Today’s Customers Anticipate Online Visibility via Self-Service Cargo Booking Software

Building upon their personal experience while online shopping, customers now expect information on-demand from their forwarder. They want to access information and book shipments online. Customers also want value. They want to compare cost vs. transit time estimates at-a-glance to get the best price. They want to secure a shipment easily using intuitive web-based cargo booking software. In addition, today’s customers are not bound to their desktop and want to book shipments or check rates from mobile-enabled devices. 

Customers also want visibility. They expect real-time tracking throughout the shipment lifecycle through to the point-of-delivery. Visibility also includes access to their data and documents such as bills of lading. Customers also want to know when their shipments have cleared customs or if an exception has occurred. They want to know that forwarders are performing the necessary steps needed for compliance. Also, if a shipment delay occurs, customers want to know the shipment status so they can adjust labor resources and notify their own clients of the estimated time of arrival. 

Forwarders who can make it easy for customers to find the best rates and book shipments need to be smart about how they deploy these services. The right technology should present the forwarder’s brand as the face behind the technology. As a result, the forwarder maintains control of the interaction while providing customers with a premiere experience. 

Here’s an example of a forwarder who got customer-facing enablement right.  “Shippers today need a more efficient and streamlined end-to-end freight booking experience,” Hiroki Tsujii, Managing Director, Marketing & Commercial said at ONE. “With the launch of our new digital platform ONE QUOTE, powered by Descartes Kontainers, customers can now receive an instant quote for export shipments and place bookings anytime, anywhere.”  

Customers Expect Seamless and Fully Digital Cargo Booking Software  

The freight forwarding world is changing, and digitization of the customer experience is critical to thrive in the future. Customers are demanding self-service solutions, better control over their shipments and documents, and real-time visibility. Digitization provides an excellent opportunity for forwarders to streamline the booking and tracking processes to reduce costs, provide a better customer experience, and focus resources on higher value customer activities.  

Today’s digital customer experience portals can be added to existing back-office solutions to jump start the process to becoming a fully digital forwarding operation. It is those forwarders that can rapidly deliver a premiere customer-facing self-service solution that are better positioned to excel in a competitive environment. 

Descartes Is Here to Help 

No matter the size of your freight forwarding operations, Descartes can help you enable a fully digital customer experience. It is our domain expertise and understanding of the complex freight forwarder and customs brokers market that sets us apart. Our solutions enable large and small organizations to take advantage of robust capabilities for bookings, security filings, customs entries, multimodal shipment management, rating, quoting, and financial management. Descartes’ web-based, white-labelled online customer visibility portal can help you keep your client base well-informed to make critical supply chain decisions and can easily bolt-on to existing platforms. 

Learn more about Descartes Solutions


In the 6th Annual Forwarder and Broker Benchmark Study we examine trends like digital customer experience, ecommerce. and the impact of the pandemic on forwarders and brokers strategies, tactics and technology thinking and decisions.


Forwarders & Digitization

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