Customer Service in Freight Forwarding: Addressing the Gaps and Driving Improvement

Customer Service in Freight Forwarding: Addressing the Gaps and Driving Improvement


Freight forwarding is a complex as it involves the coordination of numerous stakeholders, intricate logistics processes and international regulations. While technological advancements have brought significant improvements to the efficiency and transparency of the freight forwarding process, customer service remains an area that requires attention.

Over the past few years where costs have skyrocketed for transportation of bulky goods, machinery and general freight, the level of customer service provided has been deemed only moderately sound. This has been the result of two glaring challenges; communication between freight forwarders or logistics providers and clients and secondly; the rising stresses associated with unreliable shipping.

Lack of Communication and Proactive Updates:

Timely and effective communication is crucial for building strong customer relationships. However, in freight forwarding, delays and disruptions can occur, leaving customers in the dark. To improve customer service, freight forwarders should establish robust communication channels to provide proactive updates on shipment status, delays, and any potential issues. Regular and transparent communication ensures that customers are informed and can make informed decisions, reducing frustration and improving overall satisfaction.

Limited Visibility and Tracking Capabilities:

One of the persistent challenges in freight forwarding is the lack of real-time visibility and tracking capabilities. Customers often face difficulties in tracking their shipments, resulting in uncertainty and anxiety. Investing in advanced tracking technologies and providing customers with access to online platforms or mobile applications can significantly enhance visibility. Offering customers the ability to track their shipments in real-time empowers them with control and peace of mind, improving their overall experience.

Complex Documentation and Customs Procedures:

Freight forwarding involves a multitude of paperwork and customs procedures, which can be overwhelming for customers. Complicated documentation requirements, unclear instructions, and lengthy clearance processes can lead to frustration and delays. Freight forwarders should invest in digital solutions and automated systems that simplify documentation processes and provide clear guidelines. By streamlining customs procedures and offering guidance, freight forwarders can alleviate customer burdens and enhance the overall experience.

Insufficient Training and Empowerment of Customer Service Teams:

Customer service representatives are the front line of any freight forwarding business. However, inadequate training and empowerment of these teams can hinder their ability to deliver exceptional service. Companies should invest in comprehensive training programs that equip customer service teams with industry knowledge, effective communication skills, and problem-solving capabilities. Empowered and knowledgeable customer service representatives can handle inquiries efficiently, resolve issues promptly, and provide personalised solutions, elevating the customer experience.

Limited Proactive Problem-Solving and Customer Advocacy:

In freight forwarding, unforeseen challenges are inevitable. Customers expect freight forwarders to be proactive in problem-solving and acting as their advocates. Freight forwarders should take a proactive approach in identifying potential issues, notifying customers in advance, and offering alternative solutions when disruptions occur. By demonstrating a commitment to customer advocacy and going the extra mile to address challenges, freight forwarders can build trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships.

At Kenter, many of these challenges are managed in a way that is focused on the customer experience. Communication is key in every situation and having empathy for the challenges a business faces when their valuable cargo doesn’t arrive needs to be at the forefront.

By addressing the gaps in communication, visibility, documentation and training, freight forwarders can enhance customer service and improve the overall experience. Investing in technology, empowering customer service teams and taking a proactive approach to problem-solving will help bridge the customer service gaps and bring the freight forwarding industry closer to meeting the evolving expectations of its customers. That’s the priority of Kenter and while we are one in a sea of freight forwarding companies, championing this approach is critical to moving the needle in how the industry is perceived to a wider audience.

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