Managing freight shipments tends to be an afterthought for a lot of businesses that import and export goods. But the inefficiencies in this sector can lead to a lot of wasted time for small businesses.
A recent survey from logistics company Freightos found that small businesses spend about 500 hours annually managing freight shipments. More specifically, 42 percent of business owners reported spending more than two hours on each individual shipment. That’s an estimated $100 in labor just for one shipment.
For small businesses, that’s a major output of resources. So if companies aren’t putting a major focus on making the freight management process as efficient as possible, it could lead to big losses.
Eytan Buchman, VP Marketing at Freightos said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Companies tend not to think about global logistics on a day to day basis, seeing it more as a commodity, like water or electricity, where you pay the bill and forget about it. But given the fact that nearly everything, whether components or finished goods, are imported, the quality, cost, and operating cost of international freight is a variable that’s very much open to change. Over the past decade or so, managing supply chains has become even more important, driving the nomination of CEOs that have extensive supply chain backgrounds (ie Apple, Old Navy, Lego).”
You Can Reduce Freight Shipping Costs
But not all hope is lost. Technology like the Freightos Marketplace, which is an online platform for freight quotes, aims to make managing freight shipments and costs more accessible for businesses of all sizes. In fact, Freightos believes this type of transparency and accessibility has led to more small and mid-sized businesses taking advantage of opportunities in the industry.
Buchman says, “Technology and transparency can combine to drive down international freight costs, while making them significantly more effective. More importantly, this plugs in to a global trend of increased imports from small businesses. While the latest US data shows that nearly 97 percent of importers in 2015 were small and mid-sized businesses, accounting for one third of all US imports, this number has likely increased, as global sourcing becomes easier with platforms like Alibaba and Sourcify and importing becomes easier with technology like the Freightos Marketplace. The internet has been a driving force for cutting out middlemen and associated costs; properly harnessed, this trend can be a shot of adrenaline for small businesses.”
Basically, Buchman believes that there are enough tools out there to help small businesses manage freight shipments effectively. If you’re willing to do the research and create the processes that work best for your team, you can turn what seems to be a weakness for a lot of companies into a strength for yours.