Frustration Points in Traditional Freight Forwarding: An Overview

Frustration is the potential motivator behind any improvement in life and business. By addressing the critical frustration points in any industry and conducting a root cause analysis, we can develop various effective solutions to make a significant change. Digitalization, in the real sense, is a ground-breaking solution that can transform the world of shipping and freight forwarding by eliminating the many frustration points that are caused by traditional manual processes. Digital platforms provide businesses with some state-of-the-art tools to automate and facilitate their operations and make faster and more accurate decisions. If you are curious to get more informed about the costly frustration points in the freight forwarding industry, do not hesitate to keep reading this post.  

From Frustration Points to Efficient Digital Platforms

Frustration in business is a powerful emotion that can help companies to improve their businesses and provide more customer-satisfying experiences. When customers are frustrated, they are more likely to voice their concerns and give feedback. This feedback can improve the product or service and make it more customer-friendly. In addition, frustration points can motivate customers to seek out better alternatives. This can lead them to switch to a competitor’s product or service, which can ultimately help improve the quality of the market.

There are many frustration points in the traditional shipping and freight forwarding industry. Still, companies can take an innovative approach to their supply chain management and logistics processes to improve the situation. One way to do this is to use digital freight forwarding platforms. These platforms can improve communication and collaboration, reduce errors and delays, and provide a better overall experience for customers. By turning to digital media and marketplaces and taking advantage of their numerous facilities, companies can improve the situation and satisfy their customers more considerably. This can help enterprises boost their business and stand far ahead of the competition in the fast-paced business marathon.

Top Frustration Points in Traditional Freight Forwarding

High Risks of Traditional Freight Forwarding

The freight forwarding sector has mostly resisted adopting the most advanced technologies that reshape every element of the environment around us. Because of this, there are frequently numerous complaints and dissatisfactions regarding the client experience in this industry. Here are the main frustration points that most shipping and import/export clients in the present freight forwarding sector find frustrating.

1. Inefficient Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration are vital in business because they help ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. Good communication can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications, leading to errors and delays. Collaboration can also help to improve efficiency and productivity, as well as to promote creative problem-solving.

One of the most significant frustration points in the traditional freight forwarding industry is the lack of communication and collaboration between shippers, carriers, and other stakeholders. This can affect businesses in several ways, including causing errors and delays, complicating and prolonging procedures and processes, and ultimately leading to frustrated customers.

Consider the scenario where you decide to import cargo from your country of origin, China, to the United Arab Emirates. In both the source and destination countries, you will need to get in touch with numerous officials from the public and commercial sectors. You may need to phone many people who are genuinely detached from one another and do not care very much about facilitating the process of your cargo, as well as compose and send hundreds of emails to different officials and departments.

This irritating and uncomfortable communication inefficiency can cause frustration, impacting your company and all business dealings between the two nations. Here, a digitalized platform that combines all communication procedures into a single, centralized touch point can make a significant difference.

2. Lack of Visibility

Visibility is of the utmost importance in freight forwarding and logistics operations because it allows businesses to see what is happening at the moment with their shipments. Without visibility, companies can’t plan or prepare for delays in advance. This can lead to frustration and even lost business. In addition, visibility can help companies to track and trace their shipments and ensure they are going to the right place at the right due time.

However, in the traditional freight forwarding industry, it is always a big challenge for customers to be constantly notified of what is happening to their freight in real time. Most companies who have delegated their distribution and shipping processes to 3PL freight forwarders address “lack of visibility” as a significant frustration point that leaves them in a sense of uncertainty and indecision. Again, digital transformation is an effective solution that can keep all stakeholders in the shipping industry fully aware of every single step of the process in real-time, helping everyone make intelligent decisions and predictions when needed.  

3. Inefficient Processes

Manual processes are inefficient because they are mainly prone to errors. They can also lead to longer transit times and higher costs. In addition, manual processes can be very time-consuming, resulting in frustration for businesses and customers. Automating manual processes is becoming a worldwide necessity in any industry. Process automation can help to enhance communication and collaboration between various parties and stakeholders in the business and provide visibility into the real-time status of shipments. Ultimately, automation is valuable as it can help companies to improve their routine operations and provide a better overall seamless experience for their customers.  

