• Francisco Montenegro

Freight Forwarders: Can Remote Work Help You Through The Covid-19 Crisis?


Quickly responding to the current Covid-19 pandemic, many organizations, including high-profile companies, have allowed their employees to move to a work-from-home structure. Stats from the previous years show this rise is only a validation of a trend that has been growing quickly. According to data from a 2018 study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics:


"Regular work-at-home has grown 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce (which grew 15%) and nearly 47x faster than the self-employed population (which grew by 4%)."

Can the freight forwarding industry operate their business through remote work?


Freight forwarding businesses rely on developing and nurturing trusted relationships with their clients. They have always depended on face-to-face interactions to acquire clients, and then have followed up on those clients through multiple back-and-forth emails and communications, as a way to fulfill the operational component of the physical flow of goods in international trade.


Now, with this new reality where millions of workers have moved to a remote work setting to be able to continue "business-as-usual", freight forwarders are exploring new methods to grow and scale their business.


Recent occurrences with the COVID-19 have forced multiple industries to reinvent themselves and start doing their jobs remotely. It is not until now, that freight forwarders realize their conventional methods to acquire new customers are not in alignment with the trends of the industry where their clients seek more visibility and instant gratification in doing business.


The industry is moving away from face-to-face interactions and solutions are sought based on these principles and the recent COVID-19 outbreak has made this reality stare directly into the eyes of forwarders forcing them to make changes in the way they do business.



What the future looks like for Freight Forwarders during and after the Covid-19 outbreak


As Megan Conyers from The Florida Customs and Brokers Association told us in an interview,

"[freight forwarders] will need to start putting specific mechanisms into place to not only be able to scramble to get freight going where it needs to go but also being able to manage customer expectations."


Freight forwarders are key to continue moving cargo through these turbulent times. No contact and social isolation will not cause the industry to stop functioning. Quite the contrary, goods are still being shipped worldwide, and demand for transportation is resembling peak seasons like November and December for certain goods. As a result, freight forwarders need to be ready to fulfill the transportation needs of the market. And our products at ConsolFreight could help achieve that.


However, the bottleneck on the supply chain is not a problem of forwarders being unavailable. The underlying issue lies in the way most global manufacturers operate in a Just-in-time setting in order to increase efficiencies and lower costs.


This translates to an economy depending on supply chains that are not resilient to unexpected demand shocks resulting in inevitable stock-outs of inventory. Now shippers are facing unexpected demands, and fewer distribution channels available.


How can shippers cope with these changes?


Book a consultation with me HERE to learn more about the options of remote growth and scalability.

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