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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us at the dawn of the year, economies across the world were running smoothly. But the impact of this crisis affected not just a few countries or continents but was felt across the globe. We have seen some of the biggest dips and surges in the world economy since the beginning of this year. The fact of the matter was that no one was prepared for this situation.
In March, as the virus was spreading all over the world and the lockdowns were declared, the Asian industries and markets were shut down, leaving the continent with no supply. This was followed by Europe, Africa, South America and North America. But when the things started to get back to normal and the industries were opening up again, the demand had slid down. These dips and surges in the economy have had a major impact on the container shipping industry, across the world. Importers/exporters/suppliers faced tremendous challenges going through this time. Freight rates for shipping containers from Asia to the US had spiked a whopping 120% which made it tough for Asian markets and industries to ship out their products and cargo.
During this turbulent time, companies can greatly benefit by taking the aid of freight forwarders to get the job done. In fact, the market share for freight forwarders sees a hike in the coming time. Here are some reasons why you should opt for freight forwarders to send your goods across the waters
1. Working with selective ocean carriers will have restrictions
The COVID-19 situation has shaken the supply chain and everything is quite indefinite. With the ups and downs in the supplies, the companies might or might not get a carrier to ship their cargo across. The best option for companies who want to ship their goods on stringent timelines is going to be through freight forwarders. Now that companies cannot rely on selective carriers all the time, they need to increase their contacts with the freight forwarders to maintain a steady supply from their end.
2. Direct communication from carriers to customers is diminishing
Since the pandemic has stranded us at home, we all have had the necessity to get our jobs done as remotely as possible. As they rightly say, necessity is the mother of invention, we now have technologies & resources to automate things, bringing more efficiency & smoothness to the trade. The same applies to carriers. Carriers are losing their personal communication with their customers, as technology has enabled them to automate most of the things. Companies who still need that one-phone-call-away approach in their trade, where they speak with customers personally, understand their issues & challenges, ought to go for freight forwarders.
Carriers are going to have less connection with their customers with the passing time, but freight forwarders can enable you to have the customer service you desire.
3. Companies need reliable & proactive supply partners
Shipping is already a cutthroat business. The COVID-19 crisis has made the business even more tight and competitive. The rates are going up day by day and the timelines for shipping goods are extremely stringent. Now companies these days won’t be convinced by just being shown a rough plan on the internet & price quote, they need reliable supply partners who can work with them, understanding their complexities. Companies need to supply partners that can be proactive enough to give them alternate options without even asking & honest enough to show them the real picture. This significant need for companies will lead them to freight forwarders!
The shipping business is evolving and companies need to have the foresight to realize what their best bet would be. Seeing the current scenario, increasing relationships with freight forwarders is the right thing to do.