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How to speed up your quotation process with other freight forwarders

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When we are talking about independent freight forwarders, the quotation process of overseas agents is always a crucial part of the company’s operations. 

As you may already know, most freight opportunities start with a freight quote request. Therefore, having an efficient and organized quotation process is very important when you are shipping goods internationally, otherwise, you may end up missing out on valuable business opportunities.

What are the biggest pain points in a freight quotation process?

To identify which points require the most attention during a freight quotation process, let’s imagine a hypothetical situation but one that you probably have experienced in your forwarding company or experience often. 

Let’s assume that a customer contacts your freight forwarder requesting an urgent freight quote and that, at that moment, you have no overseas partner in mind who can help you with this request. 

So the first thing you do is look for forwarders specialized in the requested service and location to contact them individually and ask them to send you their quotations as soon as possible. Once you have done this, you wait for their returns, and if you see the need, you contact them again to ensure that they get back to you quickly.

After you have all the answers in hand and review all the quotes received, you finally choose the one that best fits the needs of the order and finally, reply to your customer with the costs for the request they sent you.

Typically, this is how quotation processes work between receiving a customer’s request and actually closing the deal. However, as you can see, some steps in this process, such as looking for a freight forwarder qualified to handle that request and waiting for their responses, can slow things down and make it less efficient.

So what can you do to speed up your quotation process with other agents?

Let’s imagine some possible scenarios…

In these specific pain points – the search for forwarders and the wait for their responses – we address two possible scenarios and suggest ways to overcome them in a better and faster way.

The first one is when your company has no partners in the requested location and you need to reach new agents. This is a particularly tricky situation because here you have no connection that can help you with the request and you have to make efforts to find a potential freight partner and contact him.

As you know, there are many ways to search for forwarders, such as using Google, forwarder directories, and logistics networks. However, it can be time-consuming because in addition to understanding if they will align with your business needs, you also need to analyze whether that agent is qualified for the service or not.

Besides, even if you find possible qualified forwarders for the shipment you need, contacting them via email individually (and sometimes sending reminders) can take a VERY long time, and considering that you still have to wait for their responses, we can say that it has already been more than 24 hours since your customer contacted you.

So how can you improve this? 

Through Parnity’s Business Hub – by becoming a member of Parnity’s community, forwarders have access to a technology system where all members add their requests daily and get the first quote in an average of 6 hours.

After you post them, the quote requests will be available to all Parnity forwarders that cover your target location and you will receive all quotes in the system to compare them. Once you have chosen the best quote for your request, you can contact that freight forwarder through our chat and settle the final details.

With Business Hub, you also have access to all the requests that involve YOUR location so you can choose the ones that interest you and send your quotes.

The second possible scenario is when your company already has partners at the requested location. In most cases, when a customer requests a quote and you already have a freight partner at the desired location, you search in a long contact spreadsheet for the one you are looking for or ask someone in your company for the desired contacts.

Likewise, when you find a possible forwarding partner for your shipment, you still need to contact them individually, send reminders if necessary, and wait for a response before you can respond to your customer’s request.

But the biggest problem does not lie there. When we talk about looking for a freight partner among your current partners in spreadsheets, for example, there are some factors that can make the process slower and even cause errors. This is because the data may not always be updated, or you may end up forgetting to include a partner in your list…

Therefore, when it comes to managing your freight forwarder partnerships, the ideal is to keep in mind the possibility of using a forwarder management system. These systems help forwarders centralize, optimize, and streamline communication within the company, along with quotation processes and decision-making.

Understanding the challenge freight forwarders have in keeping track of all their freight forwarding partnerships, Parnity has developed an add-on feature to manage freight partners – called MyPartners.

MyPartners is a PRM tool that allows you to manage your forwarder partners in the most intuitive and enjoyable way. It is the perfect solution that forwarders need to stop using spreadsheets and start improving the management of their partnerships.

Let’s speed it up!

The article above presented some ways to speed up your freight forwarder’s quotation process so that you can make it more efficient and increase your business generation. You can use it as a guide to identifying the points you can implement or improve in your forwarder.