With an eye on helping shippers to better navigate rapidly changing market conditions, specifically in the form of rate pressure and ongoing uncertainty driven by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Minneapolis, Minn.-based global logistics services provider and freight forwarder C.H. Robinson recently introduced a new free, online dasboard, entitled Global Forwaridng Insights, which provides shippers with the ability to get a clearer outlook of the global environment.
The dashboard is comprised of data and market updates for all regions and trade lens, according to the company. And it added that the dashboard provides shippers with a one-stop shop, of sorts, in the form of market trends, capacity, and pricing across all regions and modes. What’s more, it explained that this dashboard is being released at a time when global shippers are facing myriad challenges, including: port congestion, recovering from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, challenges and uncertainty related to the COVID-19 vaccine, changes related to the new administration in the White House, changing consumer behaviors (largely due to increased e-commerce activity), and the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY), among others.
In a blog posting, Mike Short, C.H. Robinson president of global forwarding, cited data from Research and Markets highlighting how the global logistics market is forecasted to grow more than 17% this year.
“And only a month into the year, that growth seems to be on track due to heightened demand across major global trade lanes,” wrote Short. “Volumes between China and the United States have increased by 30% compared to this time last year. It is likely the demand will continue past CNY, which falls on February 12, this year. We historically see a spike in demand before CNY, but this year looks different from past years. Many companies are stockpiling and replenishing stock rooms in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions. And with a continued need for PPE and the dramatic uptick in ecommerce shopping, it’s no wonder there’s greater amounts of freight being moved right now.
In an interview, Short explained that C.H. Robinson’s Global Forwarding Insights has been in the works going back to last year.
And he explained it was due to a few different factors, specifically how the volatility in the global logistics market, especially over the past year, elevated the importance of providing C.H. Robinson’s customers with timely market insight that were easily accessible.
“As a market leader in major global trade lanes, they look to us for answers,” he said. “Through the dashboard, shippers can separate out what trade lanes are important to them, review capacity and pricing trends, and upcoming or ongoing disruptions impacting ocean and air transportation on that lane. Global Forwarding Insights is providing companies an information advantage that can help drive better outcomes for their supply chain.”
When asked what the dashboard provides for shippers that was previously missing, Short noted that many C.H. Robinson shippers utilize multiple trade lanes and multi-modal solutions to ship their freight.
What is different, he said, is that Global Forwarding Insights allows them to customize the lanes they want to focus on and displays ocean and air data all in one place.
“Having the ability to look across modes and trade lanes is important when considering possible shifting strategies,” he said. “C.H. Robinson’s global suite of services puts us in the position to help our customers maintain a resilient supply chain and shift freight during volatility, this dashboard is the first step in the strategy conversation. Since the market has been changing so quickly, our customers know they can rely on Global Forwarding Insights for the latest global transportation outlook. Previously, our logistics experts in offices across the global would distribute this information via email. Now, we’re taking the same timely information and making it more accessible to shippers. The new resource provides improved visibility and easy access to key market trends.”
As for the main competitive advantages of the Global Forwarding Insights dashboard, Short explained that C.H. Robinson is focused on helping its customers success and Global Forwarding Insights is one of the tools it uses to make that happen.
“The dashboard utilizes our experience, data, and global scale to provide shippers with insights that can help drive smarter solutions for their business, especially during times of repeat disruption,” he said. “With trade lane level detail, the dashboard presents an easy-to-understand summary of past and present market conditions so companies can maintain flexibility, adapt to potential disruptions, and successfully overcome even the most complex shipping challenges.”