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What the Future Looks Like for Freight Forwarders?

There isn’t an industry in the world that isn’t going through some degree of metamorphosis right now. Expanding global markets, technological advancement, labour force transformations, and operating in a post-COVID environment are just a few of the issues affecting business and industry in 2022. The transportation and shipping industry is not immune from such potential changes, which is why these are interesting times for shipping companies in Toronto.

What’s in Store for Cross Border Freight Companies?

There’s no question supply chains are under immense pressure across North America and around the world. Cross border shipping service companies are under duress as demands increase and supply chains strive to meet consumer expectations. Freight forwarders – logistics companies, 3PL, 4PL, NVOCCs, etc. – are a critical component of this industry, connecting shipping companies and cargo owners alike. The question remains, however: do freight forwarders have a strong future in an ever-changing shipping environment?

The answer of course is yes, but the future may look very different for freight forwarders and the businesses they are aligned with. Right now shipping companies and freight forwarders are both moving forward with the digitalisation of their respective roles in the freight industry. From computerized booking and documentation systems to electronic waybills and online purchase platforms, things continue to evolve while shipping companies and freight forwarders find the right mix. Shipping companies in Toronto may be far more along the path to complete digitalisation than a shipping company in a smaller city where there is less volume and less implementation of cutting-edge technology. In the coming decades, all information related to shipping and transporting goods will be fully digitalised, meaning automation will sweep through the industry and mistake-free shipping will be completed without human intervention. Given those potential realities, will companies that provide shipping solutions be able to charge premium prices for services that are fully automated? That remains to be seen. The truth is that shipping goods doesn’t always go according to plan, so there is still plenty of room for companies to provide a human touch with exceptional customer services.

What Freight Forwarders Need to Do to Embrace a Future of Change

There may come a time when shippers looking to fulfill uncomplicated freight needs turn directly to online self-serve options offered from various shipping lines. Providing additional service to mitigate all risks involved in shipping goods is where freight forwarders will continue to earn their fees. The quality of its human resources will always help define how successful a business can be, and that’s certainly true with freight forwarders. To remain competitive, such operations have to fully embrace digitalisation while engaging in human interaction and one-to-one personal service. It’s what sets robots apart of cyborgs – just a little tough of humanity.

Technology can sometimes be intimidating, but incorporating digital technology into the shipping industry while ensuring a high degree of personal service will keep innovative freight forwarders employed well into the future. NATS Canada has a team of professionals that have always gone above and beyond for their clients – digitalisation won’t change that.

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