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How to improve your freight forwarder networking

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Freight forwarder networking is one of the key points for the success of your freight business. A good partner network can provide several opportunities to improve your forwarding company and increase your business generation.

Every day, freight forwarders around the world are developing new partnerships. This is because sometimes, to exchange a shipment, a forwarder needs one or more partners in a specific country, region, or city that are specialized in that shipment.

Therefore, to offer complete logistics solutions to their customers, forwarders need to establish a good partner network and maintain it.

Best practices for a successful freight forwarder networking

Networking plays an important role for people to expand their knowledge in their field and build strategic business relationships. 

In a freight forwarder, more than having streamlined and efficient processes, you need to build valuable connections. To grow your business, it’s essential to find reliable partners. 

Here are some tips that can help you improve your freight forwarder networking even more:

  1. Build a networking department

Having a department or a team member exclusively responsible for taking care of all the partnerships your forwarding company has with other freight forwarders worldwide is extremely important for good networking.

By having a department or a member of your staff in charge of your partnerships, you will be able to get a more strategic point of view on them so that you can develop more business and improve your profit with all your partners. 

In addition, you will avoid losing quotations and money with operational problems generated by the lack of control of your partners worldwide.

  1. Know your current partners

The first thing you should keep in mind when it comes to networking is your current freight partners. It’s very important to know as much information as possible about each forwarder partner you do business with, for example, the name of the company, the person in charge, and the partnership background (amount of business you have exchanged, the profit you are making, cargo experience of your cargo-partner…).

This is crucial for making better decisions and above all, developing new partnerships in the future.

Gathering all this information in a spreadsheet can be inefficient and end up resulting in process errors. So to make it easier, you can use a management tool for forwarders to help you with the data.

A freight forwarder management system help forwarders centralize, optimize, and streamline communication within the company, along with quotation processes and decision making. 

It’s important to understand that the more consolidated the information you have about your partners is, the faster your team can work on it. 

Parnity has a practical and easy-to-use freight management tool for forwarders to manage and analyze all their freight partnerships, click here to learn more about it.

  1. Understand your partnerships

Once you have mapped out your forwarder partnership data, it’s time to use it to fully understand how your partnerships are going. Understanding which partners your company is sending shipments to and which are sending others in return, for example, is very important.

Also, make an overview of your partnerships by country/city/modal and dive deep into other data such as the profit your freight forwarder receives per company, the number of sales leads exchanged and quotes lost per partner.

Make sure to compare partners offering the same services in the same country or city in your analysis to see if you are making win-win partnerships. 

This is not an easy analysis to do, but it’s only through it that you can improve your networking.

  1. Standard partnership conditions

One of the biggest benefits that knowing and understanding your current partners brings to your freight forwarder, is the ability to standardize the conditions your company will have with any other partner worldwide.

When we talk about standardizing these conditions, we are referring to profit share policies, credit terms, and operational guidelines, for example. 

It is very important to have these standard conditions not only for your current freight partners but also for new partners. Remember that standardized processes are, usually, more efficient.

  1. Develop new partnerships

Being well prepared is one of the crucial factors for the success of any freight forwarding company. So networking also includes the responsibility to communicate clearly and effectively with your sales, operational, financial, and pricing team to understand where and how the company should develop new partnerships.

This way you will be able to not only improve your current business but also look for new markets to expand your business opportunities.

  1. Partner relationships

Your company probably has a person responsible for inside sales, a sales executive, and customer success, right? But who is the person responsible for taking care of your partnerships worldwide?

This is important because all these partners are also sending shipments to your company, and maintaining a good ongoing relationship is essential to expand and improve the number of shipments with the companies that have chosen to work with you. 

Also, maintaining good relationships with your partners is the best strategy for them to recommend your company to other freight forwarders, for example.

  1. Generate business through partnerships

Last but not least, successful freight forwarder networking can help you generate new business opportunities through partnerships.

You can, for example, set goals in terms of new business coming to your company from different partners in different locations. This is an excellent way to increase the number of shipments by looking for business opportunities in your partners worldwide.

Want to expand your company’s reach?

As you can see, knowing how to improve your freight forwarder networking can bring several benefits to your forwarding company such as:

  • Expand your business opportunities;
  • Improve the profit from your partnerships;
  • Develop new business and partnerships;
  • Increase your business generation;
  • Optimize your freight forwarding company’s processes.

So don’t underestimate the power of a freight forwarder networking strategy when you are analyzing your freight company’s processes. Use the guide presented above to learn how to develop and apply a successful networking strategy!