Twill Tips – Managing your time and workload

At Twill we understand that our industry is fast-moving and on any given day we are working with a number of customers to move their cargo all around the world. We are lucky at Twill to have a dedicated and insightful team that is always looking to support and help each other – but there are still times when we have to manage our own time or processes so that we don’t feel overloaded.

In the first of two blogs we asked a group of our Twillers, from various parts of the business around the world, for their experiences, top tips, methods and general advice in managing their workload and time; that helps them stay on top and meet their goals, short term and long term.

We hope some of these tips might help you in managing your own workload:

Manage your emails and utilise the tools you have

Jesper Frandsen, Implementation Specialist: I usually manage all my tasks within Microsoft Outlook. It is full of great tools for you to structure your work and maintain an overview of all the things you’re juggling – both work and private.

Barbara Peric, Head of Operations: I agree completely, I like to colour-code my calendar with categories like ‘stakeholder meeting’, ‘reminder’ or ‘development’ – so that at a glance I can see the theme of my week. If something I wasn’t expecting comes in, it means I can quickly see the flexibility of my week.

JF: The biggest time killer and stress factor for many people is emails in their inbox. I would really recommend people explore and utilise the tools that programmes like Outlook or Gmail provide to structure your emails and ensure you’re not overloaded.

BP: My inbox has a maximum of 25-30 emails at any given time and these are kept to ‘work in progress’ items. Anything else is categorised in other folders so I don’t get distracted by items that don’t need my immediate attention.

Communicate and give yourself time to work

Sanne de Vries, UI Designer: We only have five people on our product team and divide our resources between two development teams – so it’s important for us to keep our communication channels wide open. In some situations face-to-face communication is vital, so if you’re not sitting with/near the people you tend to talk to daily for work, see if you can change that.

BP: When I’m in the office I tend to do something similar to Sanne and prioritise interaction with my team and colleagues whenever I can, over emails or analytics. I get a lot of information from verbal interactions – which keeps my emails down and also is generally much quicker.

SdV: As well as this in-person interaction it’s equally important to know when to withdraw and have time to focus. At Twill, we work in a dynamic environment where something’s always happening. It’s great to be engaged, but sometimes I need to put on my headphones and get stuff done. It’s important that people respect a person’s need for quiet time.

Plan ahead and prioritise

Raju Kariya, Pricing Manager: I will always make sure I take time at the end of my week to plan my meetings for the following week. Planning my calendar like this is really helpful. I also estimate and block out time for my tasks (not just meetings) whenever I can; being sure to keep some buffer time to accommodate any surprises!

Guadalupe Fernandez, Customer Care: Planning ahead also means prioritising. In the Customer Care team in particular we work in different time zones so I only have a small window to talk to my colleagues in Asia, for example. I might also have a customer who wants to amend a delivery they have planned that day. It’s important that I understand what needs to be done and action those things first.

When you’re really busy you want to do everything at once but that will never be possible, so make sure you prioritise your workload and work through your tasks.

SdV: Old school pen and paper is essential to my process. It really helps me visualise my workload and then prioritise. For my birthday recently my team got me a stack of seven different notebooks – so I guess they know me well!

JF: Everyone has their own method of recording or prioritising – what’s important is knowing which works for you, even if it’s a little different. I personally prefer to use emails – sending myself little notes or pictures if I have an idea in the night, or if I’m in a meeting and know I have to action something later on. Having my inbox structured means these little notes don’t get lost amongst other emails.

Keep an eye out for the second part of this blog soon – where our Twillers will be discussing challenges they’ve faced with their workloads and how they overcame them!

Twill celebrates first anniversary of making shipping simple

Maersk digital freight forwarding start-up is now live in more than 10 countries

The Hague, NL – 16 April 2018 – This week, Twill is celebrating its first anniversary following a year of rapid technology development for the digital freight forwarding platform. The company now operates in more than 10 countries, with ambitions to add 15 more countries to the platform in 2018.

Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk commented: “With Twill, we are making shipping simple for our customers. We are unleashing a new-normal in an industry which is hungry for technological change and our reason for setting up Twill last year was down to the fact that digitalization is at the core of our vision to become the global integrator of container logistics, connecting and simplifying our customers’ supply chains – and that’s truly taking shape thanks to initiatives like Twill.”

