RFQs are an interesting thing – how so depends on your perspective. As a freight forwarder issuing a bid, they are actually a chance for you to be the customer for once. Instead of dealing with shipper problems and customer service issues, you are in the position of having something other logistics services providers and carriers want – new business.
There are multiple reasons these unnecessary charge have become so common, but of course your feelings may depend on your perspective. Shippers argue it’s about revenue protection for terminals and ocean cargo companies in a struggling industry where everyone is trying to scrape by. The counter argument is that it is infrastructure limitations and regulations that are the reason these cost are necessary.
Innovative technology and e-centered business models are changing the international shipping industry drastically. In their white paper, e-Business in Forwarding – Threats and Opportunities, Drewry Supply Chain Advisors examine the effects of technological advancements in online forwarding on freight forwarders and ocean carriers. They argue that the move to more technology based platforms and tools creates both threats and opportunities in the industry.
Freight forwarders and NVOCCs face a lot of every day risks in their business that technology can easily solve. Many of them are the result of exposure to the routine challenge of managing the complexities of global shipping – like rate management, responding to RFQs, and general competition in the market place.