• What Is a CRM for Logistics and Freight Forwarders?
  • All Logistics Customers’ Data in One Place
  • Quoting Tool Built for Logistics
  • Logistics Dashboard
  • Record Logistics-Specific Data
  • Logistics Sales Reports
  • No Customizations Needed
  • Integrations with Logistics-Specific Applications
  • Summary



    A CRM for logistics and freight forwarders is a highly beneficial tool for boosting sales and streamlining daily operations. Because generic CRMs are not built for the logistics industry, they can’t deliver their promises to logistics companies. As a result, finding software solutions, such as customer relationship management (CRM), tuned for the logistics and freight forwarding industry can be challenging. This industry requires specific features that speak the language of logistics. Since generic CRMs cater to all industries, this is where a CRM for logistics and freight forwarders differs.

    Click Here: Secure More Shipments and Quote Faster With This 3PL Tool

    In this article, you will learn what a CRM is for logistics and freight forwarders. You will also be able to discover the seven specific differences between a CRM for logistics and generic CRMs.

    What Is a CRM for Logistics and Freight Forwarders?

    A CRM for logistics and freight forwarders is a specialized software solution for the logistics industry. Like a customer relationship management (CRM) software program that helps you manage customers and leads, logistics and freight forwarding CRM software can also organize customer data, centralize communication, and track sales to support a logistics company in converting leads to customers and increase customer retention. Additionally, it contains a dashboard, sales pipeline, sales reports, and other specific tools to manage leads, customers, tasks, and deals.

    Typical CRMs are also equipped with the features listed above, but they often require customization to meet the needs of your logistics company. In other words, a CRM for logistics and freight forwarders has all the must-have features of popular CRMs. However, these features are tailored to address the needs as well as the challenges of the logistics industry. Think of it as a CRM that speaks the logistics language fluently.

    Without the need for customizations, a logistics-specific CRM has the following features below:

    CRM for Logistics and Freight Forwarders

    1. All Logistics Customers’ Data in One Place

    Between converting logistics leads into new customers and maintaining consistent communication with current clients, managing all the sales touches required to close deals and foster customer loyalty can take time and effort.

    A generic CRM will help you centralize communications and provide basic sales information, but you'll have a fragmented picture of your data. Because generic CRMs are not tailored to freight forwarders, crucial data such as shipment frequency and shipment count will be missing from your data analysis.

    A CRM for logistics and freight forwarders allows you to do the following:

    • store all your customers' and leads' data
    • log your communication history
    • send logistics quotes
    • view logistics reports
    • set reminders and tasks to follow up

    A logistics CRM manages all these while capturing all the relevant logistics data to analyze your sales team's performance. With all these features in one place, you'll have 360-degree visibility of all your customers, leading to increased sales and improved customer service.

    2. Quoting Tool Built for Logistics

    Generic CRMs often feature a quoting tool, but there are better fits for logistics companies. To create the most effective and profitable quotes for your customers, a CRM for freight forwarders must have these six quotation tool features.

    A CRM for logistics with a tailored quoting tool must have the following features:

    • Creating an aggregate logistics quote with multiple services (FTL, LTL, Intermodal, FCL, LCL, Air)
    • Including multiple lanes per mode of transportation
    • Adding necessary logistics quote data (equipment type, commodity type, temperature requirements, routing information, and accessorial.)
    • Providing real-time market prices

    3. Logistics Dashboard

    Having a standard dashboard that provides generic data, such as profit margins, revenue, and gross profit, offers a broad overview of your company's financial performance. However, they often lack the details needed to optimize your logistics processes.

    Conversely, a logistics dashboard provides data directly relevant to your logistics business, such as shipment counts and lanes won. A logistics dashboard is one of the most critical tools in a CRM. It tracks your sales operations so you can make informed decisions and maintain a stream of consistent results.

    Moreover, a dashboard in a CRM for logistics can also include:

    • To-Do Widget: to keep you moving forward with sales
    • Recent Activity Widget: to view your sales team's activity in real-time
    • Quote Widget: to see all active quotes across your company
    • Account Performance Widget: to compare the profitability of each account.

    These relevant dashboard features give you a comprehensive understanding of a logistics company's performance.

    RELATED: 5 Logistics Dashboard Features You Must Have

    CRM for Logistics and Freight Forwarders - A person working on SCRM

    4. Record Logistics-Specific Data

    When a CRM system aligns with the specific language of an industry, it becomes more effective and efficient. If your CRM understands your language, it can provide your needed data.

    For example, a CRM for freight forwarders will track your shipment count, shipment frequency, client ranking by awarded shipments, and more. This information lets you determine your most profitable clients and prioritize fostering loyalty there. You can also find your highest-performing services (FTL, LTL, LCL), allowing you to focus your marketing on growing low-performing services or capitalize on best sellers.

    Understanding and incorporating these industry-specific terms into the CRM's functionality and interface streamline operations. It allows users to navigate the system quickly, input data using familiar terms, and retrieve information more accurately.

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    5. Logistics Sales Reports

    A generic CRM will generate sales reports analyzing revenue, gross profit, net profit, deals win ratio, average deal size, and more. These are all important, but these generic KPIs will miss specific metrics for your logistics sales reports.

    On the contrary, a CRM for logistics and freight forwarders measures logistics-specific data, such as lanes won, profit margin by lane type, lanes win ratio, shipment frequency, customer rankings, and more. Utilizing a logistics CRM gives you a much more refined understanding of your sales performance to know what is and isn't working. With these details, you can revisit your sales strategy and make a plan to expand your logistics business effectively.

    6. No Customizations Needed

    Generic CRM solutions often need more tools for your comprehensive evaluation and analysis. While they might serve essential functions, their limitations become evident when you seek in-depth insights or detailed analytics. As a result, you would need additional logistics tools, or else you will need help to analyze logistics data within the constraints of a generic CRM.

    As a freight forwarder, consider investing in CRM software that can meet the demands of your logistics customers. Instead of investing your resources in a custom-made CRM solution, you can choose a dedicated CRM for freight forwarders. You can also maximize a logistics-tailored CRM without customization and reap the benefits of CRM logistics software.

    7. Integrations with Logistics-Specific Applications

    Regarding streamlining everything into one central location, a CRM for freight forwarders can integrate with logistics-specific applications. Generic CRMs need to catch up in this aspect - integration of logistics applications. Most won't integrate with logistics applications like DAT, BlueGrace, TomTom, PC Miler, and LOADPlus. With a CRM for logistics and freight forwarders, you can integrate logistics applications to have all their essential data alongside your other tools for daily operations.

    CRM for Logistics and Freight Forwarders - A Person Working on SCRM


    If your logistics business has a generic CRM, you can make it work. But remember that you might constantly need to customize it or use it with other tools. On the other hand, a CRM for freight forwarders gives you a complete picture of your logistics customer data. This CRM lets you make informed business decisions to secure more shipments, improve sales, and retain customers.

    If you’re looking for a CRM that has all the tools your logistics business needs, take a look at this CRM for freight forwarders.

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    Hector Sunol Information Technology Expert

    Hector is IFS’s co-founder and CEO, with over 21 years of experience leading and managing companies and IT operations for large and mid-size businesses. Hector is also the co-founder and CEO of Cyzerg, a technology company specializing in innovating software solutions for warehouses and DCs. Before IFS and Cyzerg, Hector was senior director of technical operations, overseeing an e-commerce website with more than one million monthly transactions.