Role of Technology in Modern Freight Forwarding

February 2023

The evolution of technology is pushing the boundaries and changing how the world conducts business. Improved technology has increased the speed our purchases are delivered, has increased productivity across the supply chain, and reduces costly mistakes and errors. These improvements benefit all areas across the logistics industry, including supply chain management, trucking transportation, international transportation (air and ocean), and shipment tracking. Adapting to challenging circumstances remain top priorities for freight forwarders. As such, modern freight forwarders increasingly invest in innovative technologies to enhance their operations.

Innovative last mile delivery mechanisms

drones in freight forwarding

The last mile of delivery, also known as the final mile delivery or final mile logistics, refers to the last mile of goods from a warehouse to their final destination. An essential component of the delivery process, the last mile is often the most challenging and expensive. In particular, labor accounts for an estimated 60% of costs.

To streamline costs, many companies are shifting their focus to delivery in the form of drones, self-driving automobiles, and autonomous delivery robots. Tech-based delivery methods also help to minimize inefficiencies caused by human errors and increase transparency. Additionally, these technologies can be easily traced and tracked for real-time updates during the last stages of freight forwarding.

Etihad railways and the hyperloop

Etihad railways

In September of 2002, the Etihad Rail announced the successful completion of the connection between the railway freight terminal at the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), the largest inland freight railway terminal in the country, and the UAE National Rail Network. The completion of the Etihad Rail is an essential part of the UAE Railway Program, which aims to connect the country’s key locations of industry and production, establish new trade routes, and facilitate population movement.

Connecting the railway freight terminal at ICAD with Etihad Rail’s main line ensures readiness to provide logistics solutions by linking Abu Dhabi with various industrial centers and import and export points. With the ability to transport over 15 million tons of loose raw materials, 1.5 tons of general cargo, and around 116,600 20-foot shipping containers annually, the rail system is poised to elevate modern freight forwarding. When fully operational, the ICAD railway freight terminal will create a highly efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable transportation capacity.

Digital Freight Procurement Platforms

Beneficial to both shippers and carriers, digital freight procurement leverages the use of digital technologies to rapidly source, compare and analyze bids from carriers. By automating complicated and mundane tasks, digital freight procurement platforms eliminate the administrative burden associated with freight forwarding. Additionally, they provide greater visibility of data, and help to reduce freight costs and minimize supply chain risks.

Using a digital freight procurement platform, shipping companies can increase visibility, efficiency, and profitability by managing their contracts and spot freight in one convenient location. Easy to navigate, these innovative platforms allow shippers to provide carriers direct access to their bids while simultaneously simplifying spot sourcing by comparing rates from a vast network of carriers. On the flip side, digital procurement platforms allow carriers to seamlessly manage quotes, accent tenders, and track loads in real-time.

  • Build new partnerships
  • Unlock savings
  • Set up and manage annual RFP
  • Create a wide range of bids to accommodate evolving market conditions
  • Quickly and efficiently compare real-time spot rates for freight

Blockchain technology

The concept of blockchain technology first started with Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a distributed database that contains records of events in continuity which can be assessed and inspected by users. While additional data can be included, it cannot be modified or deleted, which creates unforgeable data. In its simplest form, blockchain is a digital record that makes it safe and easy to conduct business by using the internet to increase transparency and provide end-to-end visibility from order and warehousing to payment and delivery. But how exactly will blockchain impact modern freight forwarding?

Blockchain enhances transparency and security. Every time cargo is shipped, the transactions will be recorded, creating a permanent history of the freight from order to delivery. As anyone from anywhere at any time can access the decentralized information over the internet, blockchain simplifies the tracking of purchase orders, modification of orders, and shipment notifications. Blockchain also eliminates fraud, as transactions are easily accessible to everyone on the network and cannot be altered.

With all the information available on the blockchain, any individual who engages in the transaction can view past records. The sharing of information on the manufacturing process, assembly, and delivery with vendors and suppliers become transparent and efficient. Additionally, blockchain makes it possible for purchasing agents and consumers to know where products are made and how they were transported.

Enhanced freight forwarding with Cargoline

Technology continues to play a critical role in modernizing the freight forwarding industry. From improving efficiency and speed to streamlining operations, boosting productivity, and enhancing cost-effectiveness, innovative technologies have empowered freight forwarders to provide a more personalized and responsive service to their customers.

As a preferred logistics service provider for clients from a wide range of industries, we tailor our services to meet the logistical needs of our global clientele through innovative, reliable, and cost-effective solutions. Whether you are planning an international exhibition, need freight forwarding, or require IOR or EOR services, we are here to help.

Contact a team member to learn more about our intelligent and functional logistics solutions for your next project or to get your project quote. We look forward to working with you.

All Articles
Request for a quote now