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill also added: “When we started Twill, we were very excited about the opportunity of building a product from scratch. We have achieved a lot in the last 12 months and are making huge progress in making shipping simple, but the journey of Twill is far from finished – our ambitions are still high! We wanted to take this opportunity to reflect our product journey so far – where we started, how far we’ve come, and what lies ahead.”

Where we started

Before Twill was born, the team analyzed a lot of data – studying markets, competitors, conducting ideation sessions.

Troels comments: “Those exercises were helpful but they didn’t give us a concrete idea of what Twill would offer as a product. So we asked ourselves a fundamental question – ‘what problems will Twill solve?’ And the answers became clearer and clearer after we talked to customers.”

Twill’s first tradelane was China to the UK, and from interviews with customers it soon became apparent that shipping was perceived as hugely complicated in their world. After identifying common customer painpoints, Twill’s product vision and value proposition were created.

These conversations also set the number one rule of Twill’s product development – that at its heart, it would always be user-centric.

How far we’ve come

Soon after its initial launch, Twill saw success very quickly. And like every MVP (minimum viable product), as Twill grew the team saw bottlenecks of the product, and identified ways to fix those.

“In terms of customer needs, we have always kept communication open to our customers,” added Troels. “On average, we have around 10 formal customer interviews or testing sessions each month, as well as lot more phone and email conversations. We’re very proud that some of the key features we have developed, such as the most recent pre-booking feature, have all come from customer feedback.”

Today, Twill has four key features:

  • Easy booking – Traditionally, the quotation and booking process can take 3 to 4 business days with back and forth communication. With Twill, 80% of bookings are quoted and completed within 3 minutes, in just a few clicks. 30% of them are even done within 1 minute
  • Track & Trace – Visibility is a huge priority for Twill. The platform selectively displays major milestones to customers in real time. Internally, Twill uses more than 40 milestones for the customer care team to control the operation process and be ahead of any potential exceptions
  • Centralized paperwork – Often in the shipping process, documents are late or wrong, potentially causing significant financial loss to customers. Twill facilitates the document flow in the process and gives transparency. The platform has more than 5,700 documents uploaded and flowing among different parties
  • 24/7 Customer Care – Exceptions are unavoidable in logistics sometimes. All customers want is to be well informed and taken care of, and Twill’s operation dashboard helps to do that. Combined with Twill’s people on the ground in each country in which the platform is live, customers can rest assured that the customer care team is always on top of exceptions and have expertise to minimize any possible impact

What lies ahead

So far, Twill has gained a year’s experience handling Full Container Load (FCL), buyer-controlled freight business (FOB incoterm for example).

In its initial development Twill focused solely on developing the product for the needs of small and medium sized customers. Looking ahead in 2018, the company is ambitious about bringing the platform to more customers. Daisy Zhang, Twill’s Head of Product, explains three new additions to come:

“Firstly, we will expand our service offering into shipper-controlled freight business (CIF incoterm for example) and Less than Container Load (LCL) freight, as well as adding more countries.

“Secondly, we will expand our product to serve a certain group of big customers. We recently conducted some research on the needs of our larger customers, and found that some of them share the same painpoints as our current customer group. Evolving the platform based on their needs will also add huge value to our current customer group. We have a plan already in place to bring the platform to some larger customers this year.

“And last but not least, we will continue to improve the user experience as a continuous journey. With all that we have achieved in the last 365 days, we are already on high speed when it comes to development and will move quickly based on our previous experiences. Our focus is always on delivering value for our customers – and ultimately the measure of whether we are achieving that is if they would recommend us to others in making shipping simple.”

Benelux forms latest addition in Twill’s global expansion

The Hague, NL – 27 March 2018 – As part of Twill‘s rapid expansion plans, the company has this week added Benelux to the import countries available on its digital freight forwarding platform.

Twill prides itself on providing an online solution that is so simple and easy to use that it can take as little as 30 seconds to place a cargo booking. Building on the expertise of partner company Damco, Twill’s agile approach to freight forwarding means that the platform is constantly adapting as the market continues to evolve.

