

Manage Customer Touchpoints

Increasing touchpoints with your customers is a great way to enhance and grow customer confidence in your company. However, too many touchpoints could be overwhelming and even disappointing.

You need to be able to control the emails that you sent to customers. They won’t have to read your internal communications or having different emails from a number of customer service representations.

Having a streamlined email messaging system for both internal and external communications helps keep emails or communications with your customers clutter-free. Having an automatic routing of messages help to keep your communications organized and relevant at all times.

Use Multiple Communication Channels

Customers would feel more confident in your transactions if you are accessible or reachable on multiple communication channels.

You can have a business SMS service installed for sending timely updates and also make use of social media communications on Facebook and Twitter.

Having a live chat on your site apart from the email and phone numbers would allow your customers to reach you at the best channel possible.

Make Your Customer Service Amazing!

The freight forwarding industry is a very vague or technical landscape. A lot of customers feel like they are in the dark when it comes to the process that happens when it comes to shipping goods from one location to the next.

Your customer service is the most palpable and visible aspect of your business – make that extra special, personal, and memorable. At this point, information relay and transparency are very important to fully provide a personalized form of customer service.

Focus on the Delivery

You can’t just focus on customer service and fail miserably with shipping or delivery. Ensuring that delivery becomes as pain-free and speedy as possible is the best way to cement your company’s reputation to your customers.

The final stretch is really important because it showcases your company’s competency and performance levels. It’s walking the talk.

Personalize Your Approach

Having a real person to provide you feedback gives customers that peace of mind and confidence in the shipping process. It’s an AI world but communication to a real person is still unmatched.

Your process need not be perfect but it has to be transparent and honest. You have to provide feedback and report updates in a timely manner.  

Retaining clients is just one part of the deal. Providing your customers high and reliable levels of communication is what seals any transaction.

Problems in freight logistics are inevitable and customers don’t want people who fake it. Honesty and transparency are the keys to gaining the confidence and trust of clients.

Customer Service is All About Providing VALUE

It’s the customer service representatives that are on the frontlines of the business. It is what puts a human face into a brand name.

Customers would want to feel they are valued and their issues are heard. Providing them the right information and responding to their queries the quickest possible time gives you that edge in the logistics game.

Organizations are a far cry from being perfect but an amazing customer service team that delivers personalized and reliable communications will keep you ahead of the freight forwarding industry on any given day.

freight forwarder traits

Top 6 Qualities To Look For In A Freight Forwarder

Decisions can shape your now and future. There are many options when it comes to freight forwarding companies especially now that shipping fuels global supply chains. Needless to say, there isn’t a shortage of freight forwarders for your local and international shipping needs.

You can’t just settle with anything available on the racks – you have to decide and partner up with a freight forwarder that matches your shipping goals.

So, it’s vital now more than ever to be able to pick the best freight forwarder that can take your business or personal shipping needs to the next level. With how e-commerce is soaring, your business largely depends on this.

You can’t deter success with the wrong choice of freight forwarders. There are qualities or traits that you would need to watch out for when looking for the perfect freight forwarder to get your business moving like clockwork.

High Level of Organization

You cannot afford lapses or inconsistencies in the logistics management and shipping process. Look for a freight forwarder that is highly dedicated and organized in day-to-day operations and documentation.

Following standard operating protocols is important to keep freight or shipping processes streamlined and liquid.

Having an organized freight forwarder to back you up will help you eliminate unnecessary costs for wrong deliveries or delays and other errors in processing which can take up so much of your time and resources.

Experienced and Reliable Freight and Logistics Solutions

Professional freight forwarders are highly accredited, professional, and experienced in the field. This means you are dealing with experts with superior industry knowledge and skills to handle freight or shipping for your business.

You won’t have to deal with guesswork because freight specialists can get everything rolled out for you. You have to set the bar higher for freight and get the most of their services to manage warehousing, customs, insurance, and delivery.

Streamlined Handling, Storage, Packaging, and Shipping Process

It has to be a total package! Look for a freight forwarding company that can provide your business top-notch logistics solutions. Your freight forwarder should match your shipping needs and requirements.

