What’s the point of a digital freight forwarder?
The practice of Zen focuses on rigorous self-control, maintaining inner calm and most importantly of all, benefiting others. Wonderful pursuits all, but ‘inner calm’ and ‘beneficial’ are probably not descriptions that the average shipping business attributes to their experience managing shipping logistics.
They might even describe the act of managing shipping as notably un-Zen. But this may be a thing of the past. And this is where digital freight forwarder Zencargo comes in.
The London-based Zencargo is a one-stop shop which organises the many processes involved in importing and exporting any type of cargo to anywhere in the world. Given that the industry has remained relatively unchanged for decades, the platform is a necessary replacement for the logistics dinosaurs who haven’t evolved beyond paper manifests, and still comprise the majority of the industry.
Zencargo helps shippers who are swamped with multiple shipments to replace hassle, uncertainty, and reams of paperwork with an intuitive and – yes, we’re going to say it – zen experience. Let’s say you’re a business producing metric tons of goods in China and need them shipped and distributed to stores in the UK, they will organise the planes, boats, trains, and trucks that are necessary need to ensure the whole process flows smoothly.
They do this by applying the latest technology to track all the data of every shipping route in order to optimise your entire supply chain. At the same time, in order to maintain that personal touch, they marry their technology to living, breathing logistics experts and customer support.
But seriously, what makes old school logistics management so frustrating in the first place?
Traditionally, UK shippers (as well as the majority of shipping businesses globally) rely on freight forwarders to be the intermediary between themselves and transport businesses. For the most part these old school companies use outdated management methods that are frequently plagued by tedious back-and-forth communications over email and telephone between a logistics manager and the many players involved regarding specifics of volumes, freight size, routes, timetables, costs, tariffs, and worst of all, delays.
The old school model means delays often don’t get communicated in a timely manner – and that’s simply bad for business. On top of all this, there’s the paper! Paper stacks up in the forms of manifests and bills of lading which over time can add up to an unwieldy paper trail.
For those not in the know, a bill of lading is a legal document between a business doing the shipping and the carrier. It details the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. And you need one for each separate step of your freight’s journey, every time you ship.
This type of work takes up a lot of time and a lot of energy. In fact, Zencargo estimates that on average this equates to around 500 hours per year. And every self-respecting business know time is the most precious of assets!
Zencargo’s solution gives you this time back, while sending your stress… packing (oh yes we did).
What type of business does Zencargo help with digital freight forwarding?
Put simply, the digital freight forwarding approach benefits any business which operates regular international importing or exporting to the extent that they require monthly freight management.
More specifically, the ideal Zencargo shipper is an established business with established supply chains that cover freight-worthy distances. This includes those whose freight consist of apparel, furniture, consumer goods, raw materials, or machinery – just to name a few.
That includes businesses who import and then store their products to sell themselves, and it includes those who send it on to retailers to stock and sell for them – both online and off.
That said, the platform seems especially suitable for ecommerce businesses who have developed an expertise in getting their goods into the warehouses of huge online retailers like Amazon. In particular, digital freight forwarding is a blessing for those who use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business model.
This model continues to grow in popularity because – while its the same as traditional ecommerce in principle – instead of the shipper having to fulfil orders one by one, Amazon stores the product for you, then packs and ships them out to customers. So, using Zencargo, an FBA business would import from India or China directly into their chosen Amazon storage destination.
If you fit the (admittedly broad) description above and are looking to upgrade your logistics management, we recommend you organise a free demo and instant quote and Zencargo where they’ll will walk you through the advantages of their system. Just click here, or on the banner below and select a time and day for your call. It takes less than 2 minutes.
Still not yet sure exactly what benefits you’re getting, and not yet ready to book a demo? Then read on.
What benefits can a business like yours expect from using a digital freight forwarder like Zencargo?
The latest technology makes your logistic management more efficient
Without delving into too much techno-babble on how exactly Zencargo’s software is built, or how their learning algorithms actually work – because you probably don’t care very much – we’ve taken note of the main ways that a shipper will actually benefit from taking a digital approach.
1. You’ll save time and energy with instant quotes, rapid bookings and detailed analytics
We’ve already gone into some detail on this, but let’s delve deeper still. The step by step journey looks like this:
1) Get a quote → 2) Compare and review carriers and schedules → 3) Select the right option for you → 4) Book in seconds → 5) Track your booking in real time → 6) Analyse the results → 7) Optimise your supply chain → 8) Rinse and repeat
And here are the time and energy benefits that come will each of those steps…
1. Get a quote
After you’ve input the relevant information about your freight requirements, you’ll get an instant quote. This beats waiting for ages for multiple forwarders to get back to you – only to be disappointed on their price.
