PTN Events hosted this virtual conference where digital innovators in next-generation technologies assembled to discuss on insightful topics
Andrea Martin, Globalia Logistics Network’s FreightViewer Coordinator participated as a speaker in the Container Shipping Conference 2023 that took place from 30th– 31st May, where she presented the topic “The importance of a digital strategy for freight forwarders.” Organized by PTN Events, the seminar provided a platform for trailblazers in next-generation technologies to convene and engage in discussions centered around digital innovation.
FreightViewer team chose this topic with the aim of emphasizing the importance of adopting unique strategies to navigate the changes brought about by Industry 4.0. In the course of her speech, Andrea Martin comprehensively covered three crucial aspects: the profound impact of Industry 4.0 on the logistics sector, the importance of adopting a digital strategy to secure a position in this evolving industry, and the diverse challenges that may arise during the process of digitization.
In her presentation, Andrea Martin underscored the critical importance of formulating a digital strategy within the freight forwarding sector to successfully navigate the industry’s technological transformations. She also brought attention to the valuable role played by FreightViewer in supporting members’ digitalization efforts. Additionally, she emphasized two key advantages of the platform: the seamless connectivity it provides between members and the ability to conduct operations online. Wrapping up her participation, Martin addressed the several obstacles that arise during the implementation of digital strategies in the logistics business.
A panel of experts participated in the Container Shipping Conference who spoke on a range of topics such as container optimization, platform collaboration, port congestion and its consequences, the acceleration of digitization, investment scenarios, and solutions aimed at enhancing efficiency. This conference served as a platform for global professionals in the container shipping industry to comprehend and discuss international market issues as well as technical challenges.
To quote Antonio Torres, CEO and Founder of Globalia Logistics Network, “We are always keen on participating in conferences that showcase digital innovations within the industry. Such events not only keep our members and us well-informed about the latest developments in the logistics sector but also provide an opportunity to position our member-exclusive transport management software, FreightViewer, in the context of the new era where establishing a digital strategy has shifted from being optional to becoming a mandatory requirement for freight forwarders. We extend our thanks to PTN Events for extending the invitation to us, and it has been a pleasure to be a part of this event.”
In the last few years, the freight forwarding industry has witnessed a new phenomenon viz. the rise of digital freight forwarders.The tremendous need for automation and technological innovation culminated in the emergence of this new category of online freight forwarders. But why didn’t this happen earlier? Why were freight forwarders so reluctant to the digital transformation and why are they still bottled up in the old working ways?
Our topic for this week is a little chat with Manuel Cardona, Globalia’s IT Manager and FreightViewer Developer, who has provided us with interesting inputs and anecdotes about the hidden reality behind the freight forwarding industry that he discovered while launching FreightViewer. By taking an in-depth look at this, he has been able to create a truly practical and useful TMS.
The factors that motivated Globalia to create a new TMS
Around 4 years back, Antonio Torres, Globalia’s President, and CEO understood that digitization was no longer an option for freight forwarders- it was a necessity. Companies across all sectors were moving ahead with online platforms and services. Nevertheless, independent freight forwarders were somewhat late in waking up to the call for digitization. This is when Mr. Torres started exploring the possibility of investing in a new software that could enable hundreds of Globalia agents to automate their operations while cutting down costs.
“Soon after we started having long brainstorming sessions during which we started exploring new avenues that would help our agents to finally discard the backdated manual data entry processes. We understood that without a definitive solution, our agents were at the peril of losing out businesses to their multinational competitors,” explains Mr. Cardona. Precisely at this point, Globalia Logistics Network started moving ahead with its digital transformation endeavours.
After a lot of hard work and considerable private investments, Globalia finally started testing the platform in mid-2018. The objective of FreightViewer was to offer a digital infrastructure that enabled the establishment of an automated data transfer of carrier rates and tariffs. For the first time, independent freight forwarders could create instant accurate quotations and have a 24×7 showcase for their freight rates without any investment on their part.
