The inconvenient quotation
Shippers are looking for better rates. Better means low, accurate, and quick. Shippers are constantly on the lookout for cheaper rates, all-inclusive rates, or fastest routes, depending on the need of the hour. They no longer are willing to wait for days or even hours to receive a tailor-made quotation. And this is the first touch point of typically high touch shipping processes, so it plays an important role in shaping your relationship.
So, when it comes to Air or LCL shipping, what are freight forwarders currently doing to ensure that they can instantly generate accurate and tailored quotations that fit their customer needs?
They create and maintain a rate database of all their carrier rates for the different routes that they operate in. Alternately, they Use an automated process/ software/ platform that fetches them updated carrier rates on a regular basis.
They request their customers to provide weight and volume or weight and dimensions of their cargo along with route every time they want to check in on rates.
They use a software tool to generate a quote by calculating total freight and adding a margin to it. Or they add a margin to carrier rates and calculate total freight to quote to each customer.
It does sound quite logical and much easier than the manual processes that existed not too long ago. However, there are several inefficiencies that still exist and the solutions available do not quite solve all the issues.
The pain of the rate database
Time of booking
These issues not only make forwarders seem “uncompetitive” online (as against the offline process) but also make the whole online experience less palatable to their customers.
In this 5-part series, we talk about what these challenges are and how Terminal2 helps freight forwarders overcome them to provide the best possible customer experience. From being able to quote online, managing bookings all through the lifecycle of a shipment, creating & sharing documents online, to closely collaborating with shippers, we enable it all!
In the next part, we talk about the specific challenges of rate databases and how Terminal2’s alternate approach overcomes them. Visit www.terminal2online.com to know more or sign up for a demo here.
While we have you here, do check out our riff on what makes a “good rate”.