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A small freight forwarder doesn’t have to stick to small peanuts. With the right system, they can compete with the big multinationals on a more even playing field.

Sozo Logistics is a family-owned South African forwarder, based in Durban. The company recently made the switch from a legacy system to CargoWise One.

Sozo Logistics moved to the single-platform system after an extensive search of the market. The move to CargoWise One helps the company compete with freight forwarders that are much larger.

All about visibility

Complete supply-chain visibility was a main factor that drew the company to CargoWise One, according to business development manager Joshua Watson. “I wanted one system that our customers would be able to access, see all their shipments, manage all their orders, and manage their warehousing,” he said. “In short, visibility.”

Since the company moved on to CargoWise One, he said there had been a big shift from manual to automatic.

“Staff have more time, they can handle more shipments, and they can talk to customers more. Now, they’re phoning customers more, they’re building their relationships with customers more. All the while, the system is doing the majority of the work for them.”

CargoWise One allowed Sozo Logistics to offer services that the larger, international forwarders can offer, including order management and cargo tracking.

“As a family business, we can match the corporates stride for stride with information technology through CargoWise One,” Joshua said. “There is no difference between us and them, except I’ll answer my phone and you won’t have to tell me your account number – I’ll be there.”

From the administration side, CargoWise One has also brought efficiencies and advantages to the business. Accounting and admin manager Carole Dobson said the big selling point for her was that the accounting module was fully integrated with the customs clearing and forwarding modules.

“With our old system, I had to interface information, and that always leaves things open to error,” she said. “Integrity of information is absolutely vital from an accounting perspective.”

A springboard

Carole said the future for Sozo Logistics is to use the system as a springboard for future growth. “This is not a software system, it’s a productivity system.”

Operations manager Brett James Hardman said many companies have such a system, but the only use a small part of it. “Once you have CargoWise One up and running at 100%, I cannot see there being anything in this world that competes with it,” he said. “The system amazes me every day.”

Brett said every company is unique in their own way. “To be able to really customise the system and make the efficiencies work with your staff and your company is great,” he said. “We’re not the same company from 12 months ago [when Sozo Logistics moved onto CargoWise One]; everything has changed.”

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