Kopf + Lübben centralises their air freight operations in FreightViewer and have almost reached 900 quotations generated in the system

 

FreightViewer was launched three years back and, nowadays, it’s becoming the reference software for The Cooperative members. Unlike other transport management softwares in the market , such as Freightos, Flexport or iContainers; FreightViewer has the great advantage of being developed within an international logistics network, enabling members to access to online rates from reliable agents all over the globe.

 

This week we are publishing an interview with Tobias Teichmann, head of the airfreight department of Kopf + Lübben,  a Coop member in Hamburg, Bremen and Frankfurt, and one of the founders of the network . This is a special interview where our topic in focus is FreightViewer, the Coop’s member- exclusive freight rate management software. During the past year, The Coop’s FreightViewer Department and Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services worked closely to improve the software. In this interview, Mr. Teichmann talks about the utilities of this platform and how it is helping their team to accelerate their everyday work processes.

Kopf+Lubben -Independent freight forwarder
Interview with Tobias Teichmann

This week we are publishing an interview with Tobias Teichmann, head of the airfreight department of Kopf + Lübben,  a Coop member in Hamburg, Bremen and Frankfurt, and one of the founders of the network . This is a special interview where our topic in focus is FreightViewer, the Coop’s member- exclusive freight rate management software. During the past year, The Coop’s FreightViewer Department and Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services worked closely to improve the software. In this interview, Mr. Teichmann talks about the utilities of this platform and how it is helping their team to accelerate their everyday work processes.

Q. Since when have you been using FreightViewer?

A. Kopf + Lübben started working with FreightViewer almost one year ago. Initially, we requested a demonstration of the system, and we soon realized the software would be very useful in our office. We started to use FreightViewer with one regular client who submits many inquiries to us. Initially, we uploaded our local charges and rates, which took some time and effort, of course. However, that soon paid off.  After we got a routine with the first client and learned how to use FreightViewer, we have quickly customized it for further clients and the team immediately felt confident about the process. Until today, we have reached almost 900 quotations saved in FreightViewer and we are now planning on managing our ocean freights with FreightViewer as well.

Q. How is FreightViewer helping you to enhance the efficiency and overall output of your office tasks?

A. FreightViewer enables K + L’s Air Freight department to reduce the time needed for a quotation. All of our quotations now have the same homogeneous format and proper layout.  FreightViewer also offers useful statistics for our customers’ operations as well as a quotation workflow. Furthermore, the implementation of FreightViewer in the Air Freight Department has meant a significant change for our team who previously used to work with corporate design excel sheets and needed to recalculate costs for each inquiry.

FreightViewer- freight rate management tool

FreightViewer enables our air freight department to reduce the time needed for calculating a quotation. Furthermore, the implementation of FreightViewer has meant a significant change for our team who previously used to work with corporate design excel sheets and needed to recalculate costs for each inquiry.”

Q. What is your opinion about the new updates added to the FreightViewer? Are they adding to the usability of this platform?

A. Some of the improvements suggested and finally implemented in the tool was integrating a calculator for the cargo dimensions, duplicating quotes for offering several options to customers, the option to amend remarks in the quotation or to modify the validity date in a specific quote. We’re very pleased with the performance now. Calculating and submitting a quote just takes a few minutes, it is a great simplification. The Coop’s FV team has been very supportive, little hiccups in the program have been improved immediately. We strongly recommend users experiencing problems with the software to contact the FV team at The Coop who always help quickly and reliably.

Q. Do you think FreightViewer is helping the Coop members to take the first step towards digitization?

A.  FreightViewer is a free and exclusive online software to generate quotations that enables the members to send accurate quotations instantly. From my experience, this platform enormously simplifies the process of generating quotes. The updates added to FreightViewer have enabled our team to quote in a couple of minutes resulting in an average of twelve quotes per day. I am certain that this software can be a great way for members to take the first step towards digitization. Most importantly, in a time when the logistics industry is struggling with so many hindrances, independent freight forwarders need to digitize their operations by using solutions like the FreightViewer.

