Having worked in Freight Forwarding as a supply chain analyst, I understand how data is used and what the purpose of a report is for. Often the reports are to help the client’s various departments to plan. I thought now is the ideal time to write a blog on the 5 typical reports a client would expect to have from there freight forwarder.
Sometimes while working as a forwarder you don’t realise why clients need them. Often you think it’s just lip service but with COVID-19 and after talking to someone who works in retail it made me fully aware of why such reports are needed.
This report is every shipment that has departed or sailed and where it is in within the supply chain. Often clients wanted to know how many shipments are at each milestone.
For example how many shipments are:
Often these reports need to be provided to the client every day or every week and depended on your track and trace system this could be extremely labour intensive.
While at Kuehne + Nagel this was one of the most common reports requested. It provided the most challenging due to getting accurate transit time information. We often thought why do you need to this information, is it to reduce the amount the client pays if we don’t hit a transit time. In fact, the benefits are 2 fold, you can instantly improve and make your supply chain more profitable and efficient if you can find out the average times it takes for your products to get delivered.
You can use the average transit times to find patterns and also see where you can improve efficiency.
Me being a geek used to love this report as it was another tool to help both the client and operations. Operations are useful to make sure that you're putting the right information into the system and from a client’s point of view you can see which suppliers aren’t very good at loading or estimating how much product fits into a container. If you’re constantly getting only 60% full for example you could very easily cut your freight spend by optimising this equipment e.g. instead of 2 x 20ft you could potentially use 40ft or 40ftHC.
Some people will be scratching their heads with this one. Whenever a container is left at port either it can’t be collected or there is a problem delivering the container, the port or carrier will charge you rent per day at port or at a container yard (off dock). Often many clients of the freight forwarder don’t know what the final bill will be and often get a shock when the invoice lands.
However, if you have a decent system that can report on this then you can potentially plan better and also get warnings about when this will start. For example, if you get 10 days free at the port and you’re on day 11 you would want to know how many every day after this you will be charged. The ideal way to manage this is to have a warning report and then a daily report working out the total cost per day you're likely to get invoiced.
Yes, clients do require this, particularly in the Nordic countries as they have to report the C02 emissions to the government. It is very difficult to accurate reports, but you can with the right expertise and knowledge get the emissions. The framework I created worked out how much C02 in tonnes was emitted for Air/Sea/Road and from this, you could estimate what you need to carbon offset. Retailers and industrial manufacturers such as Ericsson, Rolls Royce, and Marks & Spensers were very keen to get estimates to help with their CSR efforts and for their shareholders.
There are many other reports which are extremely useful for your clients and we have built most of them into our system CocoonFMS. If you would like to have a demonstration on how we can bridge the gap between a Freight Forwarder and clients, then please get in contact with us now.
Please call us or use the form to send us a message. Do you have a question? Our team will gladly help.