Top tips for your 2023 supply chain strategy - Part 2 of 3


Soaring rates, shipping delays, worker shortages, geopolitical conflict- we've certainly navigated some choppy waters during 2022. In Part 2 of our 2023 Strategy series, we take a closer look at the top tips for your Freight Forwarding Operations and how best to manage the challenges still circling overhead.

With 2023 predicted to be another year full of volatility, our customers want to know how to future-proof freight operations and smooth out the weak links in their supply chains. To answer this, we reflect on the latest industry trends, figure out what the new year may have in store, and compile the best freight forwarding tips from the experts.

Part 2 of 3: Freight Forwarding Operations

The Trends that Defined 2022

  • More frequent supply chain disruptions.
  • Recurrent shipping delays and overall poor carrier performance.
  • Long turnaround times at ports.
  • Huge increases in shipping rates for an extended time.
  • Workers shortages.
  • More pressure on businesses to provide quick deliveries, as consumers have rising expectations of how quickly goods will be delivered.
  • Non-existent peak season.

Expectations for 2023

  • Volatile and unpredictable shipping landscape. 
  • Lower consumer demand due to inflation and an impending recession.
  • Fewer shipping backlogs and fewer shipping delays due to less congested vessels and ports (reduced shipping demand).
  • Potential for lower shipping costs due to more shipping capacity. However, rates are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels if the Russia-Ukraine war continues to affect fuel costs. 
  • Lost sales due to failing to deliver on time or setting unrealistic expectations around shipping. Customers will expect clarity and transparency around delivery times. 

Top tips

"Brands are likely to find the shipping industry to be more forgiving going into 2023, as overcapacity results in lower rates. For those looking for further improvements, two simple, effective strategies we recommend to optimize logistics include consolidating freight into fewer, larger shipments, and planning ahead to avoid paying shipping premiums or excessive storage fees."
Edward Routh, founder and Director at Relloe
Shopify report The Key Freight and Container Shipping Trends to Follow in 2023. 

"In 2023 there will be new market access opportunities for Australian businesses, led by FTA like the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), coming into effect from 29 December. Tariffs on 85 per cent of Australia's exports to India will be eliminated and high tariffs on a further 5 per cent of goods will be phased down. At the same time, international trade, climate patterns, global and domestic travel are changing, leading to changes in entry charges, Australia's biosecurity system, border and regulatory activities. From 16 January 2023, there will be a $9.00 increase to imports of sea cargo over $1000."
Aaron Casey, Customs & Transport Manager at Explorate 

"It is critical that your supply chain has visibility to provide the ready dates of the customer's goods and their estimated delivery dates. How many times have you heard, 'When am I going to get my order?' Being able to answer this question can go a long way toward improving customer trust and loyalty."
Marcia Williams, Forbes Councils Member

Where to start

Tapping into the tools and network of a digital freight forwarder can offload the time and stress of managing your freight operations while keeping costs down. It's a simpler way to do complicated shipments, so you can focus on growing your business. 

Freight forwarding has always been a traditional industry, but in recent years new players have entered the market and proposed a better way of doing things. They are using the latest technology to improve different parts of the supply chain, in an effort to modernise the way that things have always been done. Some examples are Attabotics, Kaddy and Explorate

Attabotics is an inventory management robotics company that can dramatically reduce a company's warehouse needs. Their warehouse solution is inspired by the framework of ant colonies and replaces the rows and aisles of traditional fulfilment centres with a patented storage structure and robotics shuttles.

Kaddy is an Australian company that specialises in the wholesale beverage marketplace. It provides a simple and easy-to-use solution for managing beverage storage, ordering, transport, payment and delivery. 

Explorate is a digital freight forwarder in the ASEAN region that has developed its online platform in-house, based on customer feedback and real-world logistics experience. It is helping SMEs and corporates that need to move cargo by sea or air to access digital tools that are a real game-changer for freight operations. Key features include real-time track and trace, instant quotes and bookings, digital dashboards and faultless workflow management. 

But the best part is, the tech comes hand in hand with people. Explorate's customers can count on logistics experts like Jo Wilson, Head of Freight Operations, and her team to look after their cargo every step of the way. With 25 years of experience in the industry, Jo is an expert in managing air and ocean freight, including import and export operations. 

To find out how Jo and her team can streamline your freight forwarding operations, contact us .

Freight Forwarding Trends FAQ

What have been the main problems with shipping and freight forwarding in 2022?

  • Shipping and port delays.
  • High shipping rates.
  • Workers shortages.
  • Pressure to provide quick deliveries.

Will shipping prices go down?

Shipping will potentially go down as the shipping capacity increases. However, rates are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels if the Russia-Ukraine war continues to affect fuel costs. 

Is the supply chain getting better?

Supply chain issues are improving, but volatility is expected to continue to cause supply chain problems. Strikes, natural disasters and war conflicts are only some of the issues that will continue to affect international freight forwarding and shipping.

The Explorate Platform helps you build a resilient, transparent and flexible supply chain, in order to navigate this "new normal".  If you're not with us yet but are interested in digitising your logistics operations, get in touch to arrange a free demonstration.


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