Q. What rates have you uploaded to  FreightViewer?

A. We have uploaded our import and export local, transport and Air Freight rates to FreightViewer. Therefore, all agents are able to check these instantly. They just need to access the Members Area and go to Freight Viewer’s rate browser. We have now inserted all shipments from-to Hamburg, Bremen or Frankfurt in FreightViewer.  All members in The Coop can check our rates online at any time.  FreightViewer then forwards these quotations straight to us by an automatic email to ensure that we get all of them.

Q. Would you like to recommend the use of FreightViewer to your network partners?

A. FreightViewer is a brilliant platform that allows members to organize their rates with their local and transport charges on a single platform. Furthermore, the platform allows the members to be at the cutting edge of technology and compete with the stalwarts in the industry by digitizing the majority of business processes. The software stores all data needed for organising a shipment. In other words, a tool like FV will allow the users to come up with an accurate door-to-door quotation. Additionally, it allows forwarders to respond to their customers’ enquiries immediately

Interview with Anibal del Diego – The Coop’s Membership Development Coordinator

Today we are publishing an interview with Anibal del Diego, the Membership Development Coordinator of The Cooperative Logistics Network. Anibal’s primary task consists of researching and recruiting the most competent freight forwarders for membership in The Cooperative. Additionally, he plays a vital role in seeking out new sales opportunities and selecting and engaging reliable members for The Cooperative. Before working at The Coop, he spent many years in the Sales and Customer Service department of a few multinational companies which gave him an in-depth knowhow of working with a goal driven basis and ensuring client satisfaction. Moreover, Anibal’s skills in interpersonal communications lends a positive, confident and determined approach to customer relationship management.

Anibal Del Diego
Anibal Del Diego, The Coop’s Membership Development Coordinator

Today we are publishing an interview with Anibal del Diego, the Membership Development Coordinator of The Cooperative Logistics Network. Anibal’s primary task consists of researching and recruiting the most competent freight forwarders for membership in The Cooperative. Additionally, he plays a vital role in seeking out new sales opportunities and selecting and engaging reliable members for The Cooperative. Before working at The Coop, he spent many years in the Sales and Customer Service department of a few multinational companies which gave him an in-depth knowhow of working with a goal driven basis and ensuring client satisfaction. Moreover, Anibal’s skills in interpersonal communications lends a positive, confident and determined approach to customer relationship management.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your experience at The Coop.
A.  I really enjoy what I am doing and so far my experience with The Coop team has been nothing short of delightful. We are a close knit team and my associates within the organization are very amiable. We work harmoniously to come up with innovative solutions for our network members. In the course of my service at The Coop, I have learned a great deal about enrolling new members, client research, the importance of concise and precise communication and much more.

Q. Can you tell us something about the beginnings of The Coop?
A. The Coop started its journey from September 2014 has completed 7 years in business. We started with members from over 60 cities across 50 countries and today we have recruited over 310 reliable agents across 134 countries. Moreover, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for independent freight forwarders to band together and successfully compete with the big players. Notwithstanding the several challenges of this industry since 2020, we have been able to maintain our quality standards and significantly expand our member base.

Q. What does your job consist of? Do you find your day-to-day tasks exciting?
A. My everyday work is very interesting and even demanding at times. My primary task entails doing research about the applicant companies and determining their membership eligibility. Moreover, as the Membership Development Coordinator, I am the first point of contact between the members and the network. Additionally, I also contact potential members and communicate about the advantage of joining our network. It is my responsibility to keep the number of members growing for further expanding our coverage in the coming years.

Q. Which is the most challenging part of the job?
A. The Coop accepts a maximum of 3 agents per city with the exception of busy cities where the maximum is 5 members. Therefore communicating with so many agents each from several cultural backgrounds surely poses a considerable challenge. However, my previous experience in the Customer Service Sector has taught me how to effectively deal with my clients and attend to each of their questions, issues and requirements.

Q. In your opinion, which is the greatest advantage of The Coop members in terms of sales?
A. The Coop’s referral programs can be of great financial advantage for the members. The Coop’s Referral Program gives the agents 25% discount on their first yearly membership fee for each agent that they recommend who gets accepted as a member. All members need to do is refer trustworthy agents and they get to obtain 25% discount of their membership fee if that agent eventually becomes a Coop member. They can avail of up to 4 discounts of 25% every year implying the possibility of paying zero membership fee for the coming year! Additionally, members who want to represent more than one location within a country get to pay just 50% of the posted membership fee for every additional branch.