When shopping around for a freight forwarder, be mindful of the little details and ask specifically about the range of services they offer clients. Freight forwarding services would cover the following:

  • Inventory Management
  • Packing and Storage
  • Freight Consolidation
  • Documentation (Import and Export)
  • Real-time Tracking of Transportation or Shipping
  • Negotiations in line with Freight Charges
  • Customs Clearance
  • Setting Up Booking for Cargo Space

A good freight forwarder would look specifically into your budget and requirement before booking you with the appropriate freight shipping mode – inland freight/trucking, air freight, or sea freight.

It is very important that a freight forwarder knows how to manage different types of products or goods for shipping and ensure that these are safely stored and packaged to avoid losses or damages.

Look For Competitive Rates

Do not always jump into the cheapest offer around – because you might always get what you pay for.  There are a number of freight forwarding companies that you can get at cheaper rates but could have hidden fees.

Don’t get too excited when you are offered low rates because you might actually be risking the quality and reliability of your shipments in the effort to save a couple of bucks. It might not be worth it after all.

The best way to create that win-win arrangement is to look for a freight forwarder that has reasonable rates in combination with excellent freight and logistics services.

You have to get a good balance of both and also ask around for bonuses or discounts that you can take advantage of when dealing with a freight forwarder.

Dynamic and Personalized Customer Service

Communication is a critical component of getting a partnership started with a freight forwarder. Are they able to respond effectively to the little details or tough questions you might have?

Having a personalized customer service speak volumes of how a freight forwarder values their customers. This is one of the important considerations to focus on when trying to decide on the right freight forwarder for you.

Extensive Network

A strong and reliable network is very important for freight forwarders. Having an extensive and robust network helps provide a seamless and affordable shipping experience for you and your buyers.

Freight forwarders that have a vast and solid network help with your international shipping needs because they can provide you the best rates, flexibility, speed, and transparency of services with the right technology in place.

The best freight forwarder should be equipped with the right people, system, and technology to keep a smooth transportation or shipping flow of goods to suit your local and international delivery needs.

You have to partner up with a freight company that is a forward-thinker and values people or customer experience on top of everything else.

Zip logistics has an intuitive and intelligent system in place to provide you smart and innovative freight forwarding solutions that will help you to quickly pivot your business so you get to be on top of every client’s list.

e-commerce

The Merger Of Freight And Ecommerce – Stepping Up The Automation and Digitization Game

Whether you have been in the online business for a long time or still in the nesting phase, you would need a good freight forwarding company or shipping solution to ensure e-commerce business success.

Yes, partnering up with the best freight forwarder is actually cements your way to raking in a 7-figure profit for starters.

Ecommerce has taken over the entire digital universe with roaring success. Albeit, that is how you think big in the business. It’s getting fixated on the success that gets you through the challenges and pains of growing a brand over the internet.

Online retailers are now the new breed of entrepreneurs who are expanding their reach and gaining momentum in different industries. Getting a digitized freight forwarder that can scale your business operations to include seamless international shipping is the way to go.

Transforming E-commerce with Automated Freight Solutions

Aside from the advanced tools and discounts given for purchases, it’s practically convenience and speedy delivery that tops it all off.

While this may look granular in impact, enhancing the purchase or customer experience and engagement has pushed e-commerce sales for the past years.

It’s basically freight automation and integration of new technologies in the supply chain that has made the breakthrough possible.

However, not every freight company is willing to take on new frontiers and take risks with automation. In fact, going out of your comfort zone could send chills which are why some freight forwarders just completely shut the idea off and focus on manual labor for operations.

AI-based solutions and robotics may be too intimidating to implement at some point that you just dismiss it entirely. Well, not for Zip Logistics. We know that modern e-commerce requires globally intuitive and advance e-commerce solutions.

You basically can’t recycle the freight forwarding strategies from the 1800s and expect stunning results. Generally, the freight forwarding process remains the same however it has dramatically transformed over the years.

It’s a radical evolution process in the effort to meet the increasing demands of e-commerce retailers and customers today.

Developing automated solutions to freight forwarding operations is a tall order but it has definitely optimized the efficiency and reduced costs for the freight forwarding industry.

E-commerce and Freight Partner Up!

International e-commerce is soaring as of press time. Digitization and partnership with freight forwarding companies have made this transition possible. This has been the new norm of normal for freight.

There’s a hissing competitive advantage that boils down to digital innovations in the freight forwarding industry. Integrating enhanced data security, technological mapping, real-time tracking of cargo or packages, and optimized fulfillment of deliveries is what makes this digitization jump worth it.