In 2018 the company plans to add more than 15  countries to its platform with the aim of opening up the digital freight forwarder to an even wider range of customers.

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill commented: “Benelux is a hugely important market for us – not only is it our home-turf, it’s also home to the Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. That means that this latest expansion helps us to be seriously well-connected across Europe, ultimately enabling us to provide an even better, faster and more wide-ranging service for our customers.”

Naud Frese, Chief Commercial Officer, Benelux & Switzerland at Damco added: “Our customers are thrilled that we are introducing Twill into The Netherlands and Belgium to become one of the first freight forwarders with a digitized solution in this market. We’ve been looking at ways in which we can improve end-to-end visibility for our customers and manage logistics in a much more practical way. We can really disrupt the market with this cutting-edge technology – it will make waves in the industry and truly redefine the future of container logistics.”

Damco is the market leader in Supply Chain Management in Benelux, particularly in the retail and lifestyle vertical. Based in Rotterdam, the company operates warehouses in both the Netherlands and Belgium, offering a full-suit of SCM and freight forwarding services to help customers simplify their supply chain.

Customers based in Benelux can now ship with Twill from China, Vietnam, Indonesia or India – so if you’re looking for a platform that’s easy to use and offers a broad range of proactive milestones, sign up to make your first booking now: www.twill.net

 

ENDS

Notes to editor:

For more information:

Claire Grant, Athene Communications

T: 01733 207344 | E: claire.grant@athene-communications.co.uk

 

About Twill

Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for its customers, Twill is a digital freight forwarder. Launched in April 2017, Twill enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button – from quotation and documentation right through to delivery.

Building on the expertise of its partner company Damco, Twill’s agile approach to the development of freight forwarding means that it can be responsive as the market continues to evolve. Dedicated Twill customer care teams at origin and destination countries make the process as simple as possible.

Twill currently serves full container load, ocean services from port to door, importing from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan territories), India, Vietnam or Indonesia to the UK, Spain, Benelux, Poland, Mexico, the US or the Czech Republic.

With Twill, shipping has never been simpler.

Digital freight forwarder Twill enters the US

The Hague, NL – 15 March 2018 – Twill has announced that its digital freight forwarding platform has officially entered the US market. Driven by a desire for innovation and capitalising on Damco’s background in the industry, Twill offers a truly complete solution for customers.

In the context of a market facing rapid change and disruption, the digital nature of the Twill platform combined with Damco’s industry knowledge offers the US market a unique approach to freight forwarding.

The platform also provides access to a new type of customer – one that isn’t bound by traditional supply chain processes. Lucia Pinheiro, Area CEO US West Coast and Canada, Damco commented: “Twill provides us with a new, innovative approach to the market. It’s about time that the digital world is accepted in logistics, and we’re excited to have this opportunity to really shape the future of our industry.”

Jeremy T. Haycock, Area CEO US East Coast at Damco added: “Our industry has indeed changed dramatically over the last couple of years, and Twill provides us with an opportunity to really shift our operations. Also existing customers are enthusiastic about using Twill – the market is finally recognising that the new world is a digital one!”

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill added: “Damco is already very big in the US market but Twill offers a fantastic differentiator. Not only does the platform improve the booking process by largely removing human error and making the entire process much more simple, but it also provides a personalised experience for our customers and they know that they have access to our proactive customer care team. We’re looking forward to seeing the change which this innovation will bring to the US market.”

Narin Phol, Regional CEO for the Damco Americas region concluded: “If you look at Twill’s customer promise, its aim is really to make things simple for the customer. The US is one of our biggest markets across the globe, and with Twill we can ultimately help our clients to become more efficient and allow them to get on with their core business. We have significant strengths with our technology in comparison to standalone platforms which don’t have Damco’s experience behind them – and that’s what will set us apart.”

Twill serves full container load, ocean services to the US from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Sign up to place your booking here: www.twill.net

 

ENDS

Notes to editor:

For more information:

Claire Grant, Athene Communications

T: 01733 207344 | E: claire.grant@athene-communications.co.uk

About Twill

Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for its customers, Twill is a digital freight forwarder. Launched in April 2017, Twill enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button – from quotation and documentation right through to delivery.