“We were confident enough to dream big and expected it to become a success. Our member-exclusive TMS- FreightViewer came with a remarkable advantage over any other similar platform. Unlike the rest, Globalia is an international network consisting of 191 agents in 129 countries. This allows our agents to have rates from almost every corner of the world,” continues Mr. Cardona.
The launch of FreightViewer and the problems Globalia found out
It was during Globalia’s 2nd Annual Meeting at Kuala Lumpur that FreightViewer was first presented to the agents. It provided a very opportune moment to launch the platform as the meeting witnessed a 60% increase in the attendance of new members.
To quote Mr. Cardona, “This was a very exciting moment for our team as we knew that we were doing something that no other freight forwarding network had done before. Andrea Martin, Globalia’s FreightViewer Coordinator, played a key role in conducting the FreightViewer workshops for the network members.”
“However, it was then when we found out the hidden truth about the difficulties to digitize the freight forwarding industry. Our members were very enthusiastic about this platform, but some showed a distrustful attitude over it. There were lots of doubts about the software, about how they would upload rates, the constantly changing transportation fees, etc. Members also saw that there were a lot of features they needed but the TMS didn’t allow them to have. It goes without saying that this didn’t discourage us to further invest in the platform. On the contrary, it made us realize that not every software in the market would serve the purpose. We had to increase our efforts to create a personalized tool with all the required utilities to make it functional.”
With this in mind, the IT department of Globalia continued working hard. The objective was clear: FreightViewer aimed to allow Globalia members to be at the cutting edge of technology and compete with the stalwarts in the industry by digitizing a very important part of their operations.
The process of enhancing the platform
“We thought that the only way to build a more convenient tool for our members, they had to test it in order to give us their feedback about how to optimize it. In this regard, the efforts of Andrea deserves special appreciation. She spent hours with our agents to get their feedback on how the tool can be made more efficient and practical. Even now she keeps helping the GLB members with any doubts about the use of the software”.
Following Globalia’s 2nd Annual Meeting, the next step involved finding industry leaders to collaborate with. Back in 2019, Globalia teamed up with SHIPCO, one of the world’s leading neutral NVOCC’s. This was a very big step for the network since it allows the members to access LCL rates in over thirty countries right from FreightViewer. In other words, this partnership enabled members to digitize a substantial chunk of their day-to-day paperwork
The next step was to further enhance the platform’s accessibility to encourage the agents to discard the manual quoting process for good. “In the same year, we added a very useful feature to FreightViewer that allowed agents to send and receive quote requests to/from any of their partners including those operating outside the Network. As a result, members were able to store quotations provided by any freight forwarder on a single platform.”
The process of improving the tool did not stop here. Globalia continued forging partnerships with industry leaders like Onus Cargo Services, an insurance broker or BlueX an API developer.
FreightViewer in 2022: a revolutionary freight quotation software
Presently, FreightViewer has come up as an indispensable tool for the members. It is allowing them to instantly generate accurate and professional quotations. Additionally, their clients can go almost through all the logistics processes by themselves through the website for customers, where different quotes can be compared quickly and easily. This TMS is currently helping members to manage rates, create personalized quotations, and even follow up with the customers and customize their website. Most importantly, it is enhancing the customer-relationship for our agents.
By processing all the freight forwarding operations within a unique channel, FreightViewer is enhancing the visibility for all the stakeholders of the shipping process. In a sector when an instant response is absolutely crucial, FreightViewer is greatly adding to operational efficiency. Additionally, the platform is reducing the members’ expenses, saving their time, eliminating manual error, augmenting visibility and security, and minimizing the steps involved in shipping operations.
The future potentials of FreightViewer
The digital transformation has finally become a hard reality and logistics companies of all sizes are competing to adapt to the big changes and come up as digital freight forwarders. As Mr. Cardona points out, “The pandemic has brought a very important fact to our attention- Freight Forwarders need to digitize their services. Keeping pace with Logistics 4.0 has become crucial to be well positioned in the freight forwarding industry. Simply put, independent freight forwarders who fail to digitize their operations and come up as digital freight forwarders will soon fall behind the competition.”
