Logistics are at the forefront of the current crisis. Demand for essentials such as food and medicine have put huge pressure on supply chains and at the same time, staffing levels have been disrupted by sickness and self-isolation.
Container volumes from China to the UK have decreased by 70%, impacting companies which rely on Chinese factories for materials.
Whilst the current situation is impacting all sectors, about 85% of the haulage market are SMEs which typically hold no more than 2 to 3 weeks cash flow.
They are particularly vulnerable to the disruption caused by this volatile period.
The UK government has tried to help with some industry-specific measures - such as waiving HGV MOT tests on the mainland for 3 months from 21st March.
However, there are also some digital solutions that may help.
Creating an app which allows customers to rearrange delivery can help reduce telephone calls and the need for depot collections.
Freight forwarding apps
The freight forwarding process can still involve emails, telephone calls, paperwork, and even then you can still end up not knowing precisely where goods are at any point in time. An app can streamline the process, saving time and money for all involved. A good example of this is www.ship2man.im
Managing bulk mail
You can quickly increase booking rates by sending regular templated emails to your customer base. If your company is providing different modes of transportation services by rail, roads, and air you can make people aware via email. You can set a sequence of autoresponders for customers and agents to be in constant contact, driving efficiencies and keeping business growing.
The more you can digitise CRM, the less admin and more control you have. On a basic level, this means digitising consignment notes so hauliers can access them via smartphone or phone. This also applies to items like packing lists, specifications and certificates.
Payment is only made once proof of delivery has reached the transport customer. This means that a freight forwarder may have to wait between one and three months for payment after a successful delivery. However, if proof of delivery is provided digitally you will speed up the payment process, making it easier for you to plan your income.
If you are struggling and require professional support, please get in touch.