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5 Reasons Ecommerce Startups Should Embrace Digital Freight Forwarding

The ecommerce market is evolving at an incredible pace, set to reach a value of around $47.73 trillion by 2030. Increasing global access to the internet, and a growing demand for convenient shopping experiences is creating an incredible opportunity for ecommerce vendors. 

But there are always challenges to overcome. To thrive in an increasingly competitive market, ecommerce leaders need more than just the right products. They need to deliver exceptional customer experiences, deliver products to consumers rapidly worldwide, and navigate ever-more complex logistics challenges. That’s where digital freight forwarding comes in. 

Evolving as a response to the burgeoning ecommerce market, digital freight forwarding has become one of the most valuable tools for growing startups. Here’s why every ecommerce leader should be embracing the power of digital freight forwarding in 2024.

What is Digital Freight Forwarding?

Digital freight forwarding is an evolution of the standard “freight forwarding” service. In the past, traditional freight forwarders worked with larger organizations to help connect them with logistics and shipping companies that would distribute their products overseas. 

Digital freight forwarding serves a similar purpose, providing companies (of all sizes) with access to various carriers, transportation options, and shipping quotes. The core difference is that digital freight forwarding simplifies and streamlines the logistics planning process, providing access to comprehensive platforms in which startups can compare shipping rates in real-time, book shipments instantly, and monitor their supply chain. 

Rather than having to deal with endless carrier phone calls and physical documentation, ecommerce startups can leverage the services offered by digital freight forwarders to manage everything in a single user-friendly interface. In short, they get a solution that allows them to quickly book shipments, select the best carrier service for their needs, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

5 Reasons Ecommerce Startups Should Use Digital Freight Forwarding 

Digital freight forwarding basically delivers all the benefits of a standard freight forwarding solution, but without the complexity, restrictions, and time-consuming manual processes.

It’s the perfect way for ecommerce startups to achieve scalable growth, while reducing costs, accessing expert support, and improving their relationships with customers. 

Here are the key reasons why it’s particularly important to embrace digital freight forwarding if you’re launching your ecommerce startup this year.

1. Boosted Efficiency and Productivity

Running an ecommerce startup involves a lot of work. You’ll need to juggle everything from product research and development, to managing customer service, keeping track of inventory, and even running marketing campaigns. Add the headaches of manually managing freight forwarding into the mix, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

Digital freight forwarding saves you crucial time. It gives you a single unified environment where you can seamlessly monitor, book, and manage shipments, without filling out lengthy forms. Some vendors even embed automation into their platforms, allowing companies to track things like changes to shipping rates without having to contact carriers directly. 

The less time you spend managing logistics, the more time you have to focus on differentiating yourself from your competitors, delighting customers, and creating new products. 

2. Reduced Costs (and Potentially Higher Profits)

Startups often struggle with funding limitations, even in the ecommerce landscape. This makes finding ways to reduce costs and increase revenue extremely important. While digital freight forwarding companies can’t always promise lower shipping rates than traditional vendors, they still work with partners to provide access to preferred rates. 

Additionally, they give you the freedom to compare shipping rates and options in real-time, so you can adapt your strategy to meet your startup's budget. On a broader level, digital freight forwarders can also save your organization money by reducing the time spent on logistics processes and minimizing the need to hire additional experts for support. 

Some tools even provide data-driven insights that companies can use to identify trends, opportunities, and inefficiencies within their supply chain. This gives you the chance to optimize routes, reduce resource waste, and improve customer experiences, which can increase long-term sales. 

3. The Ability to Scale and Adapt

Both the ecommerce landscape, and customer expectations are always evolving, prompting ecommerce startups to regularly experiment with new strategies to facilitate growth. The agile and flexible nature of a digital freight forwarding platform empowers ecommerce vendors to adjust their strategy to suit changing needs, whenever they like. 

You can experiment with FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less than container load) shipping. Examine how air and ocean freight methods influence delivery times and costs, and even explore partnerships with new carriers and services. 

Most importantly, ecommerce startups can adjust and scale their transportation volumes as needed, adapting to peaks and changes in customer demand, without incurring additional administrative overhead costs and complexity. 

4. Improved Transparency and Reliability

To thrive in a competitive ecommerce landscape, business leaders need to ensure they’re constantly investing in improving their reputation with customers. One of the best ways to do this is to be more transparent about your shipping and logistics strategies. 

In an ideal world, you’d be able to ensure that no shipments or deliveries were ever lost or delayed. However the reality is that an unpredictable supply chain can lead to a range of unforeseen challenges. What makes the biggest difference to your customers is how quickly you can inform them about changes.

Digital freight forwarding companies give you the insights you need to be more transparent with your customers. 

You can use platforms to track the progress of shipments overseas, detect potential issues and delays, and keep customers informed about problems, improving your chances of building stronger relationships with your target audience. 

5. Powerful Opportunities for Growth

Finally, digital freight forwarding platforms don’t just give companies a way to optimize logistics management through software and automated tools. They also give them access to the data they need to make strategic decisions in the future. 

You can use the data you collect through your digital freight forwarding system to identify the best routes and modes of transport for different shipments, based on your budget and customer expectations. You can analyze common issues with disruptions and delays and use your insights to avoid further issues in the future, enhancing your brand’s reputation. 

You can even work with digital freight forwarders to consistently scale your operations, taking advantage of new shipping routes to reach different customer groups you hadn’t considered serving before. This all paves the way for consistent revenue growth.

It’s Time to Embrace Digital Freight Forwarding

There’s a reason the digital freight forwarding industry is growing at an impressive CAGR of 23.1%. As the ecommerce market grows, digital solutions provide vendors with unique opportunities to maintain agility, flexibility, and scalability in their operations. 

With the right digital freight forwarding carrier, ecommerce startups can mitigate common issues, like high shipping costs and delays, and improve their reputation with their target audience.

At the same time, they can run their businesses more efficiently and effectively, reducing the amount of manual work involved in the logistics process. 

If you’re launching an ecommerce startup in 2024, now could be the perfect time to start looking for the ideal digital freight forwarding partner.

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