FTL: Finding New Opportunities and Growth in Technology-enabled Collaboration
Freight and Transit Company Limited (FTL) is a private company founded in 1994. It offers a variety of domestic and international logistics solutions through its team of highly trained professionals and a global network of agents.
It all started in Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the southeast coast of the African continent. The population of Mauritius has 1.2 million inhabitants and its surface area is 1,865 square kilometers or 720 square miles. As Jean-Michel Carosin, Head of International & Strategic Development explains, "It is a small island and is very dependent on imports and exports."
Twenty-five years after coming into operation, FTL has emerged as a successful logistics company that offers the convenience of a one-stop-shop for the export and import of consignments by air and sea.
"We are able to handle all the logistics needs of our clients from door-to-door, from small parcels to oversized goods," explains Jean-Michel.
With the aim of diversifying opportunities for its customers, FTL has opened offices in Madagascar and South Africa.
FTL supports a fundamental concept of trust for its clients and various stakeholders.
Nicholas Bosquet, Head of Sales, expands the company’s vision:
"As a forwarding company, we deal with various issues including delays and working within short timeframes. It is important for us to talk to every single client and keep them informed of what is going on."
The objective of FTL is to ease off customers’ freight demands so that they can keep up with their business. "We aim to be a quality reference in the freight forwarding industry in the Indian Ocean. We work according to ethics and trust," Nicholas adds.
Making Use of Technology to Leverage Collaboration and Operations
Its strategic intent to push its business forward comes from the need to actively contribute to the sustainable development of countries where it operates. At FTL, the focus is put on improving internal processes for faster reaction to customers’ needs.
"The only way to develop is to work on efficiency, better reactiveness to our customers and to offer them what they expect from FTL,” says Jean-Michel.
In the wake of technology, the behavior of clients has shifted and what once was the standard practice of multiple back and forth communication, may no longer serve clients.
"Collaboration and communication play a crucial role in the freight forwarding environment, but some clients would like to avoid the hassle of numerous communications – they want to be hands-on their files. This is where the digital platform comes into play," Jean-Michel explains.
However, implementing changes to processes doesn't necessarily mean doing away with one-on-one assistance.
"Should they need a personal touch, specific advice on a difficult file – they still have the option to call for dedicated assistance to our Sales or Operations team who will be delighted to assist them. We believe that constant interaction is key to maintaining trust. Human contact and soft skills will always remain to ensure customer satisfaction," Nicholas includes.
e-Forwarder®: The Future of Business Development
With the needs of their clients in mind, FTL moved to become an e-Forwarder® with ConsolFreight to "enhance FTL connections around the world, and specifically with the customers and prospects willing to manage their communications and shipments using a digital platform." says Jean Michel
Looking ahead, FTL understands that it needs to prepare itself to respond to the customers of tomorrow who will only use their mobile devices to manage operations.
"We would like, with the assistance of a digital tool, to be always available to service our customers – should they need a quote instantly or need to retrieve documents from their database. Above all, what we would like to enhance is the option for our customers to get a quote and book space for their LCL cargo to be delivered in Mauritius, Madagascar, or South Africa from anywhere in the world," Jean-Michel appoints.
Among the benefits they derived from the e-forwarding environment, the two most important to them are:
1. Cost benefits - to be able to be more affordable to customers and consignees
2. Time management - to be able to spend more time with customers on specific scenarios that will bring value to them
With the easy-to-use e-Forwarder® platform, FTL can optimize processes by enabling clients to make decisions themselves. They can do so by using all the necessary information on display and be able to make decisions thereupon.
While industry changes may seem daunting or difficult, this must not necessarily be so. Changes in processes and operations may be seen as obstacles, but in reality, it is an opportunity to increase competitiveness and accelerate growth.
Instead of riding the curve, FTL is aiming to differentiate itself from its competitors by using technology to its advantage. On the e-Forwarder® platform, it is connected to a global network of forwarders harnessing the power of the internet, a step that has been long overdue in the industry.