The e-commerce market is expanding and with the anchorage of digitization, freight forwarding companies partnering up with digital entrepreneurs (big and small) can be mutually befitting in order to scale businesses.

Advantages of the Tie-Up of Freight and E-commerce

It seems that freight forwarding companies now have the vantage point in terms of power. There is now a shift wherein many e-commerce companies are looking to partner up with freight forwarders who can provide the best and top-tier solutions for international shipping.

Increased Levels of Accuracy and Efficiency in Order Fulfillment

It’s not true that automation will ultimately end up replacing people with Artificial Intelligence or robotics.

While it’s supposed to take over the mundane or repetitive tasks, this was not meant to replace the intelligence, responsiveness, and rational judgment of humans.

 This is supposed to create a collaborative environment wherein robots can work efficiently with humans in order to achieve excellent and highly accurate results in terms of order fulfillment.

Decreases Operational Costs

Robots are able to perform at its peak levels 24/7 which adds up to the enhanced productivity levels and also ensures that orders are consolidated and shipped on time.

The integration of AI helps in logistics and production which increases profitability and savings in the long run. This minimizes downtime and helps in keeping up with the increasing demands of the global supply chain.

Supports the Omnichannel Approach of E-commerce

A multichannel or omnichannel approach is now the best route to reach more consumers and also increase the accessibility and convenience in the ordering, processing, and delivery of orders via mobile or any other platform or mediums possible.

This provides customers more options in order which increase sales and profit margin. There is a great potential in the omnichannel route as it provides flexibility, efficiency, and speed in the shipping and distribution process to ensure an awesome shopping experience for your customers worldwide.

Zip Logistics Boils Down to RESULTS!

Freight forwarders that are yet to establish their brands in the industry can now take advantage of having a digital presence which is not as expensive as a traditional advertisement or marketing campaign but is proven to yield cost-effective results.

Well, we are all about RESULTS – nothing in between. With digitization, small players in freight can now strategize in equal footing with the big players.

Zip Logistics are enabling seamless and affordable delivery of products right at your customer’s doorstep.

While upgrades can be expensive it’s actually a necessary evil of sorts because you have to make a worthy investment to meet customer expectations and demands while increasing visibility, minimizing losses, and beefing up efficiency levels.

freight forwarding

Decoding The Inefficiencies In The Freight Forwarding Industry – What’s Slowing You Down?

The global supply chain is always in control. Its efficiency is ultimately evaluated when it comes to meeting customer expectations. In a realistic sense, it’s not just about being at par with the standards but more of beating the status quo.

The Balancing Act – Profit and Meeting Customer Expectations

Maintaining a steady gait between costs and that of customer service is not an easy feat especially when there is a tough competition in the market when it comes to offering free shipping and also same-day deliveries.  

Yes, a large population of consumers today demands speedy delivery plus free shipping which could get you frantically out of business without the right strategy in place. It seems that they don’t add up in the math of profit.

Basically, there could be a trade-off in the effort to meet commitment times or speedy delivery while keeping the costs at a bare minimum. So, the logical option right here is to look internally for reducing operational costs.

It’s easy to see that there is an ongoing battle for efficiency in the freight forwarding industry. It’s a competitive arena that works really to the advantage of both freight forwarders and clients.

It’s all about getting to a certain barometer of efficiency level that fulfills the expectations and needs of your target clientele. You never run out of business (especially with the health and economic turmoil going on).

How Do We Diagnose Inefficiencies in Freight?

These inefficiencies in supply chains are driven mainly by market trends. This is what basically shapes the logistics and transport sector since time immemorial. Changes or any disruptions at the spur of the moment can be scary and exciting at the same time.

However, it is wise to note that any change or deviations in the industry revitalize the freight forwarding system in a multitude of ways.

For instance, going digital or embracing how digitalization can transform your company can practically automate everything – increase profit, improve products and services, as well as enhance customer interaction and engagement.

Conducting an Internal Assessment or Diagnosis

Well, looking inward or introspection is a good start. This is what we refer to as doing an internal diagnosis in order to determine and evaluate the laxity or inefficiency in a system. Looking into inefficiency in your network will allow you to diagnose operational defects in shipping

The common problem with a hefty shipping system or process is that there is a wide margin of error – largely pointing to human errors. This is inevitable with people working in your network of course.

