The rise of the digital freight forwarder

A new breed of logistics providers are pulling freight shipping into the digital age. Here's how customers are benefiting from their combination of best-in-class technology and proven logistics expertise.

UK businesses who trade internationally have traditionally relied on freight forwarders to act as the intermediary between transport companies and themselves. These interactions haven’t changed in decades, and typically consist of multiple tedious back-and forths over email and telephone regarding the details of these shipments. Ask any logistics manager or operations professional responsible for managing the supply chain, purchasing and procurement and hear a consistent theme: so much time is wasted waiting around for freight forwarders to get back to them.

When a shipment is finally organised, companies struggle to keep on top of their shipment – whether at sea or in the air. One logistics manager I spoke to recently told me; “as with life, things go wrong – and it’s only to be expected. But what’s completely unacceptable in the 21st century is to be kept in the dark about these exceptions.” If you’ve tried to arrange freight forwarding yourself, you’re probably familiar with these frustrations.

On average, it can take between two hours and two days to get a quote, and hundreds of hours can be lost chasing service providers for information. This is where ZenCargo comes in. They are attempting to transform freight forwarding by offering 360-degree visibility for companies’ shipments, all their logistics data on one centralised dashboards, and huge time savings through instant quoting.

International shipping is ready for digitisation

The freight shipping industry is ripe for innovation and a disruptive, technology-centric approach. Digital freight forwarders are deploying 21s t century technology solutions to international freight shipping in a bid to offer customers a fast, affordable and quality experience.

Zencargo chief technology officer puts forward that “Freight forwarding and international shipping have been slow to adopt new customer-facing technologies.” He goes further to say, “Zencargo is ideal for a broad range of customers, from SME’s shipping a few times per month, to large companies spending significant amounts on their freights every day.

Their rapid traction with customers shows their strategy is working – here’s how they are winning over logistics managers and other decision makers across the UK.

Freight shipping the Zencargo way

Zencargo’s web platform is designed to allow customers visibility into all aspects of their shipping process; whether customers are moving full containers, boxes, pallets or crates over land, by sea or using air freight Zencargo offer full real-time tracking for their shipments. From obtaining a quote, to booking a shipment they have been focused on reducing the amount of time wasted when managing freight.

Bringing all that logistics paperwork onto the cloud

Even in the 21st Century paperwork is still a major headache when trading internationally. Some documents, like letter of credit or bills of lading need to be exact and companies make multiple corrections and print out documents dozens of times before they are finalised. Moreover, one shipment can fill an entire file with papers and the printing and filing time alone can tie up logistics professionals for hours. You may be surprised to discover that few companies store these documents in the cloud or have the ability to collaborate on and edit them in real time. Zencargo solves this dilemma through providing real-time editable cloud based documentation in one well-organised shipment folder.

24/7, 360 degree shipment visibility

Between loading and delivery, freight shipments often fall into a black hole. Delays can happen for any reason from port congestion, to hold ups with customs, to bad weather at sea. While these things may be outside of a freight forwarders’ control customers nowadays should expect and demand to be kept in the loop as problem arise. A good digital freight forwarder offers updates on the status of the shipments as well as notifications for shipment delay with clear explanation into the reasons for the delay.

Data-driven budget management tools.
Freight costs can accelerate at a moment’s notice due to last minute customer orders or delays, making budgeting difficult. All the data needed to make intelligent decisions about your supply chain already exists within the chain of emails and attachments generated between a freight forwarder and their customer.

Zencargo’s idea is to give back companies’ power over this data, by providing a centralised dashboard and analytics tools which help decision makers to assess their business KPIs.

Customers are especially interested in understanding things like; fully landed costs, freight spend by mode of transport, total spend by customer, and more.

Even the best technology won’t replace that human touch and great customer service

Zencargo’s CEO Alex Hersham believes that despite the enormous opportunity for digitising the freight forwarding industry, offering a personalised level of customer service will remain paramount. Managing the exceptions that can occur on any one shipment requires experienced logistics professionals, and so Zencargo’s agents are available online or by phone to personally assist customers at all points of the process. The bottom line: Zencargo’s customers are noticing improvements in service and satisfaction, to say nothing of the welcome ability to monitor and control shipping costs.

Fast-forward your freight forwarder: Get set up with Zencargo

If you are a business that ships internationally, getting started with Zencargo couldn’t be easier. Their user journey is fluid and easy, and the steps to revolutionising your logistics management go like this: 1) book an online demo with their logistics experts in seconds; 2): Discover the platform and get an instant quote; 3) Start shipping.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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