Q. What is the most important objective of the sales team?

A. Simply put, the most important job if the sales team is to increase the number of members within the network. To this end, we constantly undertake many promotional projects and get in touch with trustworthy freight agents who could be our potential members. Additionally, we are not on the lookout for the largest forwarders in each city. What we try to find are the most reputable, well managed and financially solvent companies that also have a substantial business volume and a good credit history with their partners.

Q. What do you like about working at The Cooperative?

A. The friendly office environment fosters creativity and allows me to try out new approaches towards aspect of my job. Thanks to the constant help of my colleagues and the encouragement of the management, I think of my workplace as an extension of my family! Despite  all the challenges of my work, I find it very interesting and constantly trying out new techniques to expand the outreach of our network.

My teammates are always there to help me with the task of reaching out to quality agents and offering the best customer services. The frequent board meetings and discussions help me to brainstorm and find new ideas to enhance our services and outreach. The Coop offers a proactive work environment that permits me to be innovative and creative. Over the years my colleagues have eventually become like a close knit circle of friends who work together with one common objective: to better serve our agents and to enable independent freight forwarders to become truly global.

Q. What are the values that motivate you?

A. Honesty, originality, and the wisdom to make important decisions are some of the factors that allow me to be good at what I do. In my opinion clear communication,  operational integrity, and an aptitude for problem solving are crucial for expanding our network. Above anything else the agents need to feel that we care for their business. The success of our network is directly related to the success of our member companies.

What matters in my line of work is to show my clients how we really care about them. At the end of the day it all boils down to trust and it is this trust of our members which keeps us moving forward. In this context I would like to quote American business author and management guru Michael LeBoeuf -“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy,”- and this exactly is my work motto!

Interview with Robert Schott, the President of AirSchott – PART 2

“We have team members who have worked with us for over 20 and even over 30 years and I often hear them say that they enjoy working at AIRSCHOTT. That’s the company’s greatest success and it’s been a team effort.”

This is a continuation of our last week’s interview with Robert Schott, the President of Airschott, INC, a Coop member in Washington DC, USA. In today’s interview, Mr. Schott sheds light on the problems facing the industry, the importance of having a disaster plan and once again tells us another highly engaging story involving the movement of a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV.

Robert Schott, AirSchott - The Cooperative
     Robert Schott, AirSchott

Q. What has been the greatest success of your team so far? How did you handle it?
A. In my opinion, our greatest success has been in providing a healthy, productive, cooperative environment for our staff. We have team members who have worked with us for over 20 and even over 30 years. I often hear them say that they enjoy working at AIRSCHOTT. That’s the company’s greatest success and it’s been a team effort.

Q. Can you tell us a curious shipment your team has handled?
A. The ZEPHYR is a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV that was developed and built in Great Britain and brought to the USA multiple times for testing. AIRSCHOTT / SEASCHOTT had the honour (and challenge) to enter it into the US, transport it to test sites in remote desert areas and then re-export it back to England, attending to all the customs and transport formalities in each direction.

The aircraft, in its various iterations, had wingspans of 40’ – 70’ and travelled in a bespoke case (wings disassembled) that was shoved down the nose of 747F aircraft or fit onto a 40’ ISO flat rack. It would arrive by air freight and we shipped it back by ocean. We did this about a half dozen times from around 2005 – 2013, meeting a freighter at ORD or LAX and shipping back out of Houston after desert trials.

I don’t recall which year’s shipment it was but one year we had the aircraft on a flat rack and the ground handling equipment stuffed into a 20’ box, booked on an HLAG vessel from HOU. Shortly before scheduled sailing, Houston was locked down due to an incoming hurricane. The sailing was postponed, and we found a warehouse that would store the aircraft inside and the ground gear on the leeward side of the building, protected from the high winds and tidal surge.

The storm passed, all was safe, and we loaded the UAV and gear on the first available departure. All good, right? The container and aircraft arrived in England and I received a frantic phone call and e-mails about the recipient’s staff entering the container holding the ground handling equipment and being chased out by a huge, hairy spider.

