Freight Forwarder Website for Comparing and Booking
Transporteca is the freight forwarder website where users can quickly compare and book shipping services. The portal collaborates with a number of established forwarders to ensure that services and rates are competitive, and that customer satisfaction is always achieved.
The typical Freight Forwarder Website
The websites of freight forwarders serve the purpose of displaying the services and presence of the freight forwarder, and for building trust with potential customers. Most freight forwarder websites, however, are little more than an online brochure. The websites are typically static and with limited opportunity for engaging with potential visitors, which means that the freight forwarders are missing out on a fantastic opportunity.
Search Transport Prices
When analysing the website of freight forwarders, there are two overarching models. Either they are designed around the forwarder’s own products or around their focused industry segments.
For example, if you visit the website of Kuehne+Nagel, one of the largest, you will notice the site is split into airfreight, sea freight, road & rail, contract logistics and integrated logistics. Below this first level, will come the section about your industry, which enables a selection of industries that the forwarder considers focus sectors.
Another example is that of CEVA, another global forwarder, however their focus is on industries before their own products. This can assist the user in building confidence in the company and the site.
Interaction with the Freight Forwarder Website
It is a shame that most freight forwarder websites do not offer the opportunity to engage with the visitor. These days, when so many people go online to have their questions answered, being able to make service and rate enquiries, ask questions and place bookings online on freight forwarder websites could help both the customer and the forwarder.
An example of a freight forwarder trying to add interactive elements to their website is that of NYK Logistics. On their website the visitor will find a range e-commerce applications, which regretfully all require log in details even for testing.
Why visit a freight forwarder’s site?
When analysing the visitors to such a site, there are two main segments to consider. One is when the visitors are browsing to learn more about the industry and the players. The second is when the visitors are actively looking for solutions to their transportation challenges.
For the first segment, an online brochure can to some extent meet the needs of the visitors. The only consideration is then whether or not the site actually stands out from the rest of the industry. If it is not a remarkable site, the chances are that it will not be noticed and remembered by visitors, and then it serves no purpose.
In fact, when browsing a number of companies from the industry, it is really difficult to find remarkable sites. Clearly, much investment has gone into developing and designing the sites, but very few, if any, truly stand out and come across different.
The second segment of visitors, are looking for real solutions to their transportation needs. The challenge in designing a freight forwarder website for this segment, is to know both the level of logistics understanding and experience the visitor has, and which logistics product they are actually searching for. The reality is that each logistics product has a distinct character, and making one site that can enable the customer to review services online and place bookings for all products is not an easy task.
How to compare and book
The challenge when developing a site where visitors can compare and book the services of the forwarder online is not as much the technical infrastructure as the data consolidation and structuring. Creating an IT system which can calculate rates and display service options requires a dedicated pricing engine for each of the forwarder’s products, but also a user interface which displays and offers the visitors the ability to compare and book the services.
Service and rate details, however, are often not as consolidated globally as one might think. Local charges for pick-up or delivery of cargo, or handling at an airport or warehouse, will often sit with local organisations and be revised as the markets and subcontractors change. The challenge therefore, is to keep a global database current, and implement a strict procedure for maintaining it. This is particularly problematic in a market with short rate validity due to quick fluctuations.
The other consideration is whether or not the forwarder actually wishes to publish services and rates on their freight forwarder website. Offering services online will obviously make it easier for customers, but it will also create a transparency which freight forwarder might not always be interested in.
Making it easy to compare services across forwarders will expose some forwarders and could potentially impact the market rate. This is a fundamental issue the forwarder needs to analyse before venturing into online comparison and booking.