Fast and accurate quoting is key to winning business. However, the quoting process is often time-consuming and expensive. It requires countless call hours and endless emails to get the right buy rates to quote and win a shipment – before the buy rates change again!
In the ocean market alone, forwarders spend over 24 million hours of labor a year to receive and process carrier freight rates for their shippers for an estimated labor cost of $500 million per year according to Drewry.
The study found the biggest multinational forwarders were spending about $1 million a year – mostly in labor costs to find and manage rates – and the next tier of top forwarders, operating in several countries, around $500,000 a year.
But the largest inefficiency lies with the smaller forwarders, which account for the bulk of the spend, and whose size makes the entire process of receiving and processing carrier buy rates about twice as burdensome as for medium-sized forwarders. Therefore, the smaller forwarders would benefit the most from a platform which consolidates and maintains buy rates.
All estimated costs above do not cover costs associated with investments in systems to support and streamline processes. They cover the spend to receive and process rate sheets, determine sell rates and compare carrier options in the ocean market alone.
Integrate online booking and rate management to offer competitive Pricing
At the core, a Quote & Book platform allows shippers to get quotes and place bookings directly on the forwarder’s website. A Rate Management System (RMS) is a software helping forwarders manage their buy rates quickly and easily.
There are different options to integrate rates into the Quote & Book platform. Integrating the RMS with the Quote & Book platform allows your shippers to get their individualized quotes and place bookings right away.
That way, the entire booking process is automated – starting from buy rates from your carriers, to schedules, quotes for shippers, bookings, scheduling pickups, shipment data transfer to your TMS and potentially billing/payment, buy rates verification and margin analysis.
Therefore, this centralized, automated and collaborative Quote & Book platform, RMS-powered, available on the forwarder’s website, allows the forwarder to orchestrate all activities with its shippers and carriers and create efficiencies through automation.
This cloud-based platform helps forwarders shift expenditures from CapEx to OpEx. Actually, costs are often seamlessly shared with shippers since the overall value for both partners largely exceeds the cost of this SaaS platform, simply accessed from any device.
Indeed, for shippers, buying online allows an optimal experience in booking capacity for their shipments and saves their resources. As to forwarders, selling online allows Operations and Sales teams to perform their work in a fraction of the time giving them a structural competitive advantage to better compete.
After all, in today’s world, what company has the luxury of ignoring technology solutions that can improve productivity, competitive position and customer satisfaction?
At Distroship, we help our forwarding partners make a progressive use of all possible modules from Marketing & Sales, to Quote & Book and Billing & Payment so they smoothly integrate and adapt to their organizations and strategy. Your buy rates can be uploaded into the Quote & Book platform through different instruments. In the end, that makes it possible for our forwarders to increase market share and profit, one step at a time.