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Analysis of freight audit and payment service solutions aiding cost saving opportunities for enterprises with enhanced supply chain visibility
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The European logistics industry is considered to be an early adopter of technologies and innovative solutions. With the emergence of the digital environment, traditional services are increasingly being replaced with innovative logistics solutions driven by digital technologies. Accordingly, the region’s focus on freight audit and payment process automation continues to increase. Being a matured economy, shippers in the region tend to move goods in hundreds of trade lanes, origins, and destinations with hundreds of carriers or logistics service partners covering Far East, North America, Oceania, and South America. In today’s transportation and logistics industry, freight rates and pricing mechanisms for different modes of transport are becoming increasingly complex. Carriers failing to meet service requirements with invoice mistakes makes shippers vulnerable to hidden charges, resulting in overpay for poor freight service. Freight audit billing has thus become a critical function for companies with high-volume shipping on a global scale. Whilst certain companies perform internal audit with their own resources, some outsource it to third-party service providers. For companies with a significant number of freight invoices to process, building their own freight audit department with in-house tools demands investment, time, and subject matter and IT expertise. As with many companies, their process expertise stops once the checkpoint goes beyond their shipping door, and efforts to increase expertise in freight audit and invoice steer away from their focus on their core business model. A freight cost management platform enables shippers to collaborate with suitable carriers based on negotiated contracts at best price points for the shipment requirement. Automation of the freight invoice audit and payment process with a freight cost management tool helps shippers in analysing carrier service level agreements for compliance, inspection and validation of shipment documentation, and pre-audit of invoice for ensuring compliance with business intelligence reports to benchmark service providers. This study sheds light on the current European freight cost management market size and analyses its future prospects till 2025, highlighting the key participants and their respective market shares. It throws light on the future prospects for freight cost management in terms of its capability to overcome the existing challenges faced by both shippers and carriers in processing freight invoice, facilitating expedited payment. It also covers the regulatory factors that impact the European freight cost management market and the key parameters for shippers in selecting a freight cost management service provider. This study also identifies the digital technologies disrupting freight cost management and covers the pricing structure with the current set of vendors in the region (assessing their opportunities with small and medium enterprises as well as the advantages of outsourcing freight cost management to third-party service providers over having an in-house department).Author: Krishna Chaithanya Bathala
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