CargoWise is a leading transport management system (TMS), servicing over 80% of the top 50 global 3PLs. The CargoWise One software is a single-platform solution with a complete suite of tools to streamline logistics operations for local supply chain providers, global freight forwarders, and everything in-between.
Whether you’re ready to buy a new TMS solution, scoping out the market, or just trying to investigate your competitor’s tech stack, CargoWise is a must-know product for logistics professionals. Let’s talk about the basics of CargoWise, why it’s a top choice for logistics professionals, and what to consider when getting started.
A freight forwarder’s intro to CargoWise
CargoWise is a cloud-based software platform designed to help logistics professionals run their operations and manage day-to-day tasks with a comprehensive digital solution. With CargoWise One, logistics providers can simplify the process of moving freight from point A to point B.
Its feature-rich system enables users to manage freight operations, execute complex transactions, integrate with other applications, and easily consolidate data across the entire organization.
With a robust array of functionalities, CargoWise provides offerings for a diverse range of specialties, with solutions including:
- CargoWise International Forwarding: For optimizing global forwarding operations, with features for capacity planning, rate management, vessel booking, and last-mile delivery
- CargoWise Global Trade Management and Compliance: For gaining greater control over your compliance, with features for customs management, screening, and geo compliance
- CargoWise Enterprise Solutions: For improving core business processes, with features for sales, marketing, accounting, and HR
- CargoWise International Ecommerce: For managing your ecommerce supply chain, all the way from the origin country to the final destination
- CargoWise Transport: For streamlining your end-to-end process from order to delivery with relevant, real-time data
- CargoWise Warehouse: For managing warehouse and distribution processes
- CargoWise Parcel: For managing multi-carrier parcel, courier, and LTL management to reduce costs, handle final-mile delivery, and meet consumer expectations
- CargoWise Supply Chain Optimization: For improving transparency and decision-making capabilities with automation and visibility tools
- CargoWise Rates and Contracts: For finding optimal rates and creating quotes with features for accounting, scheduling, and electronic messaging
- CargoWise Carrier: For carriers to improve their operations cycles by integrating their services with their forwarder’s process
- CargoWise Global Data: For maximizing data validation and removing the risks of incorrect or incomplete data
- CargoWise Geo Compliance: For connecting logistics professionals with trade and customs legislation to reduce shipment delays
The founding story
CargoWise was founded in 1994 by Richard White and Maree Isaacs, who began their venture with a customer base of Australian freight forwarders. In 2014, the company rebranded to WiseTech and launched CargoWise One– the new and improved third-generation TMS platform that we know today.
In addition to CargoWise, WiseTech owns many other solutions across the logistics market, including ABM Data Systems, ACO Informatica, Bysoft, and many others. Some WiseTech products, such as the rate technology platform CargoSphere, even integrate directly into the CargoWise platform. This cross-functionality within WiseTech enables CargoWise users seamless access to advanced tools and enhancements in the logistics space.
Why logistics providers choose CargoWise
As previously discussed, CargoWise is well-known for its diverse suite of offerings. However, in every solution specialty, the platform focuses on consolidating each company’s processes to improve visibility, productivity, and efficiency.
Many professionals are drawn to CargoWise simply for its mastery of basic logistics functions on a tech-enabled platform. As an advanced TMS, CargoWise enables you to transition all of your work online, giving you access to all of the inherent benefits of digital-first operations. These advantages include enabling automation, communicating more effectively, and transitioning to a paperless environment– just to name a few.
The CargoWise platform is also aimed at unifying a company’s operations, regardless of size and location– enabling global businesses to work on a single system, thereby increasing productivity. Its offerings include a wide range of features for the entire freight process, from quoting shipments to creating and sending invoices.
These features reach beyond internal collaboration, enabling forwarders to better connect with shippers. For instance, tools to automate day-to-day functions like alerts and document creation help users to respond to customers more quickly, improving the overall experience. Many users also leverage the software’s language and currency capabilities to seamlessly create customized documents for customers across the globe.
Thinking of getting started with CargoWise? 3 things to do first
With a robust set of offerings for organizations of all sizes, CargoWise is a great choice for many logistics providers to step up their efficiency and streamline their operations. However, there are a few key steps that potential users should take before pulling the trigger.
1. Research the CargoWise Service Partner program
When you first onboard your team onto CargoWise, it’s highly recommended that you work with a CargoWise service partner for setup, training, and IT support. Some new users don’t find out about this until later in the process, at which point it may become a surprise expense for the company. That’s why it’s important to look into it first and consider the cost in your decision.
CargoWise service partners help users by providing them with configuration expertise and product knowledge, with names including OrangeLime Consulting and AHS Consulting. CargoWise users can also search the CargoWise Global Partner Network to find the right partner for them based on region, area of expertise, level of competency, and more.
Some users choose to forego the partner program in favor of the self-guided CargoWise training materials and videos in WiseTech Academy. While these courses can be helpful for beginners who need an introduction to the basic modules, they’re not necessarily a substitute for working with a consultant.
A good partner will do more than just train you on the basics of the software. They’ll also work with your company to understand your business goals, then use their own knowledge and experience to help you leverage CargoWise to achieve them. They can also provide best practices for maximizing productivity using the application.
2. Factor in the cost of change management
When implementing any software solution, it’s not enough to simply think about the upfront subscription costs– you’ll also need to consider the costs of enacting change within your organization. Some aspects of digital change management may come in the form of a trainer or tech support representation. However, you’ll also want to factor in the number of labor hours you’ll reasonably expect your employees to spend learning the new system.
The costs and time spent for your organization to transition to a new solution will likely depend on several factors, including:
- Executive buy-in
- Company size
- Data quality
- Employee technical skills
- Company culture
- Training and support resources
3. Look into integrations to maximize ROI
As a robust freight solution, CargoWise has a lot of features to improve your operations. However, you can take your digital transformation to the next level by leveraging other CargoWise integrations.
For instance, CargoWise is great at unifying information and building efficiency within your organization. However, outside of automating workflows, it doesn’t entirely solve the problem of communicating with customers. That’s why many forwarders pair CargoWise with a customer experience software like WebTracker or Logixboard to give their shippers complete visibility into their freight process.
Digitizing your FF operation is the first step to competing with digital-first forwarders, whether you use CargoWise or another TMS solution.
Want to find out more about what shippers want in a freight forwarder, and how digitization can help you stand out against new and incumbent players in the industry? Check out this FreightWaves/Logixboard survey: The Power of Customer Experience in Freight Forwarding.