Though online business-to-business enquiries and sales are increasing at a steady rate, global companies in the logistics industry seem to be reluctant to embrace the power of the internet and have yet to equip themselves to take advantage of the web.
It is predicted that by 2020 online sales will make up 27% of global manufacturing trade. The number of business-to-business buyers preferring to use online services is growing; of those buyers whose budgets are greater than €100,000, 68% purchase online. Furthermore, 71% may be willing to change suppliers on the basis of a particularly good experience with a website. And yet despite the importance of internet sales, freight forwarding companies continue to lag behind in online business – freight sales very rarely take place online.
Freightos recently conducted a survey investigating the online sales practices of twenty of the world’s largest freight forwarding companies. The study involved sending requests for quotes through the websites of these companies, requesting the price of a door-to-door LCL shipment from China to Chicago. It was made clear to each company that other quotes wuld be requested and that they would be compared to competitors.
Freight Forwarding Survey by Freightos
The survey was divided into three sections: inbound sales experience, responsiveness, and the quote.
Inbound Sales Experience: The survey found that generally the leading freight forwarding companies do not place much importance on online services. On average, 3.25 clicks are needed simply to reach the form for a quote request. Furthermore, 20% of businesses lack an online form, and the average time taken to request a quote in those cases where there was a form was five minutes.
Responsiveness: Over 30% of the freight forwarding companies failed to respond in some way, thereby ruling themselves out before contact with a person could be established. Three companies failed to recognise the request for a quote. On average, it took seven hours for personal confirmation from a salesperson to be given, and in 80% of cases the quote request was not automatically confirmed. All this suggests that in order to get a quote, customers chase down the freight forwarders for a price.
The Quote: Whether a quote was actually given and how long it took were the two most vital metrics for the Freightos survey. Of the twenty freight forwarding businesses studied, only nine responded, and one of these took 35 days (the fastest was 30 hours). The price difference between highest and lowest quote was 40%, and a mere 20% of forwarders followed up after the initial quote.
So, although there is a clear demand for online services from shippers, members of the freight forwarding industry are coming up short in terms of responsiveness and customer focus on this media.
At Cargocare we place special importance on the quality of our response to customers. Unlike many of the companies surveyed, we are a family business, established by Liam Brewer in 1983 and still run by Liam, with the support of many members of the Brewer family who are heavily involved in managing the business, on a day-to-day basis.
We believe that what truly sets us apart is our customer service. We are genuine in our commitment to customers and we always aim for excellence, integrity and openness in all of our dealings.
When it comes to responding to customer enquiries – we see each request as an opportunity to grow our business, to deliver an excellent service and to develop a long-standing relationship with a new customer or to maintain excellent trade relations with existing clients.
In terms of service levels, our aim is to reply to any online enquiry within the hour and we are currently working to shorten that response time to under ten minutes – we understand also that a simple acknowledgement that your request is being looked at is important to the customer. Unlike many global freight forwarders, we have a quick quote facility on our site to make it as easy as possible to request pricing information.
Given our emphasis on clear communication, our commitment to quality and our understanding of the commercial pressures that our customers operate under – Cargocare provides a hands-on service that our customers believe is probably second-to-none.
At Cargocare, we are keen to offer the very best in customer service at an excellent price. If you are interested in our freight forwarding services, please do contact us for a clear and prompt quote, or complete the quick quote form now. We look forward to receiving your enquiry and will respond quickly!