Digital platforms like DFreight can automate processes and operations in the shipping industry by providing tools and services that can be used to manage, monitor, and control the execution of procedures and operations. They can also systematize and automate processes by using AI-powered technology to improve communication and collaboration, reduce errors and delays, and provide more visibility into the whole process of freight forwarding.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can significantly transform the shipping and freight forwarding industry and eliminate any pain or frustration points caused by inefficient processes. For instance, AI could help plan and optimize shipping routes, track and predict ship movements, and manage cargo loads. We can also employ AI to automate the documentation and paperwork associated with shipping, freight forwarding, customs clearance, etc.

4. Long-Waiting Queues in Offline Touchpoints

In the traditional freight forwarding and logistics industry, businesses must wait in long queues at every offline touch point. Since every touchpoint needs various documentation and paperwork to be completed, it can waste loads of time and lead to intolerable frustration. As an importer/exporter, you must request different authorizations, licenses, and permits before taking action. This can use up a large number of your corporate and human resources.

In addition, being unfamiliar with the complicated bureaucratic processes and lack of connections in the state organizations makes the process even more laborious and time-consuming. All this considerable time and resources can be spent much more efficiently on your business core activities. Digital platforms like DFreight help you go online, go through the process much easier and evade waiting in queues every step.

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5. Incompetent Staff

Every business’s success is highly contingent on staff competency. Incompetent staff can affect businesses in several ways, including causing errors and delays, complicating and prolonging procedures and processes, and ultimately leading to frustrated customers. With the international market getting highly globalized in recent decades, the shipping industry has become much more sophisticated than before, and the new technologies have made it more technical compared to the past. Nonetheless, many staff members working in the traditional freight industry have failed to keep themselves as updated as the technology has.

Incompetent employees jeopardize the efficiency of any traditional shipping company as they cannot satisfy business clients with time-efficient, cost-effective, and updated services. However, the digital world has made it much simpler for the staff to constantly train and update on the latest tools, technologies, processes, and procedures.

6. Poor Hospitality

There are many potential impacts of poor hospitality on the freight forwarding business. For instance, poor hospitality can lead to delayed shipments, missed deadlines, and dissatisfied customers. Poor hospitality can also lead to increased costs for the freight forwarder and decreased efficiency and productivity.

However, digitalization can improve hospitality in the freight forwarding industry in many ways. For instance, it can help streamline and automate processes, enhance communication and coordination between parties, and provide real-time visibility into the status of shipments. Digitalization can also help reduce costs and improve the customer experience, leading to stronger brand loyalty and credibility.

Use DFreight to Eliminate All Frustration Points

DFreight Cargo Pallet

The points we covered in this post constitute just a small number of the frustration points associated with traditional freight forwarding. The list is endless and differs based on various customer experiences. However, with the rapid growth of technology, particularly AI, digital platforms like DFreight, can do magic and lift heavy burdens from the shoulders of all shippers, manufacturers, and import/exporters.

DFreight is a digital freight forwarding platform that connects shippers and freight forwarders by bringing transparency to all parties in the transportation industry. DFreight sheds light on the traditional transportation market and makes it transparent, easy, and cost-effective. Also, it offers a range of features and benefits that can help improve the efficiency and productivity of the shipping industry. For instance, DFreight offers real-time tracking, automated documentation, and a marketplace for shipping and freight services, to mention a few. If you are interested, contact one of our consultants to enlighten you on the numerous benefits it can bring to your business.

Have you ever faced any frustration points while having your products shipped? If so, how did you deal with it? Let us know about your experience in the comments.


What are the critical frustration points in traditional freight forwarding?

The most common frustration points in traditional freight forwarding include inefficient communication and collaboration, lack of visibility, manual, inefficient processes, long-waiting queues, incompetent staff, and poor hospitality.

How can digitalization help improve traditional freight forwarding?

Digitalization can make the shipping process more transparent, reduce the cost of shipping, speed up shipping times, improve tracking and visibility, and make it easier to find a reliable freight forwarder.

How can DFreight help businesses with their shipping challenges?

DFreight’s digital freight forwarding platform offers businesses real-time tracking, automated documentation, and an AI-powered marketplace for shipping various types of freight from/to the UAE.

What is the difference between traditional and digital freight forwarding?

Digital freight forwarding is much more efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, it offers several features and benefits that traditional freight forwarding does not, such as real-time tracking and automated documentation.

How can AI contribute to freight forwarding?

AI could help plan and optimize shipping routes, track and predict ship movements, manage cargo loads, and automate the documentation needed for shipping, customs clearance, etc.

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