So, you would have to check on your process and all the steps – from customer service, packaging, labeling, handling, and transport. You would have to make sure that you are working on a seamless interface.

Somehow, you would have to admit that these errors are in your system. You should create and solidify a standardized process that allows a company to minimize human errors – which is a constant variable in any organization.

Embrace Technology and Automation

You could be all cozy with the traditional processes in freight and intimidated by new technologies but opening up to new methods can benefit your freight forwarding business. By doing so, you are able to improve on the quality and efficiency of services, costs, and provide optimized cargo flow and real-time transport information for your customers when and where they need it.

This, therefore, enhances your reliability score with your clients. Having up-to-date information ready will trigger a paradigm shift in the way you move packages or cargos.

Digitization is definitely the way to move up the corporate ladder especially when you are pitted with the goliaths in the industry. The good news is that digitization has leveled the playing field for all players. It’s everybody’s ball game for sure.

Automating your logistics and freight system adds more to your arsenal of tools that can improve your scalability and maximize efficiency in operations. In this way, you decrease errors and also improve overall customer satisfaction.

Looking Into Scheduling Problems

As with everything else, time and timing is the key to freight success. This also goes with any industry. Even though disruptions (such as delays in flights or schedule problems) are a constant thing in the market and could actually cause losses in profit – there is a way to minimize the inventory lapses and costs while also improving reliability in terms of scheduling.

Many customers are looking for a freight forwarder that honors commitment when it comes to meeting schedules. Improving the reliability and speed of your flow times could be a tall order but this is doable with us right here at Zip Logistics. We maximize all resources so we can make deliveries happen right on schedule with very minimal to zero lapses.

Get Those Resources and Solutions Working for You

There is a heightened call now more than ever for solutions that can remedy the pressing problems of freight and logistics.

One should find that compatibility factor that lays out advanced models in terms of transportation, scheduling, and logistics wherein all resources and processes are well-coordinated in all levels.

Do take note that problems mainly circle on fleet and route or transportation management. It is important to implement advanced and real-world applications or solutions that can work as a gem for your business right away.

Complications are minimized with the right modeling of someone or an agency with the right angle or perspective of the matter.

How Improving Efficiency and Embracing Innovation Can Put You Ahead!

Innovation isn’t just a buzz word – it’s a game-changer in the industry. It is what modern supply chains are made of today. Improving your efficiency actually increases flexibility and customization in your freight forwarding business.

This impacts everyone – supply chains, economies, and your customers. It has become a smarter and more efficient system for everyone who has dipped into digitization. This is what digital logistics is all about.

You get to benefit from the following:

  • Enhanced control and decision-making
  • Efficient dynamics and collaboration
  • Improved responsiveness
  • Real-time access to data
  • Revitalized customer satisfaction and experience

Amid the pandemic, there is a great potential and huge shift in terms of profit and economic value along the way. Decoding what exactly is slowing your business down and getting to work on those pain points is how you essentially get ahead of the curve.

Everything today is data-driven. Zip Logistics realizes that and took the dive immediately so as to optimize freight and implement new technologies or a digitized platform that can reduce costs for our clients, optimize delivery and efficiency, as well as get you to counteract pandemics, realize opportunities, and get your business gears in full throttle.

digital freight forwarder

Are You Up For A Digital Transformation? A Freight Forwarder Makeover

People are either smitten by digital transformation or intimidated by it. Well, the first rule to success is to never fear failure.

Digital freight forwarders have become one of the most sought-after topics today because that digital makeover certainly spells the huge difference between just settling for that standard pie and grabbing more leverage in the industry.

If you have been around for so long, you would know that your edge in this digital age is your cunning agility and resilience to change. Digital trends call for digital makeovers. This is practically the reason why many freight forwarders invest heavily in digital transformation and technologies.

Some have become successful; others failed. However, for a business that seeks longevity in the industry, you would have to create a cultural change to bolster digital transformation.

You should know how it pays to get out of your comfort zone and challenge the status quo. In fact, you should actually be comfortable with the idea of failure to give more room for success.

Embracing digital transformation increases or enhances your delivery of value to your clients. It is imperative for any business or freight forwarders to transform into a digital business to better serve customers.

What Does Digital Transformation Mean for Your Business?