This is one factor that motivates Globalia’s IT team to works hard to further upgrade the tool. At the moment, Globalia is negotiating new partnerships with other leading companies in this sector. Globalia is presently dealing with Webcargonet to upload and update more than 14 million buying airfreight rates to FreightViewer. Additionally, they are also trying to reach cost-effective cargo insurance rates for the members. Lastly, Globalia is working to implement a new way that make the process of rate uploading even easier.
As Mr. Cardona aptly sums up, “FreightViewer enables our agents to leverage digital trends for facilitating seamless communication among all the stakeholders of a shipping project. More importantly, it entails the use of a completely transparent cloud-based system that allows for easy comparison of several shipping rates to provide the best deal to the customers. One of the main aims of this tool is to reduce paperwork and manual processes. I can confidently state that we have been successful in fulfilling the objectives of launching this platform. Nevertheless, we still continue to work hard as we believe there is always room for improvement.”
The agreement reached with Shipco is in the list of several projects programmed from FreightViewer Department with the aim of improving the system and offering a solid digital strategy to members. This project provides direct and exclusive access to LCL rates from FreightViewer enabling users to personalize them by adding a profit margin. The event has been covered by Hellenic Shipping News, AJOT, Logistic Business, Handy Shipping Guide, Mundo Logistico and Alimarket.
American Journal of Transportation ( AJOT): is dedicated to providing shippers, carriers, transportation intermediaries, and logistics professionals with coverage of news and events that shape the world of international trade and transportation.
Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide is an Online Daily Newspaper on Hellenic and International Shipping Leaders in globalshipping news for over 10 years Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide.
Logistic Business: is a quarterly magazine that publishes daily news regarding the international supply chain, transport, warehousing, intralogistics, or material handling.
Handy Shipping Guide: designed and edited by freight professionals and experienced computer-based publishers, publishes information on any freight-linked company in an effort to extend and improve the value of the guide to all interested parties.
Alimarket: established in 1982, Alimarket covers news about several industries with the aim of providing useful information to CEO’s and professionals from thousands of companies.
The articles published on the above-mentioned logistics websites cover some of the details of the new project, the importance of this achievement, and the advantages of the implemented feature. Globalia considers it fundamental to develop a digital strategy to overcome the changes that the sector is experimenting with, therefore, this is a major step which will help members in the race of digitization.
After establishing the partnership with Shipco, FreightViewer Department interviewed Morten Bach- Global Chief Commercial Officer at Shipco Transport- to analyse the current situation and the upcoming digital changes in logistics.
Speed in quoting is essential in a market where the difference between one quote or the other has become minimum. This means that, in some cases, who quotes the faster will have the shipment. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to develop tools such as FreightViewer, states Mr. Morten Bach. He also adds that technology has disrupted in logistics and everything is happening amazingly fast, changing the landscape of logistics.
Mr. Bach also adds that the speed of the market is one of the other big changes in logistics, this is forcing traditional freight forwarders to change their way of thinking. They need to find the strategy to send shipments from A to B as fast as possible, achieve faster information sharing or better order management. And this can be done using different gateways than the traditional.
Under his point of view, it’s important to become global, reaching key partners and the right technology. Being part of a network, which offers a tool such as FreightViewer, means that small-medium companies will be able to become global, being much more competitive and, with the help of technology, being able to handle much more tasks along the process, optimizing their resources. Mr. Morten says: “With the pandemic the digitization process has been accelerated and those companies who didn’t have a great technology strategy have got caught by the new world-wide situation, not being able to serve their clients in the same way or the way they should”
Mr. Morten Bach pointed out the importance of visibility in logistics in order to take control over all shipments. According to his words “it’s essential to provide several options for a shipment to the client, if you don’t give various options to them, they will go somewhere else. Clients need what they need and if you don’t offer it, they will try another option”
To finalize, Mr. Morten states that, currently, there are two different sectors in logistics. Those that refuse to use digital services and those that only use digital resources. This means that we need to develop two different customer strategies, providing service to both groups, but never forgetting that digital trends will be extremely helpful in both strategies.
