How to Top-Out Your Bottom-Line as a Freight Forwarder

Have you ever taken a moment to quantify exactly how much time you spend in each portion of your sales cycle? Have you ever been able to layout your sales cycle “end-to-end” to see what it is that you are doing with your time in the first place? The first way to optimize your bottom line profit margins is to go through this exercise. For example, a nominal sales pipeline might include:

1) Lead Generation (ID'ing your target market, demographics, geographics, etc.)

2) Lead Qualification (ID'ing who in your target market will be a viable client)

3) Lead Conversion (typically 3% of your generated leads will convert to customers)

4) Quoting (the average freight forwarder actually spends more time quoting prices/rates to shippers than anything else)

5) Rate Lock

6) Rate Filing

7) Booking (arranging trucking, air freight, ocean freight, etc.)

8) Activity Check

9) Onboard Certification

10) Filing Customs Documentation

11) Final Billing

A graphical example of this approach is provided below!

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If as a freight forwarder you desire to optimize your operational processes and to grow your bottom line, understanding where you spend the most time in your sales pipeline will allow you to answer the question: “Do you spend this time because it is the part of the sales pipeline that is most important for you to focus on or because it is the area in which you are most inefficient?” Perhaps it is both… or something completely different. The important key here is to understand why you spend this energy and to make conscious decisions on how to change this system if it turns out you are not as efficient as you like.

If it turns out a freight forwarders total combined sales team spends 40% or more of their day obtaining and providing quotes for potential clients, would it not be better to spend that time generating more leads by cutting your quoting timeline from days to seconds? For example, Xport’s rate checking tool ( can accomplish this for you.

At the end of the day, exporting goods internationally can be difficult; but it doesn't have to be. Having a defined process to quickly generate, provide, and deliver ocean freight rates or ocean freight quotes is just one example of a way to be more efficient. Another is the ability to tell a shipper quickly the anticipated fees they will pay at the port of destination if they ship 40 containers on 7 different bills of lading. Still another is a way to help educate new prospective shippers on the international shipping process so you can generate more new business. Visit to see just how many ways we can help you to top out your businesses bottom line by becoming more efficient on a day to day basis!



Topics: freight forwardingfreight forwarding sales pipelinelogistics toolsocean freight ratesnvocc freight ratescargo quotesnvocc shipping toolsinternational shipping processshipping quotes,freight forwarder shipping tools

josh heisler