The Ripple Effect: How Strong Relationships Drive Logistics Excellence


At TPM23, a pivotal theme of the conference was the power of partnership. Economic and market factors are volatile, but your relationship with your forwarder should not be. 

Global trade is interdependent. In a single shipment, you need multiple people to cooperate with your best interests in mind.  So a strong freight relationship can be the leverage you need to secure your cargo's arrival on-site, at cost, and on time.

Let’s delve into the far-reaching benefits of two efficiency enablers that go hand-in-hand:  partnerships and digital solutions.  

State of the Industry

Australia’s straining economy, customer expectations driving a zero emissions future, labour shortages, increasing interest rates and high compliance costs continue to put pressure on our supply chains. 

The 2023 Ai Group CEO survey reported that:

Adoption Challenges

Just like building relationships outside of work, nurturing strong freight relationships is not without its challenges. And just like all relationships, there are countless obstacles that unravel strong connections. 

If there’s one sure-fire way to shatter a freight relationship in the making, it’s short term thinking. Transactional thinking, constantly switching between low cost service providers is not only disruptive, but deprives your business of essential long term benefits.

Steps you can take now

Find the Right Fit

But it’s not just cargo owners who can fall into the trap of short-sightedness. That’s why It's important now more than ever to evaluate your service providers' performance capabilities. Especially when signing long term contracts, you want to be considering the hidden costs that may incur due to a forwarder's performance. 

Capabilities to consider include:

  • Timeliness of shipment collection and deliveries
  • Detail and accuracy in quotes and invoices
  • Inclusion of online tools and self-service capabilities
  • Transparency of data and information
  • Willingness to collaborate with your company
  • How proactive is their communication
  • Their approach to training and continuous improvement

Consider establishing long-term contracts or agreements with your freight forwarder. This can solidify the relationship, provide stability, and incentivise the forwarder to prioritise your business.

Need a place to start? Make sure you're using the best incoterm for your supply chain needs.

Look Local to Ship Global

When it comes to shipping globally, don't underestimate the power of going local. Local providers possess in-depth knowledge of the region, including customs regulations, documentation requirements, and potential challenges. This expertise ensures smooth and efficient handling of your shipments, minimising delays and avoiding costly mistakes. 

So, the next time you're shipping globally, look no further than your local logistics experts, and unlock a world of convenience, expertise, and meaningful impact.

Are you an Australian business? We have offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Break the Silence

Establish and maintain open lines of communication with your freight forwarder. Regularly communicate your expectations, requirements, and any changes in your shipping needs. Encourage two-way communication to ensure clarity and understanding.

Share relevant information about your business, such as production schedules, product specifications, and market trends. This allows your freight forwarder to better understand your needs and provide tailored solutions.

The Benefits

Better support in critical situations

In times of crisis, whether it's a shipping delay, customs issue, or unexpected disruption, a strong relationship with your freight forwarder can make all the difference.

They will prioritise your situation, leverage their expertise, and go the extra mile to resolve the problem swiftly and efficiently. Their familiarity with your specific requirements and operations allows for personalised support tailored to your unique circumstances. 

Cut Costs with Efficiency

Growth is a double-edged sword for any business. Bigger pipelines mean bigger operational challenges. 

A small inefficiency in your operations will incur major costs and time lost over time. So a strong partnership with your logistics provider will help to identify opportunities to build a more efficient supply chain. 

We have a supply chain team dedicated to hunting down supply chain inefficiencies and replacing them with automation and digitisation.

The logistics industry will continue to evolve in 2023. What has worked for us in the past, won’t work for us in the future. So digitalisation, sustainable innovation and stronger relationships will continue to sharpen the execution of global trade. 


TPM TV. 2023. "Episodes of exclusive TPM content".

Ai Group. 2023. "Australian CEO Expectations for 2023."


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