Building on the expertise of its partner company Damco, Twill’s agile approach to the development of freight forwarding means that it can be responsive as the market continues to evolve. Dedicated Twill customer care teams at origin and destination countries make the process as simple as possible.

Twill currently serves full container load, ocean services from port to door, importing from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan territories), India, Vietnam or Indonesia to the UK, Spain, Poland, Mexico or the Czech Republic.

With Twill, shipping has never been simpler.

Twill adds Mexico to its digital freight forwarding platform

The Hague, NL – 27 February 2018 – Twill has announced that Mexico is the latest addition to its digital freight forwarding platform. This announcement means that since its launch less than a year ago, Twill now operates in five import countries and four export countries.

As a digital freight forwarding solution, Twill is bringing the industry into the 21st century. Serving full container load, ocean services from port to door, Twill’s booking process is designed to make shipping simple and it can take as little as 30 seconds to place a cargo booking on the intuitive platform.

By partnering with Damco, Twill can utilise its existing footprint across the globe. Dedicated Twill customer care teams at each origin and destination country make the process as simple for customers as possible.

Alexandra Loboda, CEO of Mexico at Damco commented: “We’re delighted to be rolling out Twill into Mexico and there’s a lot of excitement amongst our customer base! For a while now, we’ve been looking at ways in which we can improve end-to-end visibility and manage logistics in a much more practical way. A lot of our customers are transactional, and Twill offers an innovative solution to better serve both current and new customers. It also means that we can differentiate from our competitors – we truly believe this sort of technology is the future.”

Narin Phol, Regional CEO for the Damco Americas region added: “Twill brings a huge amount of simplicity to our operations. Technology is changing at such a fast pace that it’s essential we act now to ensure we are delivering the best for our customers. Twill’s Supplier Initiated Booking feature is also hugely important for us and will help us to enter new markets as well as add more value for our existing customer base.”

Initial customer feedback has shown that the visibility provided through the platform, the ability to manage all paperwork in one place and Twill’s proactive customer care team are all reasons why existing customers in Mexico are already very interested in the new platform.

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill concluded: “Mexico is the largest market in Latin America and while it is still largely considered an emerging market, it is expected to grow significantly in 2018, making it a major player for us in the context of global trade. We’re one of the first in Mexico to offer this sort of solution for our customers. It’s clear to see that companies in Mexico are open to new ways of working and are constantly looking for new ways of doing things, and we’re excited to play our part in that.”

If you’re interested in shipping to Mexico from China, Vietnam, Indonesia or India, sign up to make your first booking here: www.twill.net

ENDS

Notes to editor:

For more information:

Claire Grant, Athene Communications

T: 01733 207344 | E: claire.grant@athene-communications.co.uk

About Twill

Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for its customers, Twill is a digital freight forwarder. Launched in April 2017, Twill enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button – from quotation and documentation right through to delivery.

Building on the expertise of its partner company Damco, Twill’s agile approach to the development of freight forwarding means that it can be responsive as the market continues to evolve. Dedicated Twill customer care teams at origin and destination countries make the process as simple as possible.

Twill currently serves full container load, ocean services from port to door, importing from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan territories), India, Vietnam or Indonesia to the UK, Spain, Poland, Mexico or the Czech Republic.

With Twill, shipping has never been simpler.

 


 

Twill agrega a México a su plataforma digital de reenvío de mercancías

La Haya, – 27 de febrero 2018 – Twill anunció la incorporación de México a su plataforma digital de carga. Con este anuncio, Twill ahora opera en cinco países de importación y cuatro países de exportación desde su lanzamiento hace menos de un año.

Como solución digital de reenvío de mercancías, Twill lleva la industria al siglo XXI. El proceso de reserva de Twill, que ofrece carga completa de contenedores y servicios oceánicos desde el puerto hasta su puerta, está diseñado para simplificar el envío y colocar una reserva de carga en la plataforma intuitiva puede tomar tan solo 30 segundos.