Andrea Martin is the main point of contact for FreightViewer, she coordinates the Department and is in charge of training Globalia members on the use of this exclusive TMS, assisting them with any doubts plus improving the software based on their feedback and needs. Before joining Globalia, Andrea worked in customer service, acquiring the necessary skills to solve client issues, providing technical support, and gaining a wide range of knowledge in communication. In this interview, Andrea talks about the advantages and new upgrades of Globalia’s exclusive member TMS: FreightViewer.
Q. Could you explain to us a little bit more about FreightViewer?
FreightViewer is a exclusive-member TMS Globalia Logistics Network has developed to offer a digital infrastructure that allows the establishment of an automated data transfer of carrier rates and tariffs. It enhances the accuracy of the quotation while significantly reducing its processing time, from a number of days to less than a minute. To put it simply, it allows members to organize their rates with their local and transport charges on a single platform.
Q. Which do you think are the advantages of FreightViewer?
The main advantage for Globalia members is that FreightViewer will allow them to be at the cutting edge of technology and compete with the stalwarts in the industry by digitalizing the majority of business processes. All data needed for developing a shipment will be stored in the software thus helping the users to come up with an accurate door-to-door quotation and provide immediate service to their customers and generate documents ready to be sent immediately. Additionally, their clients can go almost through all the logistics processes by themselves through the website for customers where different quotes can be compared quickly and easily. Moreover, each customer can be classified into different Client Categories with different mark-ups (profit margin), meaning members can personalize quotes for each customer. And all of these complex services are included in their membership fee, at no additional cost.
Q. Which are the new updates of FreightViewer?
Our aim is to integrate the main co-loader’s buying tariffs on a global scale into FreightViewer. That is why we have signed an agreement with SHIPCO to offer their LCL buying rates online through FreightViewer and we are in the process of negotiating the same with WEBCARGONET which will enable us to upload and update more than 14 million buying airfreight rates to FreightViewer.
We have a partnership with Onus Cargo Services, an insurance broker that offers rates from different insurance companies. This means you can ensure your cargo directly through FreightViewer, saving a lot of time in double typing information. Plus, the idea we have is to reach competitive insurance rates for Globalia members.
Q. How do you think FreightViewer contributes to Globalia members?
Globalia is the first international freight forwarding network with global coverage to launch instant quoting ability for its members.
The technological impact on the logistics sector in the last few years has been considerable, most of the top players in this industry are investing in enhancing their services by implementing a well-rounded digital strategy. That is why Globalia’s management has decided to design a customized software that allows members to interchange business within the network in the easiest and quickest possible way. The main difference with our competitors is the global coverage we offer. Members from more than 120 countries can use our TMS.
Q. What can members do with FreightViewer?
A. They can manage rates, put together personalized quotations, and send them quickly or save them in pdf. They can also follow up with their customers and customize their website. And everything by using a very intuitive platform.
Q. Why do you think technology is so important in the freight forwarders industry
A. The pandemic has brought a very important fact to our attention- Freight Forwarders need to digitalize. Otherwise, they will fall behind the competition. Over the last year, many new digital freight forwarders like FLEXPORT, FREIGHTOS, FREIGHTHUB, etc. have invested millions in digitization, so now there is no turning back, it’s not the future anymore, it’s the present.
We are one of the very few international freight forwarding networks to successfully cope with the technological changes while providing our members with the opportunity to compete with the largest multinationals and everything is being done through FreightViewer.
Q. Which do you think that are the main challenges for freight forwarders to digitalize their platforms?
A. The main problem is the huge amount of information managed in one single shipment, also, the volatility of the market is an important problem. But I think there is a new market emerging with a new customer type that is much more impatient and demanding than before. So, there is no other option, freight forwarders need to go a step further in this business and try new features such as FreightViewer. With the help of technology, some of the main issues faced day by day by a freight forwarder can be minimized, and their services can be optimized. Nonetheless, we should never forget that personal contact is extremely important in this industry- technology will never replace this contact but it will help to improve customer service.
