Airforwarders Association calls on software providers for communication

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Airforwarders Association addresses U.S. Maritime legislation tackling port disruption and China tariffs
AfA executive director Brandon Fried


Forwarders are ready to invest in digitization but need to better understand its worth beyond being a shipper or regulatory requirement, Brandon Fried told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Phoenix.

“There has been steady acceptance and adoption in the air cargo sector at large, but within the independent freight forwarder community, digitisation is driven by the shipper,” said Fried.

“Many AfA members invested in automation before the pandemic and could work from home, so in many ways the COVID lockdowns were a gigantic proof of concept.

“But for continued and more widespread streamlining of operations through digitisation, there needs to be a more clearly articulated value proposition.”

Fried emphasised that for the necessary increased engagement to happen forwarders need to understand what is at stake.

Acknowledging the challenge of reaching out to the diverse US forwarder community of up to 4000, Fried stressed that software providers had to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digital compliance.

“If the benefits of adopting a specific automation solution are not properly communicated, forwarders won’t move on from legacy practices,” said Fried.

“The software providers have to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digitisation and until they do I think the industry at large is paying the price.”

Fried was speaking at the CNS Partnership Conference 2022, attended by a record-breaking 750 delegates from across the globe.