2. Compare and review carriers and schedules
Next you’ll get to compare things like ocean carriers and sailing schedules based on other things like transit time, price or departure date. Traditional logistics management companies typically don’t supply all this information in one place in real-time.
3. Select the right option for you & 4. Book in seconds
After comparing you will choose the most suitable option to meet your needs. the system accommodates bookings in seconds, saving you even more precious time whilst also storing and managing your account in the cloud and providing digital (remember: none of that pesky paperwork) electronic bills of lading.
5. Track your booking in real time
Exactly what it says on the tin. 360 degree tracking across the entire supply chain from end-to-end with the notable benefit of notifying you of any delays. More on this below.
6. Analyse the results & 7. Optimise your supply chain
Zencargo’s Supply chain analytics empowers your supply chain managers with the data to better understand your businesses and make key decisions that directly improve processes. In particular the data provided lets you assess supplier reliability and production delays, determine stock requirements and release unnecessary working capital. Essentially optimise and future proof your supply chain so everything runs even more smoothly next time round.
2. You’ll have more comprehensive insights and therefore greater peace of mind
One of the biggest quibbles logistics managers have is delays. Things go wrong and that’s life. And, frankly, the occasional delay is to be expected. But, we live in 2018 century – not the 1998 – and what’s unacceptable (or at least should be) is when you the shipper get kept in the dark about these exceptions, and only find out as a surprise and when it may be too late to make the appropriate changes.
The Zencargo platform supplies you real-time visibility on your shipments and offers including the ability to trace, track and manage each element. This means not only do you know exactly where your cargo is at any one time, you also are also alerted of any delays, informed of changes to schedule across the chain, and provided with insights to help you rapidly overcome any unexpected challenge.
3. You will probably save money
So, we’ve already established that any time savings and efficiency improvements to shipping logistics management equate to money saved (because time is money), but this is not the only way you will minimise your costs. If price saving is the goal, the Zencargo comparison interface will allow you to choose the cheapest carriers for your supply chain needs – although that may not equate to the quickest delivery.
A groundbreaking technological approach sounds great, but what about that human touch?
One of the ways that Zencargo is setting itself apart from even the new-world upstarts such as Flexport, Freightos, and Fleet is by bringing that all important human touch. An automated digital platform is fantastic when things are working, but sometimes things just go a little too pear shaped and you need an expert who speaks in real human sentences. They are a qualified member of the key trade and logistics organisations, BIFA, the CILT and FIATA (all of which are probably meaningless to you – but this matters) – and have the industry experience to boot.
In case there are any issues which require more than the usual assistance, a focused centralised customer support team based in the UK is available to troubleshoot via an online chat facility and personalised phone call. The will keep communications clear and solutions as simple as possible. As summed up by Zencargo’s CEO Alex Hersham;
“Even the best technology won’t replace the human touch and great customer service. Despite the opportunity for digitising the freight forwarding industry, offering a personalised level of customer service will remain paramount.
Managing the exceptions that can occur on any one shipment requires experienced logistics professionals, and so Zencargo’s agents are continually available at all points of the process. The bottom line is that our customers are noticing improvements in service and satisfaction, to say nothing of the welcome ability to monitor and control shipping costs ”
What do Zencargo’s Customers say?
A diverse range of clients have given the business glowing reviews. Textile company G. Modiano Ltd (who are a preeminent wool trader and processor has described them as “the future of freight and logistics, a one-stop shop conceived to save companies time and money and offer far greater visibility into the supply chain”.
Meanwhile Natural Blender’s reaction to their experience was that “the customer service team at Zencargo go above and beyond. They helped us to understand our logistics options and identify cost saving opportunities for the business. At Galileo Watermark, whose focus is amenity kits and onboard hospitality for the leisure sector, their solution is a “game changer… From having all our shipments visible in one place to the super, simple booking process they reduce headaches and overheads”.
Overall, this hybrid model combining groundbreaking technology with industry experts and personalised customer service seems to be a winning approach. With offline management still accounting for well over 99% of the industry, it’s early days still; but we don’t recommend you wait around for the dinosaurs to go extinct.
Fast-forward your freight forwarder and set up right away.
If you are a business that ships internationally, getting started with Zencargo is easy. The steps to revolutionising your logistics management go like this: 1) Book an online demo with their logistics experts in seconds; 2): Discover the platform and get an instant quote; 3) Start shipping.