Al asociarse con Damco, Twill puede utilizar su alcance existente en todo el mundo. Los equipos dedicados de atención al cliente de Twill en cada país de origen y destino hacen que el proceso sea lo más simple posible para los clientes.

“Estamos encantados de lanzar Twill en México y hay mucho entusiasmo entre nuestra base de clientes Desde hace tiempo, hemos estado buscando formas de mejorar la visibilidad de extremo a extremo y gestionar la logística de una manera mucho más práctica. Muchos de nuestros clientes son transaccionales, y Twill ofrece una solución innovadora para brindar un mejor servicio tanto a los clientes actuales como a los nuevos. También significa que podemos diferenciarnos de nuestros competidores, realmente creemos que este tipo de tecnología es el futuro “, comentó Alexandra Loboda, directora general de Damco en México.

Por su parte, Narin Phol, director ejecutivo regional de Damco para la región de Américas, agregó: “Twill aporta una gran cantidad de simplicidad a nuestras operaciones. La tecnología está cambiando a un ritmo tan rápido que es esencial que actuemos ahora para asegurar que estamos entregando lo mejor para nuestros clientes. La función de Reserva Iniciada por el Proveedor (Supplier Initiated Booking) de Twill también es muy importante para nosotros y nos ayudará a ingresar a nuevos mercados, así como a agregar más valor a nuestra base de clientes existente “.

Los comentarios iniciales de los clientes han demostrado que la visibilidad proporcionada a través de la plataforma, la capacidad de administrar toda la documentación en un solo lugar y el equipo proactivo de atención al cliente de Twill, son todas razones por las cuales los clientes existentes en México ya están muy interesados en la nueva plataforma.

“México es el mercado más grande de América Latina y aunque todavía se le considera un mercado emergente, se espera que crezca significativamente en 2018, convirtiéndolo en un actor importante para nosotros en el contexto del comercio mundial. Somos uno de los primeros en México en ofrecer este tipo de solución para nuestros clientes. Está claro que las empresas en México están abiertas a nuevas formas de trabajo y están constantemente buscando nuevas maneras de hacer las cosas, y estamos muy contentos de poder hacer nuestra parte en eso “, concluyó Troels Stovring, director ejecutivo de Twill

Si está interesado en enviar a México desde China, Vietnam, Indonesia o India, regístrese para hacer su primera reserva aquí: www.twill.net

 

FIN

Notas al editor:

Para más información:

Rafael Luna Grajeda, PR Consulting México

T: 52155 49155530| E: rafael@prconsultingmexico.com

 

Acerca de Twill

Nacida del deseo de simplificar el envío para sus clientes, Twill es un agente digital de carga. Lanzado en abril de 2017, Twill le permite reservar, administrar y controlar sus envíos con solo hacer clic en un botón, desde la oferta y la documentación hasta la entrega.

Construyendo sobre la base de la experiencia de su empresa asociada Damco, el enfoque ágil de Twill para el desarrollo del transporte de mercancías significa que puede ser receptivo a medida que el mercado continúa evolucionando. Los equipos dedicados de atención al cliente de Twill en los países de origen y destino hacen que el proceso sea lo más simple posible.

Twill actualmente sirve carga completa de contenedores, servicios oceánicos desde puerto hasta su puerta, importación desde China (incluidos los territorios de Hong Kong y Taiwán), India, Vietnam o Indonesia al Reino Unido, España, Polonia, México o la República Checa.

Con Twill, el envío nunca ha sido tan simple.

Twill continues ambitious global expansion with India

The Hague, NL – 13 February 2018 – Twill, a digital freight forwarder designed to make shipping simple, has today taken its first customer booking in India. Initially identified as one of Twill’s target export countries, later this year India will also be made an import country on the platform.

Twill is now present in eight countries, and alongside this continuous roll-out the platform is constantly being improved and updated. Different countries have different requirements and the flexibility of Twill means that the platform can be added to and adapted on an ongoing basis.

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill commented: “The reason we’ve selected India as our next export country is simple: our customers were asking for it. Damco’s existing footprint in India is huge, and therefore offers us a lot of opportunities. We’re super excited to be continuing our global journey and have no doubt that including India will enable our customers to get much more value from using Twill. This is our first new country for 2018 – and there’ll be many, many more!”

