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When it comes to business priorities, freight forwarders and shippers appear to be on the same page. But that doesn't mean that shippers are entirely happy with the level of service they're getting from forwarders. A recent report on Global Freight Forwarding 2005, published by Transport Intelligence, finds both sides placing a high value on service. Forwarders rate reliability as the most important criterion in creating competitive advantage. That's followed by proactive client notification of problems with shipments in transit, and the ability to provide shippers with tracking and tracing. Price is only the fourth-highest factor-the same ranking it gets from shippers. Their first three criteria are, in order, proactive problem notification, reliability and track-and-trace capabilities. At the same time, shippers rated freight forwarders as "less than acceptable" in the problem notification department, with a grade of "barely above acceptable" for forwarder reliability. Notes Transport Intelligence: "There is still a large gap between shipper expectation and forwarder delivery. This shows that there is still a huge opportunity for forwarders to attain significant competitive advantage by focusing investment on these key areas."
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