When you’re not 100% in one industry, but instead at the intersection of logistics, freight, and technology, there’s definitely a skill gap and picking just one of these skills to master is not easy. If you think defining the required skills is hard, looking for someone who possesses such expertise and also wants to work in this industry is even harder. Here are three skills that we think are vital to excel in logistics.
We do everything online nowadays: reading the news, making friends, watching movies, ordering food, hailing a ride – if you can think of it, you can probably do it online or right from your phone. Smartphones are essential in today’s world, and at the very least you need a computer to function.
But when it comes to international shipping, the business of freight forwarding is still one that relies heavily on telephones and fax machines. In fact, these are among the tools you will be advised to have if you want to become a freight forwarder. So if you’re someone who is accustomed to today’s technology, would you even know where to start when it comes to freight forwarding?
Amazon started as a technology company, but now they are experimenting with their own air cargo-fleet and ground transportation to cut cost on shipping and logistics. Logistics processes are not changing at the same speed as technology, and the consequence is technology is becoming a barrier to what could be an even more successful businesses.
It won’t be long before today’s world of technology meets the traditional businesses that participate in freight forwarding. There’s tremendous potential for technology to help the freight industry keep up with the world around them. 2015 was considered as the year “freight went online” and 2016 is the year that freight services become user friendly and accessible. This change in experience and accessibility wasn’t solely based on software. The hardware also advanced. Self-driving trucks, self-sailing ships, even hyper-loops and robot delivery have been discussed as ways to keep freight moving.
If you think about all the ways that technology can improve logistics, you’ll see a world where packages come on time and accident free.
It may sound like a contradiction – but yes, expertise in transportation will become an even higher demand skill in the logistics and freight industry. Although logisticians are among the 25 most promising jobs for a millennial in 2016, logistics companies face a very real talent shortage. Universities have responded to this demand by offering free programs in logistics. And yet it will be years from now before we begin to see the supply of logistics talent grow large enough to meet the demand. There is no shortcut; education, knowledge, and experience all take time to accumulate. Can we create transportation experts just like the handheld devices (tablets, phones, etc.) have created communication experts? We want to make the skill ubiquitous by making it simple.
Service will set you apart, whether you’re a huge company, a freelancer, or a small business. In today’s tech-savvy world, we can see not only companies but also individuals compete with each other. For example, a great Airbnb host will not only provide accommodations, but also be responsive and provide amazing service.
When we consider logistics, we mostly think about the transportation of an item from point A to point B. A freight forwarder knows that this is what customers need in the long run, so they highlight that ability. But shippers these days need more than just transportation of goods across the sea: they need transparency in pricing, and they need freight forwarders to be easy to reach. They want the experience to be a good one, and simple. It is no longer just a problem of moving freight from point A to point B, it’s also about the experience, and only good customer service driven by full transparency can bring a good experience.
Fleet’s founder started as an importer using different freight forwarders and he had a bad experience. That’s why he created Fleet: to provide the excellent service experience that he never received, to make logistics simple for small business owners with technology.
At Fleet, if there’s one thing we want everyone to remember, it is service. We remind each other “What kind of experience you think the customers would like to have?” Even though we are a technology company, we want to be known for our very human, service-oriented mindset. We use technology to make international shipping an easy and pleasant experience. We want to enable small and mid-sized business owners to step into the world of global trade fearlessly – knowing that they have a partner in Fleet.