Vishal Sharma, CEO India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka at Damco added: “Twill is the future of freight forwarding – we absolutely need something like this in today’s market if we are to come up with a value proposition that makes the whole shipping process easier for our customers. Twill’s focus is primarily on providing an excellent customer experience and we are delighted to be able to take part in such exciting developments here in India.”

Damco employs over 370 people in India across five offices, headquartered in Mumbai.

The Twill platform will continue to expand over the coming months, offering export and import services from even more locations. Experience just how simple shipping can be and sign up to make your first booking here: www.twill.net

 

ENDS

Notes to editor:

For more information:

Claire Grant, Athene Communications

T: 01733 207344 | E: claire.grant@athene-communications.co.uk

 

About Twill

Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for its customers, Twill is a digital freight forwarder. Launched in April 2017, Twill enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button – from quotation and documentation right through to delivery.

Building on the expertise of its partner company Damco, Twill’s agile approach to the development of freight forwarding means that it can be responsive as the market continues to evolve. Dedicated Twill customer care teams at origin and destination countries make the process as simple as possible.

Twill currently serves full container load, ocean services from port to door, importing from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan territories), India, Vietnam or Indonesia to the UK, Spain, Poland or the Czech Republic.

With Twill, shipping has never been simpler.

Twill scoops strategic Damco award!

Yesterday evening (17th January 2018), Damco handed out a total of 7  strategic awards at their Global Leadership Conference in Copenhagen. They were focused on recognising overall performance in 2017, and the categories included Best Customer Win, Best Example of Cultural Behaviours and the People’s Choice Award.

We’re delighted to announce that Twill has been presented with Damco’s Best Global Strategy Initiative Award 2017. Despite only launching in April last year, we achieved our target for new customers more than a month ahead of plan in 2017!

It’s clear to see that Twill is already making its mark not only on Damco, but the entire freight forwarding industry – and we’re proud to be writing new chapters about what our future looks like every single day.

Reinout Croon, Global Head of Strategy at Damco and the sponsor of the award commented: “Although our strategy is for the long term, it’s also important to celebrate the early successes we have. In the past year, Twill has really confirmed to be one of those successes. It’s a growth accelerator for Damco and will become more and more important in our business.”

Troels Stovring, CEO of Twill added:“I want to thank everyone in Damco for the support that they have given us. We couldn’t have done this without all the great teams in the countries we rolled out in 2017. Special recognition has to also go to all the Damco teams in China, the UK, Spain, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Poland who have been instrumental in getting Twill off the ground.

“The collaboration between Twill and Damco in 2017 has been key – and while I truly believe that software, customer focus, new energy and new skills will transform our business, I have always said that this will only happen if we mix it with the right foundation, experience and already existing assets. That is why Twill is a standalone start-up utilizing the operational set-up of Damco – a top 20 global freight forwarder.”

All of us Twillers are really excited to have won this award, and we can’t wait to continue making Twill an even bigger success together with the support of the countries we’ll go to in 2018! Watch this space!

Twill launches Supplier Initiated Booking

Driven primarily by our large volume customers, our new Supplier Initiated Booking (SIB) function is designed to provide more flexibility for our customers, allowing the choice of delegating the booking process to your suppliers.

The new capability maintains control with the consignee by providing them the authority to approve each shipment in just three clicks.

There are a number of key benefits to be gained from using the platform with supplier initiated booking functionality:

  • Accuracy – the SIB function means that the responsibility of when to place the booking remains with the supplier, based on their production plans
  • Simplicity – the entire process for our consignees is reduced from 12 clicks to just 3
  • Transparency – both consignee and supplier can view every single shipping milestone to stay up to date
  • Flexibility – you can choose to authorise as few or as many of your suppliers as you wish
  • Relationship-building – SIB helps suppliers build trust with our consignees, and reduces communication back and forth

From a freight forwarding perspective, Twill is one of the first to be able to offer this kind of capability to our customers. We listened to what you want from Twill, and this new function is open for anyone to use – whether you’re shipping 1 container a month or 30 containers a month.

