How to Build an Online Freight Forwarding Platform for a Logistic Company

Inevitably, the global freight forwarding market was among the hardest-hit markets in 2020 because of COVID 2019. Although, the global outlook for the logistics industry is optimistic and is expected to increase to 207 billion euros from 161 billion euros by 2025.

In fact, many international freight forwarding companies like DHL have started to make their own strategies to accelerate business growth by investing 2 billion euros in digital transformation. Digitalization or an online freight forwarding platform enhances customer relationship management as well as improves operational excellence.

So, having a logistics company, if you are also facing challenges in your business, you need to build an online freight forwarding platform to streamline the process. Let’s check how you can do it.

What is the Meaning of Freight Forwarding?

Freight forwarding is all about managing and shipping goods across international borders via common carriers, such as air, marine, rail, or highway, and trucking companies. This also includes tasks like warehouse planning, supplying cargo insurance, and customs clearance.

On the other hand, a freight forwarder handles arranges cargo on behalf of shippers. Most freight forwarders offer various supply chain services for the shippers, including:

  • Ocean freight forwarder
  • Air-freight transportation
  • Inland transportation services from the origin to destination
  • Preparation of customs documentation
  • Warehousing and storage services
  • Consolidation and deconsolidation
  • Cargo insurance and customs clearance

Challenges for the freight forwarding companies:

Freight forwarders often face these challenges while transporting goods.

  1. Shortage of drivers
  2. Taxation discrepancies
  3. Inadequate warehouse management
  4. Poor customer relationship management
  5. Competition with global logistics giants
  6. Higher freight charges

Necessarily, this needs to be overcome to sustain in the global freight forwarding market. Hence, an online freight forwarding platform can help you to overcome such challenges.

Facing Challenges in Your Freight Forwarding Business?

Want to resolve the challenges with a unique and customized solution? Our expert team of app developers has experience in developing customized software.

But you are probably wondering how to build freight forwarding software for a logistics business. Don’t worry; we have covered all 5 steps to building a platform that can resolve all your shipping-related challenges. So, let’s dive deeper.

How to Build an Online Freight Forwarding Platform

Building a custom freight forwarding platform is not as difficult as you are wondering. We have shared step by step process so that you know how to create an online freight forwarding platform for your business.

Step 1. Identify Your Business Challenges

Every freight shipping company has different challenges and needs custom or tailor-made solutions. Therefore, your first step would be identifying the business challenges that you are concerned about the most.

So, once you have a list of all your challenges, you can focus on the features that you want to integrate into the platform. Advanced features of the freight forwarding platform would help you to streamline your logistics business process.

    Step 2. Check On The Advanced Features

As we have just explained that you need to focus on the features that can help you in resolving your business challenges. For example, if you are unable to manage transportation, you need a Transport Management System (TMS). Such features will help you to streamline your logistics business.

However, we have also shared some of the advanced and common features that are required in the majority of logistics businesses.

Here is the key features of freight management software solution:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Invoicing and collection
  • Dashboard and managerial report
  • Cross-docking
  • International freight forwarders
  • Barcoding/RFID
  • Real-time tracking of shipment
  • Fuel level sensor (FLS) or fuel management
  • Step 3. Go for Customized or Ready-made Solutions

    You might be wondering how customized solutions and ready-made solutions can differ in any way. However, this is not the truth, and there are differences between both the software.

    Your choice of finalizing one of the software would significantly depend on your project requirements. Focus on the requirements and functionalities that you need and proceed ahead with choosing either of the options.

    For your help, we have shared some of the best software for freight shipping businesses. We have compared these best freight forwarding software based on their features, price, and ratings.

    LogoSoftwareTop FeaturesRatings (Capterra)Price
    logitude worldLogitude World
    • International shipping
    • CRM
    • Cross-docking
    • Customer management
    • Alerts/notifications
    • Air-freight
    26 REVIEWS
    • $39/month
    • $65/month
    • Barcoding/RFID
    • Fleet management
    • Import/export management
    • International forwarders
    • Inventory management
    • Local forwarders
    Information is not available on the website.
    • Billing & invoicing
    • Bill of lading
    • Carrier management
    • Customer management
    • Freight shipping
    • Live driver tracking
    607 REVIEWS
    kuebix tmsKuebix TMS
    • 3PL management
    • Container shipping
    • CRM
    • Fleet management
    • Freight shipping
    107 REVIEWS
    freight clubFreight Club
    • eCommerce management
    • Order management
    • Rate management
    • Reporting/analytics
    • Shipment price calculation
    39 REVIEWS

    You might be amazed to see the features of these top readymade freight forwarding software. Still, as said earlier, if you are handling an enterprise-level business, you might need a custom solution, dedicated to your business challenges and needs.

