Growing sector offers a world of opportunity

Among the many management franchise opportunities available are those offered by freight forwarding and international transport companies. Gary Clere, founder of Cargocall, provides an insight into this growing sector

Some call it ‘logistics’, some call it ‘freight forwarding’, some call it ‘shipping’, but whatever you call it, for many the world of international transport is still shrouded in mystery. Yet without it, the modern world would cease to function.

Shipping goods across continents is obviously not a new phenomenon, it’s been around for a few thousand years, but it’s an industry that still forms the backbone of modern globalisation. More than ever, businesses import and export goods, and moving these goods across international borders with efficiency is essential to a good supply chain.

So what’s behind the world of international transport? Well as you’d expect there are lots of trucks, aircraft, ships and trains not to mention the millions of acres of warehouse space but the fundamental ingredient is the people that make it all come together. Good communication with well-trained, service minded people is really what makes the international transport world turn on its axis.

Air freight, sea freight and road freight are obviously the main three methods of moving goods to or from overseas locations. Rail freight plays a part too, but to a lesser degree. Each transport method has its own technicalities and each differs from the other. For example, if you need something in New York within two days, then air freight is your only option because a sea freight service will take 10 days to arrive. These differences mean that the international transport industry has traditionally spawned companies that specialise in their own sector of air, sea, road or rail transport but the trend is changing and there’s no doubt that the international transport industry is trying to grow out of its fragmentation.

Those companies that procure transport services are changing the way they do business too. Previously, companies would employ a Shipping Manager to source and manage freight forwarders, shipping lines and hauliers in the delivery of the services needed. There was plenty of expertise on this side of the desk but today that idea is changing rapidly as companies rationalise on personnel and out-source huge transport and warehousing contracts to third parties.

Small to medium sized companies often no longer have a dedicated Transport or Shipping Manager anymore and this role is often tacked on to employees who have other responsibilities. As a result, expertise is lost and those responsible for shipping find life a lot easier purchasing from a single source and the industry has slowly come to realise that and the buzz word for this is ‘3PL’ – Third Party Logistics.

3PL companies are those, which bring all methods of transport together under one roof mixing their own infrastructure along with sub-contracted services. For the customer the jargon is largely irrelevant and the most important thing is getting the job of moving goods from one country to another done well. That still boils down to good communication with conscientious, knowledgeable people who can be relied on to find a solution to every transport requirement to or from any continent.

What all this means for the future of freight forwarding franchising is only positive as the market continues to out-source contracts to companies that are capable of fitting together the logistics jigsaw.

So what’s behind the world of international transport? Well as you’d expect there are lots of trucks, aircraft, ships and trains not to mention the millions of acres of warehouse space but the fundamental ingredient is the people that make it all come together. Good communication with well-trained, service minded people is really what makes the international transport world turn on its axis.

Air freight, sea freight and road freight are obviously the main three methods of moving goods to or from overseas locations. Rail freight plays a part too, but to a lesser degree. Each transport method has its own technicalities and each differs from the other. For example, if you need something in New York within two days, then air freight is your only option because a sea freight service will take 10 days to arrive. These differences mean that the international transport industry has traditionally spawned companies that specialise in their own sector of air, sea, road or rail transport but the trend is changing and there’s no doubt that the international transport industry is trying to grow out of its fragmentation.

Those companies that procure transport services are changing the way they do business too. Previously, companies would employ a Shipping Manager to source and manage freight forwarders, shipping lines and hauliers in the delivery of the services needed. There was plenty of expertise on this side of the desk but today that idea is changing rapidly as companies rationalise on personnel and out-source huge transport and warehousing contracts to third parties.

Small to medium sized companies often no longer have a dedicated Transport or Shipping Manager anymore and this role is often tacked on to employees who have other responsibilities. As a result, expertise is lost and those responsible for shipping find life a lot easier purchasing from a single source and the industry has slowly come to realise that and the buzz word for this is ‘3PL’ – Third Party Logistics.

3PL companies are those, which bring all methods of transport together under one roof mixing their own infrastructure along with sub-contracted services. For the customer the jargon is largely irrelevant and the most important thing is getting the job of moving goods from one country to another done well. That still boils down to good communication with conscientious, knowledgeable people who can be relied on to find a solution to every transport requirement to or from any continent.

What all this means for the future of freight forwarding franchising is only positive as the market continues to out-source contracts to companies that are capable of fitting together the logistics jigsaw.