Now, I spent much of my youth in my native Florida where huge, hairy spiders are a common fact of life – as a child, I watched my grandmother chase one out of her kitchen with a broom. So, when asked why we hadn’t provided insect control procedures prior to departure, I responded that the big hairy spider was our insect control procedure as its job was to capture and eat insects!

My sense of humour unfortunately was not appreciated in England.

Q. That was funny! Changing the topic a little bit: What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders regarding the pandemic at the moment and how is AIRSCHOTT dealing with these challenges?
A. Obviously, keeping staff and clients safe was, for some, the biggest challenge. However, about 18 years ago, AIRSCHOTT developed a “work-from-home” model both for convenience and as a part of our “disaster plan”. COVID-19 brought the disaster that we had prepared for since 9/11 and the transition was pretty easy for us. Now, the challenge is freight capacity and dealing with carrier shortages and this challenge extends to all transport modes.Q. What is the outlook for your country’s shipping market? Which sectors in the freight forwarding industry are growing, and which not?
A. We see the market growing and capacity improvements in all modes as the pandemic is being brought under control. Outdated and deteriorated infrastructure is a serious problem domestically and we’re hopeful that the government will soon address this issue aggressively.
 

“We had the honour (and challenge) to enter a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV into the US, transport it to test sites in remote desert areas and then re-export it back to England, attending to all the Customs and transport formalities in each direction.

Q. In your opinion, what does the freight forwarding industry lack? How would you think it should improve?
A. Industry-wide professionalism and integrity need to improve

Q. From your own experience, which are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?
A. Communication and attention to detail are key. Innovation leads to success in this and most industries. The most important thing is to listen to the clients’ needs and find the best ways to fulfill those needs.

Interview with Durar Logistics, a Coop member in Damman, Saudi Arabia

An insider’s guide to ISO tank logistics

“Risk assessment prior to execution is compulsory when transporting inflammable or toxic liquids through populated areas, since people are exposed to undue risk in the event of an untoward incident.”

freight forwarder
The Cooperative Damman – Tank international logistics

Durar logistics LLC is in the ISO tank business since they started their operations in 2016, as they are now considered as a veritable expert in the field of petrochemical logistics.

It can’t be denied that the tank business is one of those logistics sectors that will keep its growth rate intact in the future. According to QY Research, the value of the global ISO Tank Container market was $790 m in 2018 and they expect it to reach $1580 m by the end of 2025.

Durar logistics LLC, a Coop member in Damman, Saudi Arabia, is in the ISO tank business since they started their operations in 2016. As a veritable expert in the field of petrochemical logistics, today they are going to immerse us in the world of tank containers.

Tanks containers were invented to serve the bulky transportation of chemical liquid and these tanks are specially designed to meet various chemical classifications. ISO tanks enable inter-modal logistics between various modes of transportation including sea vessels, trucks, and rails. These tanks comply with the International Organization for Standardization and are meant to transport bulk fluids that can be hazardous or non-hazardous”, explains Mahmood Samman, the Project Director of Durar Logistics.

ISO tanks are often made of stainless steel and have a life of at least two years carrying corrosive chemicals. Regarding its advantages, Mr. Mahmoud is clear on the fact that, “They are a safe and reliable mode of transport for moving bulk liquids around the world. They also offer greater flexibility in planning and helps in cost reduction”.

The most challenging part in tank shipping is the safety of dangerous goods and the regulations of handling
procedure. Every commodity is required to follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Technical Data
Sheet (TDS).

“Even though Tank Containers are very safe, Mr. Mammoud talks about the procedures that are required before transporting liquid chemicals in tank containers. “Risk assessment prior to execution is compulsory when transporting some inflammable or toxic liquids through populated areas since people are exposed to undue risk in the event of an untoward incident. For this reason, risk assessment is of primary importance”.

“This is precisely why I believe that the most challenging part in ISO tank shipping is the safety of dangerous goods and the regulations of handling procedure. Every commodity is required to follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Technical Data Sheet (TDS) so as to understand the nature and ensure regulatory compliance. That is why we do emphasize the technical part of the commodity along with the classification of MSDS to define the exposure of hazardous substances and abide by the liners regulations at both the origin and destination countries. Our freight booking is placed on the basis of product classification and regulations.”

