Shipping is an important and critical part of the global supply chain. How it is managed impacts the marketability of the product, brand image, relations with buyers, and the profit margin of the exporter.
Ocean freight rate, ancillary logistics costs, and end-to-end management of the shipment from pick up to delivery at the final destination become deciding factors in successfully delivering a shipment to its final destination.
Why is the ocean freight rate important?
Transportation costs are a vital component of the complete cost of taking the product to market. Ocean freight rate is an integral part of the aggregate transport cost.
Although an estimated ocean freight rate is built into the product manufacturing costs, given its volatile nature and impact of currency exchange rates, it keeps changing frequently. When the actual shipment is delivered at a rate higher than estimates taken into account, it reduces the profit margin of the exporter.
This is why procuring freight rate at the right time and from the right service provider is an important part of the entire global supply chain.
Till recently, to ensure that they get the best possible freight rate, exporters would initiate the freight rate enquiry, negotiations, and procurement at least a month prior to the shipping date. The more conservative shippers would start the process as soon as their sales order was approved by the buyer.
Shippers with large annual volumes have the scope to negotiate a volume rate with their freight forwarders or shipping lines, thus they can, to an extent, safeguard their business against unforeseen changes in freight and currency exchange rates.
Unfortunately, the low volume exporters or new exporters cannot avail of contracted ocean freight rates.
What’s wrong with the traditional way of booking freight and managing shipments?
The archaic way of buying freight involved interaction and follow up with least 3 – 4 shipping lines and freight forwarders for rates. To successfully manage shipment delivery till its final destination, an exporter also had to invest time and effort coordinating with his inland transport provider (trucker), customs house agent, bank, and insurance agent.
Not only was this process tedious but it also required a dedicated resource (sometimes an entire team) to manage the complete logistics of transporting cargo from one point to another. Human errors and communication gaps between various process - service stakeholders further slowed down the process.
How is the age-old process changing?
With technology taking over the traditional way of obtaining freight rates, getting a competitive ocean freight rate from different service providers has become easier, cost and time effective.
Advancements in technology has made it possible for exporters and importers to obtain rates within a matter of minutes from the comfort of their offices. Technology has also facilitated the current industry drive on integrating the different touch points of the global shipping process. Today, it has become possible for all the participants in the long drawn process of global shipping to connect on a single platform and perform their role in the business.
Apart from speed and process integration, the technological revolution in the freight industry has added efficiency and transparency to the entire freight booking and management process.
How is Cogoport simplifying freight booking and shipment management?
Being the frontrunner of the technological revolution in the Indian freight industry, Cogoport is working on eliminating the many redundancies and inefficiencies plaguing the freight booking and shipment management ecosystem.
By integrating all the stakeholders involved in the end-to-end shipping process, Cogoport is simplifying freight management and creating an industry environment that is based on trust, transparency, and reliability with speed enabling informed and faster decision making.
It has brought together all the touch points of an international shipping transaction. On the platform, shippers can connect with shipping lines, freight forwarders, truckers, insurance agents, and CHAs. They can obtain rate quotes, place bookings, and track the shipment till its final delivery in real time.
Knowing how time consuming follow up with the multiple stakeholders is, the platform has, to an extent, automated most of the freight management process and empowered the user to search, select vendors, place the booking and track it real time.
Salient Features of booking and managing freight on Cogoport
1. Personalised Dashboard: Create your own integrated global logistics management dashboard to connect all the touch points in your global supply chain.
2. Instant Rates: Get freight rate quotes from multiple shipping lines in a few simple steps.
3. Vessel Schedules: Access the sailing schedules of more than 30 shipping lines in one easy click.
4. Container Tracking: Track your container in real time till it reaches its final destination.
5. Document Wallet: Get your personal digital space to maintain all your shipping documents.
6. Digital Invoicing: Receive, manage, and pay your shipping invoices digitally.
7. Analytics: Get access to market driven freight rate trends and your shipment stats all at one place.
8. RFQs: If you don’t find spot rate for your port pair, you can raise a request for a rate quote. Cogoport will do the rest!
To better understand how Cogoport can optimise your international shipping process, register on the platform and explore the features yourself. Or connect with our customer success team to get an overview of Cogoport’s services and products. Go Digital, Go Cogoport!