Survey finds forwarders think industry will soon be largely automated

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Freightos founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Zvi Schreiber
Freightos founder and chief executive officer, Zvi Schreiber

A survey by Freightos has found 75 per cent of freight forwarders predict their industry in five years time will soon be running like personal banking – with high automation augmented by the personal touch.

The online booking portal’s findings were in a report on the state of service differentiation in the era of digital freight in which Freightos surveyed nearly 70 freight forwarders, followed by interviews with senior management.

Forwarders say they believe processes will be largely automated, although there will be exceptions when they will have to get actively involved in shipments and winning quotes.

Those interviewed suggested that beyond just the process flow, much of the physical movement of goods will also be automated by technology like automated stowage and self-driving forklifts.

Forwarders surveyed also anticipate that customer service will become a more important factor in provider selection, eroding price’s role as the all-powerful decision driver.

Freightos chief executive officer, and founder, Dr. Zvi Schreiber says: “Successful forwarders are looking for the service edge over their rivals. That’s no different to how it has always been. Freight digitalization is inevitable.

“Prudent forwarders see this and are preparing for it, looking at what benefits it will bring.  Those forwarders intent on providing a good service have a lot to gain from digitalization. Far from the threat it was once perceived to be, it may in fact be their best bet for future proofing their business.”