TimoCom’s first UK case study of how the IT company and International Forwarding work together to create efficiencies and reduce freight costs was published earlier this month. Here’s the report by Maria Toft Madsen.
From pen and paper to modern technology
Freight forwarders know this scenario: phone in the left hand, pen and block pad ready to the right to quickly note down the loading and unloading locations of the day. The fax machine is on and ready to send and receive. Countless phone conversations and hardly even time for a cup of tea. The daily work scenario is the same at the company International Forwarding Ltd (IFL). But this company differs from other traditional freight forwarders – it puts pride in thinking out of the box.
International Forwarding is an independently owned freight forwarding company with more than 60 employees based in Birmingham and like many forwarders it serves its customer base for European traffic by running a mix of its own scheduled groupage services and by sub-contracting to trusted carriers.
Eleven years ago the company welcomed the opportunity to think out of the daily work box when they became a subscriber to the TimoCom’s online freight exchange.
Freight exchange to fill spare capacity
IT company TimoCom is Europe’s market leader in vehicle and freight exchanges with 100,000 subscribers and operations in 44 European countries. IFL uses the online freight exchange daily to find freight to fill spare capacity on its trucks.
Using the online transport directory has also helped to establish links with other forwarders/carriers throughout Europe, which has increased the range of options available to the sales team when negotiating contracts with customers.
Warehouse exchange for West Midlands storage solutions
International Forwarding also advertises its Birmingham warehousing and distribution facilities on the TimoCom warehousing exchange, which is frequently used by freight companies seeking a short-notice drop-off facility in the Midlands for offloading frustrated deliveries.
However there is more that connects TimoCom and International Forwarding.
Freight, logistics and social media
By using the TimoCom freight exchange efficiently the IFL management team has more time to devote to ensuring that the company keeps ahead of the game and to develop the use of online facilities, such as social media, for the benefit of the business. They use this not just to publish current information about the industry but also to highlight special or unusual transports carried out for customers (for example, shipping a Tour de France winner to the UK).
The fact that the company and its employees feel so at home with the World Wide Web puts them in an excellent position to get maximum advantage from TimoCom’s online platform.
IFL has a Facebook page, a Linkedin profile, a news blog and a customer newsletter. Andy Grubb, the company’s sales manager says: “We use social media to actively get in touch with potential customers and it is our objective to connect all the channels with each other. This does help us to attract new business as our clients already know us from the Web.”
As TimoCom also publishes a newsletter and uses Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter for communications the two companies are planning to connect online. TimoCom’s chief representative Marcel Frings thinks there are several ways to achieve this and says: “We can see future collaboration with IFL by exchanging links and by working together on certain projects.”
Two modern companies are demonstrating that it is good sense to develop their existing relationship and to make the most of the opportunities offered by the internet.