Due to all the challenges and risks that are involved in this industry, “IATA Certification is required when moving this kind of shipments. Moreover, Dangerous Goods Regulation (DGR) will guide on how to transport dangerous goods safely and efficiently, while providing insight on several technical aspects such as the materials applications, classification, packing instruction, packaging specification, documentation, handling of radioactive materials, best practices for environment safety etc. In order to improve workforce qualification a constant training in HSSE program is recommended.” says Mr. Samman.

In the last five years, Durar Logistics has handled several delicate shipments. Mr. Samman narrates one such story about a complicated shipment, “Over the years we have encountered several problematic shipments. Once during the transit of one ISO tank, we encountered a leaking tank condition and we had to work in conjunction with the liner and the local agent to escalate the case and enforce the recovery procedure. The tank was held at the port for further recovery and survey procedure by the third party approved surveyor, and it was closely handled with the assistance of other parties to discharge the materials safely and replace the ISO tank and allow further movement to the consignee port.”

Regarding the competition, as the Middle East region continues to see significant growth in the use of tank containers, “it goes without saying that the competition among forwarders here is stiff. Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is a city known for oil & chemical liquid supply locally and over the world, and freight companies specializing in this field are competing to prove their worth to sustain long-term projects. The most important characteristic of the service provider in this sector is the commitment to the corporate standards that is a pre-requisite for obtaining important contracts. Consequently, what sets us apart from the competition is that we have been carrying out businesses with governmental entities and private chemical manufacturers regularly via our group’s umbrella organization in Dammam. Since the last few years, we are focusing more on the core of chemical engineering and their expertise and know-how in this field keep them ahead of their competitors.”

The digitalization will be the key in the chemicals sector, the value chains are being reconfigured as sustainability, economic and geopolitical trends; new technologies and changing consumer demands are on the freight forwarders’ agendas.

However, in 2020, like in every business sector, the pandemic has also impacted the ISO shipping sector. “COVID-19 has directly affected production and the demand and disrupted the supply chain market. Its economic impact on firms and financial markets greatly impacted the normal functioning of the chemical and tank industry.”

As for the future, Mr. Samman is clear about this: “The digitization is going to be the key in the chemicals sector. The value chains are being reconfigured as sustainability, economic and geopolitical trends, new technologies, and changing consumer demands are challenging the bottom line of the companies and their future profitability.The Coronavirus has added even more complexity to our business. I believe the chemical logistics companies will need to redefine their value chains and business models to adapt to the circular economy, while capturing the opportunities from digital technology, and upskilling their workforce”.

“FreightViewer is different than other online marketplaces. We are proud to work with The COOP in this project”

After stablishing the partnership with Shipco, FreightViewer Department interviewed Morten Bach- Global Chief Commercial Officer at Shipco Transport- to analyse the current situation and the upcoming digital changes in logistics.

leading digital transformation
The COOP FreightViewer integrates Shipco LCL rates to enable users to generate instant quotes

leading digital transformation
The COOP FreightViewer integrates Shipco LCL rates to enable users to generate instant quotes

Speed in quoting is essential in a market where the difference between one quote or the other has become minimum. This means that, in some cases, who quotes the faster will have the shipment. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to develop tools such as FreightViewer, states Mr. Morten Bach. He also adds that technology has disrupted in logistics and everything is happening amazingly fast, changing the landscape of logistics.

Mr. Bach also adds that the speed of the market is one of the other big changes in logistics, this is forcing traditional freight forwarders to change their way of thinking. They need to find the strategy to send shipments from A to B as fast as possible, achieve faster information sharing or better order management. And this can be done using different gateways than the traditional.

Under his point of view, it’s important to become global, reaching key partners and the right technology. Being part of a network, which offers a tool such as FreightViewer, means that small-medium companies will be able to become global, being much more competitive and, with the help of technology, being able to handle much more tasks along the process, optimizing their resources. Mr. Morten says: “With the pandemic the digitization process has been accelerated and those companies who didn’t have a great technology strategy have got caught by the new world-wide situation, not being able to serve their clients in the same way or the way they should”

Mr. Morten Bach pointed out the importance of visibility in logistics in order to take control over all shipments. According to his words “it’s essential to provide several options for a shipment to the client, if you don’t give various options to them, they will go somewhere else. Clients need what they need and if you don’t offer it, they will try another option”

To finalize, Mr. Morten states that, currently, there are two different sectors in logistics. Those that refuse to use digital services and those that only use digital resources. This means that we need to develop two different customer strategies, providing service to both groups, but never forgetting that digital trends will be extremely helpful in both strategies.

