Freight forwarding is not a brand-new concept as its origins can be traced back to the late 18th century. The idea of third-party service providers handling the transportation of goods from the exporter’s end to the final customer has always been popular in overseas trade. In the last few decades, freight forwarders have become an integral part of the US$150 billion logistics sector in India. As of 2021, the freight forwarding market is worth US$130 billion. But, why is freight forwarding so popular in trade?
Imagine that you own a textile manufacturing business and wish to sell your goods locally as well as internationally. Shipping is generally considered to be a convenient mode of transport for exporting textile goods across countries. However, ocean shipping is also a complicated process due to several variables. Firstly, you will need to find a vessel transporter that will carry your goods to the required destination. Even before that, you will probably spend several hours negotiating freight rates and trucking charges (for the carriage of your goods from your factory to the shipping port), managing the documentation related to shipping, strategizing about shipping line choices, and other actions. As you can see, this not only leaves you with headaches related to your manufacturing operations but also your EXIM operations. Freight forwarders exist to take away your headaches caused by the latter.
Freight forwarders shoulder the responsibility of arranging the shipping of your goods from your factory to the destination. They negotiate with shipping lines on your behalf, get the best freight rates for you, take care of the documentation, and help with the arrangement of containers for shipment. Outsourcing your shipping operations to freight forwarders allows you to focus on your core business operations (that is manufacturing) and manage your shipping operations effectively and efficiently.
Freight forwarding has always been a fragmented industry. There are several small forwarders operating in the industry. This dilutes the value of freight forwarding to a certain extent. Continuing with the textile analogy, let's assume that your logistics manager believes that working with multiple forwarders will get your business a better rate for shipping. However, choosing multiple forwarders will be a huge mistake as that leaves your logistics manager spending a large part of his time coordinating and negotiating with each forwarder. So, even though your headaches are alleviated to an extent, your shipping process continues to remain extremely inefficient and opaque. By selecting two or three forwarders for your shipping operations, your logistics manager is almost perpetually stuck within Excel sheets and phone calls about vessel availability, freight rates, container tracking. Essentially, you have to constantly correspond with your forwarder to know every little piece of information about your shipment. The digital freight forwarder exists to resolve these pain points.
Digital freight forwarders, like Traydo, enable you to make freight bookings, track your ongoing shipment, store your shipping documents all in one digital platform. Traydo is one of the few fully functional digital freight forwarding platforms in India. Our platform allows importers and exporters to get all information related to their shipment on one online platform. Having a single platform lets you adopt a more data-driven approach to your supply chain operations and forecasts.
Traydo allows you to form a long-term schedule for your manufacturing operations and provides you with an online platform for uploading your documentation work, shipment tracking, and selecting the optimal options for your exports or imports.In short, Traydo provides you with every benefit that an ideal digital freight forwarder is supposed to give. You can contact us to discover more about our digital freight forwarding features.