    Disadvantages of Readymade Freight Forwarding Software

    • Might not able to fulfill all the requirements of your business
    • No control over customization of the software
    • Might need to invest in updated licenses, so it becomes more expensive
    • Software companies carry out new updates and don’t support old versions of software
    • Sometimes readymade software give misleading results
    • The level of secrecy is low, so it is difficult to prevent data from theft
    • Not easy to link with the other information system

    If you do not want to face such situations while choosing the best software for your logistics services, it’s advised that you select a customized software solution.

    Step 4. Outsource Software Development Process

    Outsourcing software development is one of the best options to customize freight forwarding software. Outsourcing helps to save time and costs, minimize risks of projects, find the larger labor pool of talented professionals and get access to multiple services. In fact, the global outsourcing market size has reached USD 92.5 billion in 2019.

    outsource software development

    You need a reliable outsourcing software development company, such as Space-O Technologies, that understands your requirements and delivers the best services without compromising the quality of the freight forwarding platform.

    Being one of the top software development companies, we deliver high-end software solutions, no matter how complex your needs are. We are also ranked as leading software development companies on GoodFirms and Upwork.

    Step 5. Get Involved in the Software Development Process

    If you decide to outsource software development, it is advised that you share all your requirements along with features and functionalities with the software development team. Also, ensure to sign the NDA to keep your proprietary information safe.

    Once you sign the NDA, the team will start the software development process. The team will design wireframe and a prototype to help you understand the features and functionalities of the system. Once the freight software is developed, it will go through the testing phase.

    Now, your customized freight software is ready to use.

    Important Features of Online Freight Forwarding Platform

    We have checked some of the best freight forwarders, such as DHL and Kuehne + Nagel, in order to share some of the best features with you. Here are the important features that you can also include in your customized solution. Let’s check.

    • Automatic truck-load planning
    • Automatic route planning
    • Combining production, warehouse, order, and logistics management
    • QR code or RFID scanning for loading and delivery
    • Delivery status updates
    • Planning equipment maintenance
    • Tracking the productivity of employees
    • Replacing paperwork
    • Data security

    What are the Advantages of Custom Freight Forwarding Platform?

    Here are the top benefits of having a customized freight forwarder solution for your business.

    1. Improves the scope of management as dependence on the human will be less, reducing the probability of many mistakes
    2. Speed ​​management eliminates the need to enter a lot of data manually, making the process easier and efficient
    3. Automates processes such as data entry, quoting, billing, and other accounting functions that save time as well as costs
    4. Can calculate the exact arrival time for every freight by considering several factors, including the traffic situation that can affect the delivery speed
    5. Assists with planning for monitoring the current situation by sending notifications and reminders
    6. Can keep your data safe as it has no physical location and helpful in managing vulnerable information

    Want to Make Your Own Customized Freight Solution?

    Want to discuss your business challenges and requirements? Want to get a free consultation?

    Freight Forwarding Industry Statistics

    The freight forwarding services facilitate the trade entrepreneurial activities using various supply chain management, such as B2B, B2C, or C2C. It trades activities between two or more parties by transporting, storing, and delivering goods.

    A freight forwarding company implements cargo shipments by various carriers, such as land, air, and water. This freight forwarding industry is one of the most significant parts of international trade. It was worth over 5.5 trillion euros in 2018.

    market size of freight forwarding

    Source: Statista

    In case you want to know the cost and time to build a custom freight solution, check the FAQs section. We have answered the most common questions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much time does it take to build a custom freight forwarding solution?

    It takes around 700 – 1500 hours to build a custom freight forwarding solution. Please know that we have contacted one of our technical experts to get a rough estimation. This estimation gives the rough cost based on several factors, such as the complexity, features, and functionalities of the software.

    How much cost does it take to create a custom freight forwarding solution?

    Here is the simple formula that you can use to estimate the cost to create a custom freight forwarding solution.


    Let’s take an example – If the developer’s per hour rate is $35, you can multiply this rate with estimated development hours, which is 700 – 1500. In this case, then the total cost would be between $24,500 – $52,500.

    700 – 1500 hours * $35 per hour rate = $24,500 – $52,500 total cost

    Which are the best freight forwarding companies?

    • Kuehne + Nagel
    • DHL
    • DB Schenker
    • DSV Global
    • Sinotrans Limited


    Through this blog, you know the steps to build a freight forwarding platform that resolves all your business-related problems. As we have discussed the freight forwarding process, important features, and advantages of freight solutions, it will be helpful for you in creating the best platform.

    Contact us if you get stuck while building the best solution for your project. As our experienced team has already worked on several custom software developments, they will deliver the best output for your complex needs.

    Get in touch with us through the ‘Contact Us’ form and one of our sales representatives will get back to you shortly.

    Author Bio
    Bhaval Patel
    Bhaval Patel
    Designation: Director (Operations)

    Bhaval Patel is the Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has over 20 years of experience in business management and sales. He has expertise in taxi booking app solutions and on-demand applications. Under his guidance, Space-O has developed 50+ Uber-like taxi apps on both iOS and Android platforms.