There are a lot of initiatives out there with the objective to bring freight forwarding online. Freight forwarders need clean up their data to become a more data-driven value chain provider. Will they succeed and what will this mean to carriers?
Leading carriers are already taking actions on digitisation by enhancing commercial and operational activities. Box tracking, empty-container re-positioning, document management, network design, and pricing are among the activities that these carriers have started to digitalis.
The fact that there are a lot of digital initiatives out there means that things are moving. Change is here and no one in this industry can avoid it any longer. Data obviously need to be in focus and handled with care.
Early stages of digitisation
The problem with the large freight forwarders is that they are subjective. Their objective is to earn money not always putting the customers interest first.
On the other hand, we might get islands where the leading carriers have their own data hubs and with its own agenda. Will revenue be put before customer need and satisfaction?
Digitisation will support effectiveness and open for new business models but what about neutrality? Can it be a problem that data is put in silos to support individual corporations?
Another issue can be the road to get there. To succeed, carriers must adopt a structured approach to defining a digital vision and integrating new technologies and capabilities. Is the mindset there yet?
The transport and logistics industry is still in the early stages of digitisation which means that we live in a very exciting space of time meaning that change will never be this slow again.