Welcome to Part III of WebCargo’s series on how and why Rate Management Systems [RMSs] have become a vital aspect of a freight forwarder’s tech stack…and how tech’s evolution is changing their role.
“Not all RMSs are equal.”
In the final part of this series, you’ll gain insight into what separates the wheat from the chaff in an RMS, and why having a comprehensive RMS is crucial for increasing efficiency and driving value in a forwarder’s business operations.
Comprehensive RMSs Produce Success All-Round
As shippers look to make more informed – and faster – decisions, forwarders are leaning towards more sophisticated tools to meet these more sophisticated expectations. The hypergrowth of eBookings on third-party platforms reflects the new customer desire for instant freight quoting across multiple modes, true eBooking, integrated allotment data, shipment tracking, and online payments. Increasingly volatile global freight demands mean a more competitive environment when vying for business. Providing more optionality to shippers for increased visibility, speed, and efficiency of freight quoting and booking has therefore become a necessity for forwarders looking to gain an edge in customer acquisition and retention.
Standard freight rate management systems offer spot quotes. They digitize supply data (enabling visibility of actual capacity for eBookings on specific sailings/flights). Some even offer sales and booking functionality to their customers. But in an increasingly volatile market and competitive landscape, forwarders are looking for an edge to help them win business – and, at least when it comes to parts critical to winning business, like freight pricing, routing, and booking, the right freight rate management software is their Katana.
The Need for a Modern Day Rate Management System
As carriers have been digitizing their supply over the last few years, making it accessible in real-time, forwarders have been utilizing a combination of rate management and live feeds to deliver quicker, more accurate quotes to customers. This has resulted in an explosion of digital pricing, quoting, and booking.
Remember: Rate management systems that offer purely digital sales are not offering true eBookings. As long as rates are not linked to real-time visibility of capacity, bookings are not linked to actual space, meaning the final price and timeline remain uncertain. Since most rates communicated by API are still static and not linked to actual capacity, a freight rate management system that provides dynamic rates and actual capacity availability is a game-changer for forwarders.
6 Game-Changing Features of a Modern RMS
A modern RMS:
- Is fully digitized
- Provides a range of services from automated rate ingestion to multimodal freight management
- Manages all processes involved in freight quote booking
- Manages end-to-end pricing operations
- Offers real-time spot pricing and booking options.
- Supports static rate management alongside real-time connectivity.
The Gold Standard for Digital Freight
10 words: Dynamic rates, booked online for space on a specific vessel. That’s the new standard that every freight forwarder should be looking to offer to customers.
Given the extreme volatility characterizing the cargo market, forwarders and carriers are eager for real-time access to rates and capacity.
Maximized efficiency and customer experience means instant quotes and true eBookings for a final price on an actual sailing or flight. This requires real-time communication of rates and operational data. As soon as rates are linked to real-time visibility of capacity and bookings are linked to actual space, you get true eBooking of a final price and timeline on specific carriers.
Although dynamic rates received in real-time from carriers are becoming more prevalent as traditional rate sheets slowly disappear, forwarders currently still need a rate management system that also automatically makes static contract or spot rates visible.
WebCargo’s digital cargo booking platform does just that, by connecting carriers and forwarders to make both dynamic and static contract rates searchable and bookable via API connections from carriers, to increase the volume, speed, and efficiency of the quoting process.
In short, the unique value of WebCargo’s RMS is in its dynamic rates that can be booked online for actual space on a specific vessel, alongside the use of spot rates.
WebCargo’s Recipe for the Gold Standard Broken Down
WebCargo’s RMS provides:
- Instant automated door-to-door routing and quoting
- Connection to eBooking platforms for quick conversion
- Easy access to dynamic rates and smooth organizational sharing of data
- Support for manual quoting
- Live market rate benchmarks
- Permission management across the company hierarchy
These six points crucially help forwarders make more informed decisions based on the data gathered around quotes and sales activity across company levels, customers, lanes, etc.
Forwarders not only gain insights into changing consumer habits, win/loss performance, but also an analysis of buy/sell rate trends in the market, allowing them to predict trends and make informed, data-backed decisions for their business operations.
The Bottom Line
An RMS that offers dynamic capacity and rates, combined with business intelligence in an integrated booking platform means not only better utilization for carriers but also better pricing, increased reliability, speed and volume of quotes. This ensures a superior user experience for forwarders and their shipper customers, ultimately helping to close more sales and increase revenue.