You are able to find Shipco rates directly through your FreightViewer profile accessing into your member area and personalize these adding your own profit margin. Please contacta amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com to obtain further information.

COOP agent in Bremen, Hamburg and Frankfurt names FreightViewer as the game-changer tool for members

After testing our Transport Management Software, Mika, from Kopf & Luebben GMBH, states that FreighViewer is a great opportunity to take the next step towards digitization.

Mika Seebeck, in charge of the airfreight and EDI in Kopf & Luebben GMBH, is now working with FreightViewer and comments that software will be the next important step for K&L to optimize the daily business process

Mr. Mika states: “FreightViewer will become a really useful and important tool for K+L. Our customers no longer need to wait for our quotations, they just enter the shipment details and immediately obtain the cost for their shipment. Additionally, it will save a lot of time for us, since we do not need to calculate and offer rates manually to our agents and customers. And as you know, time is money“.

Our agent also comments that: “All Members can use it for free and save much time with this tool. The software can use the rates from other COOP members as well and if a customer of K+L needs the delivery charges in another country the system will check if a COOP member has uploaded valid import rates and uses these rates for the quotation […]It can help all COOP Members in their daily business process and it is a feature which nearly all our competitors are unable to provide”

logistics companies and suppliers

FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of the software or if you would like to know more about the system by scheduling a personalized demo. Please contact amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com

COOP agent in Ahmedabad and Mumbai encourages all members to use FreightViewer in order reduce time to quote and easily share rates between agents

Our member, Mr. Ajay Shukla, from Translog Express PVT LTD, has given very interesting suggestions to improve FreightViewer and make it even more useful

After the launch of The COOP’s exclusive software, FreightViewer Department has been receiving plenty of applications from our members to test the software and suggest its improvements. Ajay Shukla, Executive Director of Translog Express PVT LTD, has been collaborating with FreightViewer Department and is now willing to start to work with FreightViewer.

Ajay Shukla states: “FreightViewer is a very good tool and I think it will save a lot of time in quoting rates between agents, as once shared with each other the rates are available online,It also helps forwarders who do not have elaborate and expensive software to easily keep track of their quotes and approvals from their customers […] it will be extremely useful as trusted agents can share the rates and quote to their customer instantaneously” 

Our member, Ajay, has also suggested to have several detailed quotes in one page and a more simple solution for air rates. All these comments have been quite useful for FreightViewer Department and have helped us to improve the tool. Following our member’s statements, we are sure FreightViewer will enable all members of The COOP to reduce time to quote and save costs as it isa free tool for members.

FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of the software or would like to know more about the system by scheduling a personalized demo, by contacting amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com. We will be happy to assist you.

The Cooperative takes a major step towards the digitization of the freight forwarding sector by creating FreightViewer

Madrid, Spain October 2019: After two years of hard work and substantial private investments, The Coop with agents in 286 cities and 124 countries is all set to start working with its member-exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer. This software will provide the members of The Cooperative the technological capability to compare competitive online freight rates, share shipping documents, and quote instantly in real-time all in one neatly organized platform.

Freight forwarding sector is aware about the need of digitization in the industry. The best example to show this fact, is the great investment of technological companies such as Flexport, Freightos or other pioneer freight forwarding multinationals, e.g. Twill and KN Freightnet, have done during the last few years. But even, after all these investments and efforts, a considerable percentage of freight forwarders continue to miss out on the digitalization race in the freight industry.