If you are into freight forwarding such as Zip Logistics, you would know that integrating and adapting digital technologies into different areas of your business is critical today if you want your business to thrive and be successful.

Freight forwarding tools can improve on areas such as providing real-time tracking and also instant quotes. With these advanced and digital tools, we are able to create new business models and processes to provide better products and services for our customers.

Stepping up your game means you have to transform your business into a digital platform. This is how you keep up and get ahead of your competition in the freight forwarding industry.

Getting Around the Challenges to Freight Digital Transformation

Every brand or company go through transformations to improve productivity and also to enhance visibility and efficiency in freight services. This is for the purpose of actually living up to the expectations of our customers.

Client connection is very important for any freight forwarding business. Digitizing our business speeds up and streamlined our processes. Challenges or hindrances to digital transformation are inevitable but these can be managed.

Challenging Resistance

There is always a degree of resistance (internal and external) to change. Humans are said to be creatures formed by habit. Well, this means you would often resist change or anything that requires you to go out of your comfort zone.

Sticking to old methods may be effective but you could be missing out on advanced tools and strategies that can actually move your business from just so-so to awesome! Daring to explore and to learn new tricks and tools of the trade is the best way to actually gain that edge in this digital universe.

Conflict of Interest

There might be some inefficiency in terms of communication or transparency in a company. If some department might be in conflict with the belief or a proposed change then this could pose some trouble in paradise.

However, as an organization, though conflicts arise, a common goal will keep your company’s eye on the goal. Transformations can be scary but for those who have the right mindset – fear is never an obstacle to success.

Seeing Threats as Opportunities

Collaborations or even new business opportunities would come in the shape of threats. However, working with startups can actually benefit your business in many ways. The flexibility and agility of these startups would actually help you gain pace.

Transforming into a digital freight forwarding business is easy when you get to work with startups that are daring and flexible in trying out new technologies and methods. It’s the diversity that can help you gain momentum to ride the wave of this digital trend.

Transforming digitally is a massive move. Digital change efforts must be evaluated in the lens of a portfolio view and not just a one-time project or undertaking. Digital transformation is necessary for a freight forwarding business to get ahead of the game.

These speedy transformers around could be intimidating but success isn’t just for the fastest. Implementing the technology just gets your feet on the door but it’s the key performance indicators and customer insights or experience that would matter overall.

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.  

How To Gain Competitive Edge In The Freight Forwarding and Logistics Industry

There is always competition in any industry or any kind of business. Well, some degree of competition is healthy. In fact, it becomes a driving force for businesses to innovate and bring something better to the table or double and triple than what the competition has to offer.

Competition would vary in range. There is always a close call to getting toppled in the game – so you can’t really sit back and just watch for things to happen. You always have to get in the game and think of ways to stand out. This goes true for the freight and shipping industry.

Providing VALUE – The Call to Perform and Outperform Competition

Even Forbes mentioned that the logistics and transport industry is under pressure to outperform each other as demands and expectations rise in terms of deliveries. In fact, the industry is said to be in the process of transformation.

It seems to be a golden era for the freight forwarding and logistics industry. Yes, there is a strong demand and also pressure to really perform and come up with astounding results. This is the part where the customers win and are the real meaning of being competitive for Zip Logistics.

The industry is seen to expand to fulfill the demand in the shipping and freight industry but the challenge here right now is how to keep up with the rising demand and how to come up with better offers than competition.

For the logistics and shipping businesses, we are opening up and becoming vulnerable to both opportunities and threats in the industry. You see, only those who are competitive enough can actually thrive in this business.

Today’s freight and shipping business isn’t just about the price tag anymore or who offers the lowest prices but to those who provide the most VALUE. It’s an evolving and dynamic economic landscape, in which the only ones who survive are companies that promote value in the global supply chain.

Enhanced Personalized Customer Service

It all boils down to customer experience. Do you fare well with competition when it comes to providing excellent customer services? Are you able to provide solutions to common pain points when it comes to freight budget or varied delivery requirements? Zip Logistics is able to fully optimize freight and shipping services while reducing costs to provide our clients with best services possible.

Inventory and Warehousing Efficiency

The user experience is what creates value to our clients. We have everything streamlined from order fulfillment, inventory and warehouse, to delivery – we have the distribution and logistics channels that provide you the leverage you need. It’s our versatility that will allow you to move your business in a predictable pattern.  

