Technology has resulted in a new class of independent freight forwarders who are more agile, innovative, and technology-oriented.

Thanks to digitisation, becoming a successful freight forwarder is now easier than ever. Logistics managers must have many skills to succeed in today’s climate, not just investing in online platforms. The freight forwarding industry has been changed forever by digitisation, and now forwarders require abilities that were unimportant even ten years ago.

This guide covers the skills you need to become an independent freight forwarder.

An Understanding of Technology is Paramount

As mentioned above, digitisation has transformed the landscape of the freight forwarding industry.

A keen understanding of how technology can be used to one’s advantage is essential for any freight forwarder who wants success. This involves everything from utilising online tools to booking cargo space online to using data analytics to make informed decisions about shipments. The list goes on.

In short, to be a competent freight forwarder, you need to understand the technology and how it can be used in the logistics industry.

Excellent Communication Skills Are Non-Negotiable

In addition to being tech-savvy, it is also essential for freight forwarders to have excellent communication skills. This is because they often have to liaise with multiple parties (e.g., shippers, consignees, carriers, etc.) to coordinate shipments.

Furthermore, they sometimes have to negotiate rates on their client’s behalf or resolve issues arising during the shipping process. Communicating effectively – verbally and in writing – is essential for any competent freight forwarder.

Organisational Solid Skills are Important

Last but not least, strong organisational skills are also critical for success as a freight forwarder. This is because coordinating shipments often requires dealing with many documents (e.g., bills of lading, commercial invoices, packing lists, etc.), which can be very easy to lose track of if you need to be more organised.

Furthermore, many shipments are time-sensitive, so delays can often lead to substantial financial losses for the freight forwarder and the client. As such, it is essential for freight forwarders to be highly organised individuals who can keep track of multiple shipments at once without running into any problems.

Attention to Detail

Even the smallest mistake can cost your company a lot of money in the freight forwarding world. That’s why it’s essential to always be paying attention to detail. From ensuring all the proper paperwork to double-checking shipment details, paying attention to detail is crucial in this business.

The Ability to Think on Your Feet

Things can change quickly in the world of freight forwarding. Shipment schedules can be delayed, routes can be changed, and unexpected problems can arise. That’s why thinking on your feet and adapting quickly to changing circumstances is essential.

If you can stay calm under pressure and think creatively on your feet, you’ll do well in this business.

Financial Acumen

A critical skill for any business owner, financial understanding is essential for independent freight forwarders. You must understand financial statements, track expenses, and manage your cash flow.

Keeping your business afloat during tough times will be easier with financial knowledge.


Independent freight forwarders are effectively running their businesses. As such, you need to be comfortable making decisions, taking risks, and being accountable for your successes and failures.

If you’re not naturally entrepreneurial, make sure you’re willing to learn and grow.

Marketing Prowess

A successful marketing campaign can help you attract new clients and grow your business. As an independent freight forwarder, you need to be able to identify your target market and craft a marketing message that resonates with them.

Whether you’re running ads on Google or networking at industry events, make sure your marketing efforts are working towards attracting new clients.


All in all, there are several skills that an independent freight forwarder needs to succeed in today’s climate. Perhaps most importantly, they need to have a keen understanding of how technology can be used in the logistics industry and excellent communication and organisational skills.

If you possess all these skills, you may have what it takes to succeed as an independent freight forwarder!