Maximizing manufacturing efficiency with digital freight forwarding

Discover how manufacturers leverage digital freight forwarding for enhanced agility and efficiency in their operations
February 23, 2024 by
Uyen Duong

In the realm of the manufacturing sector, whether in times of prosperity or challenge, two paramount pillars stand tall: innovation and efficiency. Innovation serves as the cornerstone, empowering the creation and evolution of coveted products aligned with customer preferences. Meanwhile, efficiency serves as the linchpin, facilitating the cost-effective production and swift delivery of these products to your clientele.

Now, if you’re in the manufacturing business, you most likely are part of a larger supply chain where you source parts or components from vendors and sell products to buyers, one or more of whom are located overseas. Whatever role you play in the supply chain, you rely on the network of partners and customers connected to you by the global logistics network. And no matter how much you innovate and improve your products, you won’t be able to compete if you can’t make your supply chain as agile and efficient as possible.  Nevertheless, the reality for international shippers often reveals inefficiencies inherent in traditional shipping and freight forwarding practices. Recognizing this challenge, forward-thinking enterprises are embracing modern solutions, such as digital freight forwarding, to revolutionize their supply chains and amplify efficiency.

Improving planning and costing with accurate and timely data

International manufacturing supply chains, spanning continents, rely heavily on sea freight to transport millions of containers monthly. As a result, freight pricing constitutes a significant expense for global shippers. Even marginal reductions in shipping costs can yield substantial profit increases for these enterprises.

Digital freight forwarding firms leverage their proprietary digital platforms to interface with multiple shipping carriers, facilitating the collection of freight quotes and sailing schedules. They furnish this data to international shippers, enabling them to optimize their shipping schedules by striking a balance between freight expenses and delivery deadlines. Consequently, these companies can pinpoint the most suitable shipping option for each consignment. Over time, the accrued savings from such optimized processes contribute to enhanced operational efficiency and direct financial gains.

Shortening booking and documentation times with digitization

Optimizing international shipments requires significant time investments, particularly from manufacturers' extensive logistics teams. These professionals dedicate valuable man-hours to various tasks, including:

Researching Optimal Shipping Solutions: This involves reaching out to numerous forwarders and carriers via phone calls and emails, a process that can span several days as they seek the most cost-effective options.

Evaluating Cost-to-Time Ratios: Assessing the available shipping choices to pinpoint the option offering the best balance between cost and delivery time. This meticulous evaluation often consumes hours of analysis.

Document Preparation: Managing documentation involves handling physical paperwork, multiple rounds of printing and scanning, as well as extensive email correspondence. This comprehensive process can extend over multiple days.
A digital forwarding partner can swiftly provide optimal shipping choices, significantly reducing the time spent on manual tasks. These platforms enable shippers to efficiently complete their shipping paperwork, including Bill of Lading (BL), Shipping Instructions (SI), and packing lists, without the need for scanning, printing, or emailing. By streamlining this process, digital platforms greatly decrease the chances of documentation errors, consequently mitigating potential delays stemming from inaccuracies.  

Ensuring visibility with real-time tracking and proactive notifications

Enhancing logistics efficiency is crucial for companies aiming to reduce inventory carrying costs while maintaining supply chain agility and meeting market demand. By adopting digital freight forwarding solutions, businesses can achieve these objectives by gaining real-time tracking and visibility into their shipments. Most of digital forwarders often offer end-to-end tracking capabilities, even during transshipment, which traditional methods lack. This enhanced visibility allows manufacturers to optimize inventory levels, minimize stockouts, and proactively update customers on shipment statuses, leading to greater customer satisfaction and trust. In turn, this fosters a positive reputation and ultimately improves overall logistics performance.

Unifying invoicing and reporting processes on an online platform

Streamlining invoicing and accounting processes, particularly when handling large volumes of orders, can pose significant challenges when relying solely on email communications. Managing invoices, receipts, and reports across various locations and devices complicates the reconciliation of accounts for accounting teams, resulting in increased costs from additional man-hours and a higher risk of errors and inconsistencies.

Sota Solutions accompanies Freight Forwarder companies to create a comprehensive digital platform which is designed to alleviate these burdens for its customers. By consolidating all order-related documents onto a single platform, businesses can efficiently manage their accounting tasks. This platform also facilitates the generation of monthly and daily reports, aiding in both record-keeping and analytical purposes. With streamlined processes, businesses can save valuable time and resources while minimizing complexities, ultimately leading to cost savings and improved efficiency.


These are a few of the standout ways manufacturers are leveraging digital logistics to help their organizations operate more efficiently. If you have any questions about how to design a platform with these above functions, you can immediately contact us for further discussion.