Freight associations are extensive groups of experienced freight forwarders. The leading freight associations in the industry have international networks. Freight forwarders worldwide work together to protect their interests, collaborate with global shippers, and grow collectively.
Each freight association has its own set of requirements and standards. The best forwarders are typically part of larger, international associations with up to thousands of members. The wider, more efficient the association – the more expensive the membership fees.
If you’re paying thousands per year to be part of such an association – are the benefits worth it?
According to recent estimates, the time it takes for freight containers to travel between Asia and the U.S. is steadily increasing. In 2021, it increased by 80%. The more time it takes for freight to travel across international shipping routes – the more responsibilities freight forwarders have. Ultimately, these added responsibilities translate to added costs.
In such an uncertain economic environment, assessing the direct financial benefits of freight association membership is vital. Let’s explore how freight forwarders benefit financially when they join these associations –
Direct Increase in Sales
Many freight forwarders are currently worried about losing clients or attracting new ones. Joining a freight forwarder association can help address these worries.
- Referrals: The best freight forwarder networks attract many top shipping companies. Managers of freight forwarder associations serve as referral agents between different members and the shippers. As soon as freight forwarders join the best associations, their services get more attention.
- Online Booking Platform: The best freight forwarder associations are extremely tech-focused. One of the key perks of membership in such associations is access to the latest ERP software tools. From logistics to booking to tracking cargo – these integrated software solutions present a variety of perks to association members. Freight forwarders can optimize their sales cycles with these tools.
- Dedicated Account Managers: Some freight forwarder associations even assign account managers to each member. These account managers promote the members’ services, help them contact major shipping companies, oversee secure payments, etc. All these efforts ultimately improve a freight forwarder’s ability to attract and secure new clients.
- Access to Industry Information: Freight forwarders can list their rates on the integrated platforms of their freight forwarder associations. Customers with specific needs can sort through these lists to find the “right” freight forwarders for their assignments. Freight forwarders can also see what other members of the network are charging.
Attracting the attention of shoppers from across the world is the major financial benefit of joining a freight forwarder association. The best freight forwarder associations also offer direct payment protection via –
- Providing free digital real estate to members. Why spend money creating your own website or software tool? Use the dashboards, online tracking tools, communication tools, etc., of the freight forwarder association.
- Tie-ups with the best international insurance companies. Unlike an individual freight forwarder, freight forwarder associations can attract and partner with world-leading insurance companies.
- Payment guarantee, cargo insurance, and carrier liability insurance.
The financial benefits of freight association memberships can be in the form of more sales and improved payment terms. When selling to customers who belong to a quality freight association, you enjoy strong relationships with their suppliers and access to dedicated account representatives that will help you ship your product on time, every time. Customers also receive certain benefits such as insurance coverage, a payment guarantee, and access to the latest software tools. Being a member of a quality freight association can make all the difference when it comes to improving your business’ bottom line.
Freight forwarders who prioritize income protection can benefit a lot by joining a freight forwarder association.