After the recent entry of new digital freight forwarders and at the same time that the large multinationals as DHL, K&N, DB Schenker and CH Robinson amongst others have announced the launching of their digital platforms (Saloodo, Twil Logistics, FreightQuote, UShip), local freight forwarders have also made available their own state-of-the-art digital technology. This allows cargo agencies of any size to take their business online and participate for the first time in a world of automation, instantaneity and connectivity. This is all conveyed through the recently released White Label platform, Freightalia.

Freightalia has partnered with the Pangea Group, a network association that unites more than 300 independent freight forwarders from around the world in order to give their members access to this powerful automatic quoting system and help them to further their engagement with exporters, importers and agents. “There has been a lot of interest in the newly released system, as due to the fast-paced development of our modern world, freight forwarders have been receiving mounting pressure regarding digital changes. Various of our members are already users of the system and have created their own digital platform for automatic pricing”, indicates Sarah Bidmead, Network Manager of the Pangea Group.

In a study conducted by KPMG ´Startups in Logistics and Forwarding: Business models, investments, challenges´, the sector and its potential and current technological challenges were analyzed. In this report, the need to implement and use White Label systems were already pointed out as crucial next steps for freight forwarders and 3PLs. White Label systems have been functioning in many sectors and have been applied as useful and affordable tools that within their capabilities have revolutionized routines and internal processes, such as Freshbooks for invoicing and payment management, other accounting systems like Sage and Xero, email and marketing tools like Mailchimp, Icontact and Jotform, and other more specific solutions as ticketing systems for hotels and conferences, such as Sirvoy and Regonline.

Freightalia is an automatic system for freight quoting and rate management, that allows a complete easy self-customization from the platform branding to the system notifications. Each freight forwarder has its own Freightalia domain which can be completely incorporated into their current website. The system is primarily focused upon sales, the main bottleneck for a freight forwarder and which presents elevated costs for the company.

To effectively respond to the needs of customers who increasingly demand faster pricing, a radical change in digital work systems is necessary. Indeed, it is no longer feasible to wait for the prices from a supplier in order to send a quote to a potential client. It is necessary to anticipate the input of the rates from suppliers, airlines and shipping companies in an updated and well-organized system. An effective management of rates is the first step to make the pricing process become automatic and instantaneous. But not only this, a powerful engine has to combine rates, items and specific markups for each client to deliver accurate offers in real-time.

The independent freight forwarders deal with 40% of the global market share, an amount which is not insignificant. This is due to the fact that, despite the coexistence with large multinationals, the independent freight forwarder can provide a service that is much more personable and customer-oriented. However, it is clear that to retain their market share, independent freight forwarders should embrace new technology and not lose their ability to compete within the sector.