Even though it is not an easy task to become digitalize within this industry, highly demanding and inpatient customers, multinationals and globalization, are some of the factors which are forcing an important transformation in logistics sector. Inside this environment, The Coop has developed FreightViewer, revolutionizing the old ways of working. As a member-exclusive and free Transport Management Software, FreightViewer allows members of the network to automatize the uploading of their contract rates (Air, FCL, LCL and Cargo Insurance) through the online platform and share them with agents or customers instantly. Moreover, FreightViewer on the dashboard allows customers and agents to manage bookings for any carrier online, collaborate and share the shipping documents, and offer real-time status updates for shipments.

best freight forwarding network

As stated by Antonio Torres, the CEO and President of The Coop, “The new tool is going to help freight forwarders within our network cope with the problem of ever-changing freight rates due to complex tariffs, various time zones and unresponsive overseas agents, which eventually leads to a delay in quoting a door-to-door service.”

FreightViewer will ensure that all members will become truly digital freight forwarders. Mr. Torres further added that “Digitization of the freight forwarding sector is starting but very slowly. For example, only three of the top twenty global freight forwarders can provide an instant quote online. We feel very proud to be part of the digitization process in our industry. The Coop is the first international freight forwarding network to launch instant quoting ability for its members. We have come up with FreightViewer after the launch of the operating system by the industry leader Flexport, who has received one billion $ investment, has eleven offices in four countries and is currently receiving all the attention world-wide from media related to the industry as it is growing incredibly. We haven’t a received a billion-dollar investment, but we have developed a state-of-art software and we have a huge worldwide infrastructure formed by our members. This makes us one of the biggest players running in the digital race of the logistics sector. Our main aim is to contribute towards actualizing the process of digitization in this sector and thereby create value for the shippers.”

FreightViewer will definitely alter the way independent freight forwarders conduct their businesses. It will not just reduce the quotation processing time from a number of days to a couple of seconds, but also help to enhance the productivity, client engagement, and profitability of the member companies.

Interview with Devadas K.M., Fortune Logistics

international logistics service provider“Our company was founded back in 2000 and our founding members came with over 40 years of experience in the industry. We are capable of handling any kind and size of shipments by sea or air with 100% infrastructure and tailor-made customer services. ”

This week we are publishing an interview with Devadas K.M. the Founder and Director of Fortune Logistics, a Coop member in Chennai, India. In this interview, he talks about his company, its achievements and how they are preparing themselves for the future.

Q. Can you tell us a little about Fortune Logistics’ history?
A. Our company was founded back in 2000 and our founding members come with over 40 years of experience in the industry. We are capable of handling any kind and size of shipments by sea or air with 100% infrastructure and tailor-made customer services.

Q. What distinguishes Fortune from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. What makes us different is our instant response and transparent and client-centric transactions.

Q. Which was your experience before running Fortune Logistics?

A. Before establishing FORTUNE LOGISTICS in the year 2000, I acquired experience in handling breakbulk cargo ships, bulk cargo ships, tankers, etc. acting as a chartering agent or as an owner agent for container lines like CONTSHIP, UASC, CMA, MISC, OEL, DONGNAMA etc., and represented as agents for Leading Multinational Freight Forwarders like AEI, KUHNE & NAGEL, JAS, CLASQUIN CDG, FRACHT AG. Afterwards, I founded Fortune Logistics and now I am also running an e-commerce business and I own a 15 hectares organic farm.


“Prompt communication, swift service, transparent dealing and a friendly and client-centric attitude are surely the keys to boosting the efficiency of any freight forwarding company”

 

Q. Apart from being the Director of Fortune Logistics, did you develop other roles in the logistics sector?

A. I am also a shareholder of the new International Airport called Kannur International Airports Limited (KIAL) which is the 4th best and largest international airports in India. I have also invested in land and infrastructure to develop this new airport. Moreover, I’ve been a HAM (Amateur Radio Operator) in the past 29 years with friends in more than 140 countries. I’ve traveled to over 63 countries for this shipping business and also for meeting my Amateur Radio friends. 

Q. What is your opinion about Corporate Social Responsibility?

A. I actively cooperate with organizations that deal with Disaster Communication (tsunami, cyclone, earthquake, etc) which has contributed to save many lives. I have even earned many certificates because of this. Additionally, I am a past president of the Rotary Club and I’ve made donations of over $ 10,000 for polio eradication drive.

Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team has had to deliver?

