Fercam’s Search For Better Freight
Unlike other divisions at Fercam that predominantly use internal fleets, the Air & Ocean Division depends on numerous carriers, each with multiple tariffs and surcharges, and each constantly changing. This made it incredible challenging to ensure that current rates and historical freight pricing are always available.
Because Fercam generates so many freight quotes every day, the process needed to be streamlined – simple, accurate, and veloce (Italian for fast). The key to speed? Avoiding relying on other departments or people for quote input, and passing the quote on to customers in a timely manner.
Manual processes can only take you so far. Which is why Luca, who you’ll meet in a second, came to Freightos for better freight rate management.
Fercam is one of Italy’s largest freight forwarders, with over 65 years of company history. Starting as a local hauler, Fercam now has 45 branches across Italy, 21 across the rest of Europe and two in North Africa. There are more than 2,800 vehicles in its fleet, and it’s workforce numbers 1,550 employees.
Fercam’s operations are split into six divisions: FTL Road & Rail; Partial Loads Groupage; Parcel Express; Removals, Arts, Fairs; Logistics; as well as Air & Ocean.
Meet Luca Cipani
This is where Luca, from the Air & Ocean’s Research and Development team came in. Joining Fercam two years ago with a strong IT background but little freight background, Luca went straight to work to determine how best to manage rates – a massive challenge for Fercam. He could see the advantages of freight rate management automation, and understood the massive gains his division stood to gain from using Freightos.
Luca spearheaded the use of Freightos, acting as the business lead for the rollout to the pricing and sales teams. He went one step further and presented additional requirements to Freightos to even better address Fercam’s needs. Those requirements have become standard features in the system.
We asked Luca how Freightos helps Fercam.
Speed, better quoting and business intelligence.
Freightos makes freight rate management easy, keeping rates updated and enabling easy quote creation. Freightos also helps get the quote to the customer faster, letting the customer respond online. Combined, that means higher win rates.
Better Organizational Visibility
Having all freight rates in a centralised location reduces re-work and errors. Better still, it opens up the opportunity for agents and even customers to generate their own quotes online, self-service style. Making it easier to work with good agents is good business for both parties….Fercam is rolling out this feature as you read this!
The Business Intelligence dashboard provides new insights for better productivity and profitability. For example, Fercam can now accurately measure win rates, get a better understanding of sales force productivity and can better determine which agents to build stronger relations with.
How is this driving productivity?
Spot quotes comprise about 70% of business. They used to take up to five minutes per quote, but now they all take about one minute. For each salesperson, this has freed up about a full extra hour a day to sell!
Door to Door Quotes
Spot quotes comprise about 15% of business. Agents will soon have access to Freightos. Once this happens, door to door quotes, which currently take anything up to 2 days, will also drop down to only one minute.
Any other benefits?
Freight Rate Management
Fercam quickly learned how to convert rates to the Freightos format, rapidly tagging various carrier formats for seamless upload without converting formats. Internal rate conversion lowered the cost of bringing their freight operations online, making Freightos even better value for money.
The Operations team uses Freightos to refer to key order information during shipment. Some of this data was previously not readily accessible.
Customers love Freightos too. Some are even taking up the opportunity to simplify booking by either responding to a quote email (quote included as a PDF) or simply clicking on a link in the email to respond directly in Freightos. This cuts out some of the paper trail, and reduces the customer’s document storage requirements.
And next steps?
Fercam are currently looking for a new Transport Management System (TMS). Luca can see that opening files/dossiers directly from quotes will lead to a huge increase in performance, and so has made Freightos integration a business requirement of the TMS project.