Freight forwarding agents form one of iContainers’ most important and valued clients. Our services extend beyond simply being able to provide agents with limited offers with more route and price options, which in turn helps them to meet their clients’ demands and needs.
In addition, as we start to build commercial relationships with these agents, they become more than just customers. These relationships eventually develop into a partnership with which mutual demands and needs are exchanged.
“iContainers highly value all its customers, including agents. As we also have needs and demands in areas where we do not have coverage, having agents as our partners is the fastest and less complicated approach to be able to offer more services and options to our clientele.
We are always looking for the perfect balanced relationship with agents to share bookings, pricing, coverage, and sales leads and making sure they follow the guidelines and requirements necessary to be part of our network.”
- Roberto Laurino, Director of Global Business Development, iContainers
Our instant quotes feature, transparency, and growing network have helped many of these partners be more efficient and grow their business.
Thanks to our innovative platform, many are now able to provide clients with immediate quotes, which has helped them close sales quicker than before and increase their revenues.
One such success story is Across The Ocean Shipping.
Across The Ocean Shipping is an iContainers partner and a freight forwarder with offices in Australia, USA and the UK. The company has just celebrated ten years in business and is continuing to grow year on year. Over the past decade, it has grown intelligently as one of the most trusted freight forwarders by agents worldwide and has also won the PPL network trusted agent award.
Its inception into the freight industry was primarily focused on sea freight services. But since then, it has expanded and its internal team of experts now provide services ranging from FCL and LCL sea freight, air freight, and personal effects, to custom brokerage services and Amazon FBA service, among others.
In this post, we speak to David Aherne, founder and managing director of Across The Ocean Shipping to learn more about how iContainers was able to help him and his team improve their day-to-day efficiency, save time, and increase their revenue.
I first met Roberto (Director of Global Business Development at iContainers) at a WCA event in the US in July 2017. He showed us what iContainers could offer and we were sold very quickly. We signed on pretty much almost immediately and have been working with iContainers for just over a year now.
The instant quotes and having a platform where agents can access them easily and get an overview of rates are all great advantages.
There’s also the fact that the different time zones now don’t really affect us as much as before.
Being in Australia and having to deal with clients in the US can be a big hassle due to the huge time difference. But with iContainers, that’s no longer a problem.
We’re in a world now where people want everything quick and fast. iContainers has created what I think will be a massive part of what all freight forwarders have to do. I was really impressed with how innovative it was. Time is key. So the biggest advantage of using iContainers is that it’s quick, it offers rates from many shipping lines, and does so instantly.
We would send out quote requests to five or six agents overnight to try and make sure we get at least a response for the following day. Surprisingly, we’d usually only get around two to four responses. The others wouldn’t reply.
It’s amazing how agents can ignore requests from freight forwarders considering it’s key to revenue. Part of being a freight forwarder is having this bottleneck of quotation requests that come in. And you just need to have the quotes ready to respond.
I see a lot of agents coming in asking for requests and not given a priority by the freight forwarders which is strange because it forms a big part of the business.
Well, I’ve been in the freight forwarding business for 20 years, so about 20 years! One of the barriers as a forwarder is that you’re always working so hard to get a client in; you go overseas and you’re doing everything you can to get the rates for them. And when you cannot produce them immediately, you run the risk of losing them.
Well, we no longer have to kind of send emails out to the various agents to get a quote from them and then compare them and then send them back out to our clients, which is what we were doing before.
We see that the rates on iContainers are pretty much on par with the rest of the market so we know the pricing is right.
The big advantage is the fact that everything is immediate and transparent. So it’s helped with being able to get back to a client quickly with a price.
We input our search route based on requests, get the list of prices immediately, choose a few of them and send them over to our clients.
Our sales team uses them about three to four times a week and multiple times per day.
It’s very easy. In fact, we just had a new sales member come in last week and the training lasted just ten minutes!
It’s clean and we get access to inland rates. It makes a massive difference to us that we can quote from anywhere into and out of the US. Plus it’s very easy to use.
There’s definitely been an improvement in terms of time. iContainers has saved us six to seven hours per week across the entire sales team.
And in terms of revenue as well. We’re now able to lock in customers faster than before because we can provide them with a quote immediately.
iContainers is an e-commerce portal that is up-to-date, quick, and efficient. If you need freight pricing from anywhere in the world, you can tap into this and get prices at your fingertips which is very, very useful for a freight forwarder.
"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers