Establishing Standard Competency Benchmarks in Freight Forwarding
“Competence is a productive blend of knowledge, skills and on-the-job performance aimed at achieving the desired outcome.”
Competency benchmarks in freight forwarding refer to the knowledge, skills, and abilities that freight forwarding professionals should possess in order to perform their job effectively. These benchmarks are used to assess the performance of individuals within the industry and to identify areas where additional training or support may be necessary.
Competency benchmarks in freight forwarding may include a range of areas such as knowledge of international trade regulations, customs procedures, and transportation logistics. They may also include specific technical skills such as the ability to use computer systems to track shipments, communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
More than ever before, competency requirements in Freight Forwarding have become more sophisticated largely due to aggressively evolving trends in global trade and increasing demand for innovative solutions in service delivery.
Technical competence is a critical success factor in Global Freight Forwarding and since Freight Forwarders are key facilitators of global trade, there are competency benchmarks; standard or globally established requirements against which the performance of Forwarders or Forwarding companies can be measured. This is a deliberate exercise to measure one’s performance against the best or top players in the industry. The goal is to identify competency gaps and bridge them in line with standard industry requirements.
Competency Benchmarks in Freight Forwarding
Several internal and external sources have revealed that the following constitute some industry-specific competencies that provide the standard competency benchmarks for Forwarders across the globe:
- Knowledge of International Trade Regulations: A freight forwarder must have a strong understanding of the various international trade regulations, including customs laws, tariffs, and import/export regulations. They should be able to advise clients on the best practices for complying with these regulations to avoid any penalties.
- Understanding of Freight Modes: Freight forwarders must have a good understanding of the different modes of transportation for goods, including sea, air, and land transport. They should be able to recommend the most cost-effective and efficient mode of transport for a client’s specific needs.
- Communication Skills: Freight forwarders must be effective communicators and able to communicate with clients, vendors, and government agencies. They should be able to negotiate terms with suppliers and carriers and communicate effectively with clients to ensure they are kept informed throughout the shipping process.
- Problem-Solving: Freight forwarding can be a complex and challenging process, and freight forwarders must have strong problem-solving skills to overcome any obstacles that may arise. They should be able to think creatively to find solutions to any issues that may arise during shipping.
- Organization and Time Management: Freight forwarders must be highly organized and able to manage their time effectively to ensure that all shipments are delivered on time. They should be able to prioritize tasks and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
- Attention to Detail: Freight forwarding requires a high level of attention to detail, as even minor errors can result in significant delays and additional costs. Freight forwarders must be meticulous in their work and ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete.
- Technology Skills: Freight forwarders must be comfortable using technology, including shipping software, tracking systems, and communication tools. They should be able to use these tools to manage shipments efficiently and keep clients informed of their shipment’s progress.
- Customer Service: Freight forwarders must have excellent customer service skills and be able to build strong relationships with clients. They should be able to address client concerns and provide solutions to ensure their satisfaction.
Any company aspiring to remain competitive in this ever-evolving world of global Forwarding must pay attention to these industry-specific competency requirements and make them human resource priorities. And as you ponder over the issue of competence, note that as important as financial, technological, infrastructural and human resources are to the existence of your business, technical competence remains a critical success factor and a key determinant of how well your company can compete against the best and industry peers anywhere in the world.
Read more: Key Competencies For Logistics