Advanced Technology for Real-Time Tracking and Communication

Visibility in tracking and shipping is a critical requirement in meeting client expectations. A supply chain is a network of different businesses that must work in sync to function optimally. It is crucial to get robust advanced technology working to clear disruptions and track every cargo or shipping in real-time.

Investing in technology helps you cope with the demand and also the dramatic changes happening in the logistics sectors. Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence or AI, and Internet of Things or IoT are bound to change the lens of freight and shipping which could become an advantage especially for the early adopters of these technologies of the future.

Network Scalability

Data collection can be challenging or difficult with business expanding territories. A scalable solution that works in an ever-changing environment is now a critical component of staying in the game. This will allow you to manage your business data and integrate all your units or corporate chain into one platform.

There is no such thing as a risk-free business. Even the freight and logistics businesses around are expendable. The level of competitiveness would all boil down to what company can advance the needs of its customers when it comes to reliability, efficiency in services, and costs.

There is a huge potential of boom for the freight forwarding and logistics industry for those who are available 24/7, reliable, fast, and agile in terms of pricing and services. This is what Zip Logistics is all about.

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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.

How To Move Your Personal Or Household Belongings By Freight Shipping

Are you moving to another country or location? Relocating can be a tasking feat even for a skilled multitasking individual.

Fortunately, Zip Logistics can help you plan, get organized, and move your personal or household items and effects to a new location in the United States or internationally.

Sea Freight

This is by far the most commonly used route for transporting personal or household goods to a new location.

It’s multimodal or would use a ground freight or trucker to pick up and then transport cargo straight to the port. This is basically a door-to-port service with customs clearance documents filled out and duly submitted.

For sea freight, you would be provided two options:

Full Container Load (FCL)

A Full Container Load or Full Trailer Load (FTL) is a type of ocean or sea freight service that costs cheaper in comparison to Less than Container Load (LCL).

This is equivalent to a shipment of one person. So the shipper exclusively uses up or occupies the entire capacity of the container without sharing it with anyone else.

As you get exclusive use of the entire container, FCL is deemed more appropriate especially for expensive and highly fragile goods for both export and import.

This also has a faster transport or transit time because there wouldn’t be any need for deconsolidation or consolidation of items which is necessary for LCL.

FCL is recommended for the following:

·         To protect or secure your cargo. Not sharing the container with other shippers would help safeguard your goods and lower risks of damage.

·         To ship goods or belongings that accumulates to more than 10 standard pallets. You get better and way cheaper rates if you ship via FCL than LCL.

  • To fast-track shipment processes. FCL shipments have considerably shorter transit times because it doesn’t have to go through a lot of hubs or processes, unlike LCL shipments.

For shipping motor vehicles via FCL, this would be consolidated with other motor vehicles like cars, heavy equipment, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and the like in multimodal sea freight containers. This also requires registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Less than Container Load (LCL)

If you plan to ship small quantities or volume of cargo then it would be better to use LCL.

With this option, you share the container with other shippers and also get to split the fees. It’s basically a consolidated sea freight service for both personal and commercial cargo.

All household items or personal effects must be properly labeled, boxed, and packed upon arrival into the warehouse for easy consolidation. The costs would be based on every 35 cubic feet or one cubic meter.

As your cargo would be mixed or placed together with other LCL shipments, it is recommended to palletize loose boxes for added security. You will be required to present a packing list for shipment of household goods or personal effects.

Air Freight

Compared to sea freight, shipping household belongings via air freight is more expensive. This explains why this is a less common choice when it comes to shipping personal or household belongings (which are not up for sale).

More so, there is a limitation set of the volume or weight of personal goods that can be shipped via this route as of course, a plane isn’t as roomy compared to a shipping container.

On the flip side, air freight has its perks as well. While it may have an expensive price tag and some limits on space, the convenience and speed factors really make this a viable option especially for those who urgently need to ship household items or move to another location following a very tight schedule.

Yes, air freight is the fastest way to move personal cargo overseas or in the United States.

When shipping personal or household goods, the volume of cargo that needs to be transported is crucial to choosing what type of freight shipping suits your needs.

With Zip Logistics, you can count on a highly reliable, certified, and reputable freight forwarder that is also an Accredited International Mover.

With that being said, we can help you with your relocation needs locally and also in moving household or personal belongings internationally.