Ways to improve the quotation process of your freight forwarder
Created on February 11, 2022 | Last updated on November 29, 2022 at 06:39 pm
In this article you will get:
Most freight forwarding opportunities start with a freight quote request. Even if the current status of your sales pipeline is well established, it is essential to fill it with business opportunities on a regular basis. Therefore, you should always be aware of ways to improve the quotation process of your freight forwarder.
Getting a proper and affordable freight quote is an important step when you are shipping goods internationally. However, a common mistake that many freight forwarders make is to think that just responding to their customers’ requests with a freight quote gives them a big competitive advantage…
How can I improve my forwarder’s quotation process?
Even if your team replies to all the requests for a quotation it receives, this alone is not enough to make the RFQs result in the deal actually being closed. According to the Mystery Shopper Report, 60% of quote requests did not result in receiving a quote. Furthermore, out of the 25 quotes received, only 8% of companies sent a follow-up to see if the shipper was still interested in booking.
We have listed below 4 ways to improve the quotation process of your freight forwarder to increase the quotation win rate, i.e. number of accepted quotations compared to the number of issued quotations:
- Make sure your partner will be able to contact you: Imagine that a potential freight partner, enters your forwarder’s website or social media with the intention of requesting a quote but encounters outdated information? You would be missing out on a business opportunity.
So make sure that the information available on your website, social media, and even your logistics network profile – if you are part of one – is always up to date with the services you offer, the areas you have the most expertise in, the ways a potential customer can contact you.
In Parnity – digital logistics network, for example, freight forwarders have the possibility to add to their profile, the “quotation contact” to ensure that the inquiries are being sent to the right person and so they don’t miss a business opportunity.
Another way to make it easier for your customer to contact you is to add on your website, a specific tab for them to request a freight forwarder quote online. Using an online form, you can pre-establish all the information you need to respond to the quote request faster.
- Keep your team aligned and informed: There is a lot of frustration in the forwarding business caused by limited access to information.
However, since the number of quotes accepted has a direct correlation to future bookings, it is essential that your team knows how many freight quotes were sent to customers today, this week, or this month. Besides that, the more information your quotation team has, the faster and more effective the response to incoming freight quotation requests will be.
Responding faster to the freight quote with all the information they need to make a decision will certainly help you improve the customer’s success. Not to mention that monitoring the activity of your customers and partners will allow you to focus your efforts on getting the most competitive rates on major routes, for example.
- Don’t be afraid to send follow-ups: As previously mentioned, many forwarding companies, do not send follow-ups to their customers. However, by following up on a freight quote, you can increase your customers’ engagement because you show more interest in building a relationship with them than your competitors, for example. By sending quote follow-ups, your forwarder will stand out from the competition.
Here is a sample of how you can do this:
- Ask for feedback: Another way to improve your freight forwarder’s quotation process is to ask your customers for feedback after the service you exchanged.
How long do your customers wait for freight rates? Did the quote response contain all the information they needed to make a decision? Send an email, a WhatsApp, or give a call to your freight forwarding partner asking how they felt during the freight quote, and if there is anything you can do better next time. This way you can identify where there is room for improvement in the quoting process.
You can send something simple and direct, such as:
The tips above can help you improve your freight forwarder’s quotation process so that you increase not only the number of quotations received but also the win quotation rate. But what do you do when you are the one who needs a quotation?
Here’s what you should know when requesting a freight quote
Now you are probably wondering how do I get a freight quote?
Getting the best freight quote for your cargo requires much more than just providing the size and weight of the load. The calculation of a freight quote depends on a number of other factors. So to get an accurate and complete quote, make sure you provide as much information as possible to your freight forwarder.
The more information you provide, the easier it is to provide an accurate price. Without all the information, the process can become longer and more stressful, not to mention that with several messages being exchanged, information can easily get lost. Know the specifications of your shipment, inform the weight and volume of it, the type of service you want, the destination, and any other information you judge essential.
Certainly, the right forwarding partner makes quoting and shipping easy, but finding them is not so easy. So approach several forwarders for quotes so you can compare them and find the best one for you. You can search for freight forwarders on Google, freight forwarder directories, and logistics networks, for example.
However, this can be time-consuming because, in addition to understanding whether they will align with your business needs, you also need to analyze whether that particular forwarder is qualified for the service or not. Fortunately, Parnity can also provide the solution to this.
You can find qualified partners in just a few clicks on Parnity. You can search by company name, city, or country where you want to find a freight forwarder. In addition, the search filters allow you to sort the results by services, logistics certifications, branch office, or headquarters, for example. This way, you not only make the searching process for a freight forwarding partner faster but also more assertive.
Once you have selected the freight forwarders you would like to receive a quote from, keep an eye on your emails and reply to their quote responses quickly. This way, you keep your potential freight partners interested while you evaluate the other responses and ensure that you have them on hand when you are ready to make a decision.
Apply what you’ve learned!
The above article has presented you with some ways to improve the quotation process of your freight forwarder, and also a more effective way to receive responses to your quotation requests. You can use it as a guide to identifying the points you can implement and/or improve in your freight forwarder.
Getting the best freight quote is not difficult if you have accurate information about your shipment and a qualified freight partner. But remember that just like you, other forwarders also want this.