A. It is true that size doesn’t matter since our most difficult shipment was a PCB of 500 grams from London to Mangalore. We had to carry out the task within 3 days since the shipment was very critical without which an IT company would have been totally frozen. Though small, transporting this shipment was an achievement. Nevertheless, the largest shipment handled by us was a 600 TEU shipment within 30 days.

Q. Which do you think are the keys to increase the freight forwarding services efficiency?

A. Prompt communication, swift service, transparent dealing, and a friendly and client-centric attitude are surely the keys to boost the efficiency of any freight forwarding company.

Q. How do you see the future of the freight forwarding industry?

A. The advances in technology will allow us to augment our work volume with less manpower and better profit margins.

Q. Tell us an anecdote about your company.

A. Nearly 35 years back I gave a lift to a Greek guy walking inside the harbor under the scorching sun. He was a captain of a ship and his ship’s agent refused to drop him since he had an urgent meeting. Although I had a vessel waiting for berth allotment, I offered a lift to the captain who thanked me and asked for my business card. After 6-7 months I received a Telex message from this captain stating that his company wants to appoint me as their agent and we handled 7 continuous shipments with break-bulk cargo from which my company earned nearly $300,000. A simple support to a foreigner resulted in a superb business opportunity!

Interview: Saqib Mehmood, The Vision Shipping

“Good customer service with prompt reply and the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a Freight Forwarder’s success”

This week we interviewed Saqib Mehmood, Director of The Vision Shipping LLC- a Coop member in Dubai UAE. Among other things, Saqib talks about the benefits of attending our Annual Meeting and sheds some light on how to be successful in the freight forwarding industry.

Q. Can you tell us a little about The Vision Shipping’s history? 

A. I founded TVSL group- a company providing various shipping and logistics services in 2009. With a proven background in the freight forwarding industry, we have served customers from all parts of the world. Over the years, we have become our client’s most reliable option and we carry the same image even today. TVSL is undoubtedly, one of the most renowned companies in the city and we’re making it big with each day passing.

Q. What distinguishes The Vision Shipping from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. Our services are more focused on the domestic and international transportation of both domestic and commercial goods. The service is mandatory for the companies, which are engaged in transporting a wide range of products to overseas market. We are committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction by ensuring quality, cost effective services and timely freight forwarding and logistical solutions. Apart from Air and Sea, we also use LTL, FTL, and Intermodal (rail) to move freight. What sets us apart is our ability to deliver the best service on time.

 Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team has had to deliver?

A. Although we keep handling a lot of complex shipments on a regular basis, moving the Rig Moment from the Gulf of Mexico to India had indeed been a challenging task.

Q. How did you hear about The Cooperative Logistics Network? What attracted you most to The Coop?

A. We were curious about your network when we heard about it from an acquaintance in the industry. I immediately followed up and all the answers to my scrutinizing questions were answered satisfactorily. It was then that we joined as a founding member and here we are still. Full transparency, clear cut information, friendly members, professionally organized Annual Meeting and follow up, and an uncomplicated Payment Protection Programme are some of the factors which attracted us most to your network.

Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is technology for the industry? 

A. With every passing year, the role of technology in the freight forwarding world is steadily increasing. Technology is now enabling things like predictive analytics, real-time visibility, and enhanced customer service. Freight forwarders of our times need to be updated with all the latest technologies in the industry otherwise they would run the risk of falling behind their competitors. Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? A. The transparency and the ruthless competition of carriers and logistic providers, increasing traffic, and related congestion, strikes and hijacking are some of the most common issues faced by freight forwarders in UAE. Moreover, we need to keep pace with the rapidly changing laws and directives and inform our customers about them before our competitors do. I realize these issues are not exclusive to our country.

Q. From your own experience, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?

A. The first step has to be introspection. One needs to analyze where they currently stand in the market, their strengths and weakness. Once the problems are identified, the freight forwarding companies need to focus more on their strengths and work on their weakness and convert that into their strength. Moreover, one needs to identify their client’s exact needs, to make a tailor-made service. Freight forwarders should always keep in mind that low rates are not always the deciding factor to gain a business. If a freight forwarder can provide top-notch services while offering a decent rate, then there is no looking back for that company. Good customer service with prompt reply & the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a company’s success. Lastly, a freight forwarding company have to have a proper marketing team with a good marketing strategy in place to promote their organization at the global level.