Forwarders are ready to digitalize but need clear evidence of its value, says Airforwarders Association executive director Brandon Fried.
He said his members were ready but needed to better understand its worth beyond regulatory or customer requirements, Brandon Fried told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Phoenix on 25 May.
“There has been steady acceptance and adoption in the air cargo sector at large, but within the independent freight forwarder community, digitisation is driven by the shipper,” said Fried.
“Many AfA members invested in automation before the pandemic and could work from home, so in many ways th lockdowns were a gigantic proof of concept. But for continued and more widespread streamlining of operations through digitization, there needs to be a more clearly articulated value proposition.”
Fried emphasised that for the necessary increased engagement to happen forwarders need to understand what is at stake.
Acknowledging the challenge of reaching out to the diverse US forwarder community of up to 4,000 companies, he stressed that software providers had to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digital compliance.
“If the benefits of adopting a specific automation solution are not properly communicated, forwarders won’t move on from legacy practices,” he argued. “The software providers have to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digitisation and until they do I think the industry at large is paying the price.”