News | Published January 15 2020

Technology at the forefront of development for freight companies like Horizon International Cargo

The freight and shipping industries have developed a long way over the past 100 years. The WTA Group published an article where they highlight the risk technology and advancement has for traditional freight forwarders, stating how “as an industry, freight forwarding is often criticised for being slow to adopt technology and new ways of doing business. Whilst there may be some truth in this sentiment, to say there is a complete lack of innovation is overstated. We would agree however, that there is a lot of room for improvement.”

One freight company which has embraced technology and change is Horizon International Cargo, which since 1991 has grown from being a specialist air freight forwarding business into one of the UK’s most innovative supply chain solution providers. Global solutions are provided through a combination of Horizon’s own international offices, its sister companies in Hong Kong and China as well as membership of the WCA (World Cargo Alliance) and Atlas networks of independent forwarders.

The Parliamentary Review spoke with chairman Nigel Davies about how they’ve done this and the company’s attitude to technological development. Davies said,

“When placed alongside other industries, the “freight game” is comparatively archaic in many of its processes. Original paperwork is still widely prevalent despite numerous indications of an impending “paperless” revolution. In an age where one can conduct more and more transactions with the swipe of a finger, most freight operations are still paper dependent and, regrettably, the online platforms which currently exist remain a long way from being integrated across the complex web of moving parts that transport freight across the globe.

“At Horizon, as much as we have embraced and invested in advanced IT systems and new software, we have also invested heavily in staff training. For all the benefits new technologies bring us, it is our staff who find the solutions and keep the clients happy.”

Davies also highlights the effect ecommerce has had on the freight industry,

“The impact of ecommerce cannot be overstated. In an age where even next-day delivery is falling short of consumer expectations, the online revolution has set the precedent for a new era for freight. Speed and efficiency are emphasised more every day as the world becomes a smaller and smaller place. By incorporating e-fulfilment into our service capabilities, our clients are able to outsource their entire supply chain to us, from the moment a purchase order is generated to the final delivery at their customer’s door.”

As the UK leaves the European Union and trade deals are negotiated across the globe, the freight industry’s performance will be closely monitored and evaluated. By embracing technology and change, companies like Horizon should be well placed to make the most of opportunities from future regulatory freedoms in the aftermath.

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Authored by

The Parliamentary Review

January 15 2020

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