After the launch of Globalia’s Transport Management Software, FreightViewer Department has been receiving plenty of applications from members to test the software and suggest its improvements. Mr. Julian Wolff, logistics consultant of Cargotrans, our GLB member in Dubai, has been collaborating with FreightViewer Department and is now willing to start to work with FreightViewer
Mr. Julian states: “FreightViewer is a nice online tool to look up rates. It has an easy and user-friendly interface. Whoever has worked in freight forwarding before is able to use it without any problems” After testing FCL, Air, local and transport rates; Mr. Wolff’s opinion is that it’s very easy to enter and find rates throughout FreightViewer. Additionally, he comments that it is important to take into account that FreightViewer can be used directly with local customers: “FreightViewer can be used for local clients as well, […] each agent can implement it and create an advantage and benefit for their own direct customers”
Finally, our GLB member encourages all agents to use the software to create a database available for members and customers 24/7, Mr Julian says: “ I encourage everyone from the Globalia network to use it because it will help to create a huge database from which all members benefit. Being able to find rates 24/7 from any place around the world within minutes helps to win more business. The more agents we have using it, the better it gets”
FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of FreightViewer or would like to know more about the system, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to assist you. Additionally, from now on, FreightViewer’s team will also share with members our latest news through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and QQ
Some of the top technological trends in the logistics industry include Blockchain, IoT devices, warehouse robotics, autonomous vehicles, and freight rate management tools
While digital innovations are already making waves across industries, the logistics industry which has always been known to be heavily reliant on manual processes has been most impacted by these changes. Some of the top players in the sector are even making use of different types of Artificial Intelligence for enhanced traffic management, maintenance scheduling, determination of perilous travel locations, planning of construction activities and more.
The advent of Machine Learning or Big Data has greatly helped them with vehicle diagnostics, real-time location, financial business forecasts, social media data etc. Moreover, the last year has also witnessed considerable growth in the use of self-driving vehicles and drone deliveries. However, it will still take some time until autonomous trucks become a usual sight on the highway.
While Blockchain, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), warehouse robotics, and automated delivery of goods are already being practiced by the giants of the industry, small and medium-sized companies are also trying their very best to manage and grow their businesses with the help of various innovative software which can be used for cargo management, simplification of bookings, quotation management, operations management, and monitoring of the cargo in real-time.
With this in mind, Globalia has introduced FreightViewer, which is already speeding up members’ quote processing time and allowing them to send a detailed PDF of the quotation to their clients within less than a minute. The idea behind creating this member-exclusive tool is to enable the GLB members to be on par with the top players in the industry by ensuring that they no longer miss out on a single business opportunity because of their inability to provide their clients with a quick quotation of their services.
Additionally, from now on, FreightViewer’s team will also share with members our latest news through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and QQ
The remodelled website of Globalia will come with all the previous features along with a new freight rate management platform which will allow the members to generate instant online quotations for their door-to-door services
The new website of Globalia Logistics Network comes with a clear and uncluttered design and enhanced functionality which is sure to provide the members with the most hassle-free user experience.
Globalia’s new website will offer the visitors an optimal viewing experience while the responsive web design will ensure that it works on all sorts of devices without the slightest hitch. All the navigational elements of the webpages (such as the screen layouts, audio, video, images, and texts) will henceforth be automatically readjusted on all sorts of devices.
Additionally, Globalia’s new website will also include their new freight rate management tool which will vastly expedite the business processes of the member companies. With FreightViewer, Globalia members will be able to digitize the process of quote preparation and come up with a PDF of the quotation for their door-to-door services within just 30 seconds.
“The idea behind the development of our new website and the online tool is to enhance the productivity of our members while reducing their quote processing time from days to just a couple of seconds. The new website will offer our visitors a totally smooth and comfortable user experience while our new online tool will allow our valued members to focus on their businesses instead of spending days on dreary manual quotations,” says Mr. Antonio Torres, President, and Founder of Globalia Logistics Network.
The revamped Globalia website along with the new online tool will greatly empower the members, enhance their customer services and add to their client base.