Since our conception in April 2017, Twill has always taken on board customer feedback and worked to develop our platform based on customer requirements. The next step will be for us to enable more of a conversation between the supplier and consignee on Twill – moving more towards a complete self-service model on the platform.

The SIB capability is now live on the Twill platform. Experience what shipping looks like in the 21st Century and sign up to make your first booking here: www.twill.net

Richard Few, Commercial Lead

Changing the definition of freight forwarding

Everyone knows how they can import a pair of shoes they want to buy – thanks to the likes of Amazon. But ask your friends how they think we import a whole container of shoes from China, and you’ll witness a lot of blank faces.

Freight forwarding is typically an overlooked industry, but we firmly believe that that will have to change over the coming years. And our customers will be the ones who make it move.

As we start a new year, here are three areas where we expect to see a significant change by 2020.

  1. Digitising freight forwarding

Whilst this isn’t a new idea, we’re definitely not 100% there towards digitising the industry. Digital platforms are now pretty much a given, but what’s the next step?

It’s about removing as many obstacles as possible out of the entire process for our customers. We need to digitise the freight forwarding structure as a whole by enabling faster and smoother collaboration between industry participants, digitising the full document flow and making unit-level real-time tracking a given.

  1. Moving to a self-serve model

One of the first steps in digitising the industry end-to-end is adopting more of a self-service, on-demand model for our customers. If we can make the freight forwarding process easier and quicker, they will ultimately gain much more control and flexibility over logistics.

But that requires a change in mindset from all players in the industry. Incumbent market players, in particular, will have to change in order to adapt to newer ways of working. And the larger existing companies have the network to create change from within – so they could play a vital role in our industry’s future.

  1. We’ll have to build ‘network effects’

In today’s market, we have the scenario of the buyer and seller trading with each other. But in the future, we expect that we will have to create a network in order to succeed. And that’s what we’re trying to do with Twill.

Any digital platform – including Twill – is more use if more people are using it. Take Airbnb as just one example in the consumer world. If there are more sellers on the platform, more buyers will be interested, and when a network grows, there is inevitably more of a benefit for all parties.

Over the next two years, our job will be to see how we add most value to our platform. For example, would adding truckers add greater value for our customers? Or perhaps it would be adding raw material producers? How would that enhance the user experience?

Constant evolution

In our industry, we’re hearing numerous debates over the different definitions of freight forwarding vs supply chain management. It’s a grey area and there’s no real clear cut differentiator in many respects.

But we predict that by 2020, what we today call ‘simple supply chain management’ will be called ‘freight forwarding’ – we’re seeing this already coming into place with Twill. Digital solutions will make complicated tasks and processes simple – hence allowing customers to take more control and derive more value.

There’s no doubt that it will be a constant evolution for us and we will ultimately have to decide where we sit in that spectrum over the coming months.

Twill’s digital freight forwarder expands into Vietnam and Indonesia

October 24, 2017 – The Hague, NL – 24 October 2017 – Twill, a digital freight forwarder designed to make shipping simple, has today announced its expansion into Vietnam and Indonesia. Just eight months after first launching on the China to UK tradelane, Twill now also imports ocean freight from Vietnam and Indonesia to both the UK and Spain.

Building on the expertise of its partner company Damco, Twill is a digital platform which allows customers to book, manage and monitor shipments online at the click of a button.

Vietnam alone shipped US$210.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, and both countries offer huge opportunity and face increasing demand as freight forwarding continues to expand across the region.

Barbara Peric, Head of Operations at Twill commented: “We spend a lot of time with our customers here at Twill, understanding their needs so that we can provide them the best service possible. Given our partnership with Damco, we are able to expand and add new geographies to our service much faster than our competitors. This latest addition to our platform reflects what our customers are asking for, and as we continue to expand over the coming year, we will continue to add the tradelanes which are most relevant for them.”

Chris Coxon, Logistics Manager at PJA Distribution has used Twill for 27 shipments from China to the UK over the last six months. He added: “With Twill, it is so easy to see what you have booked, and what stage it is at – you can book a shipment in a matter of minutes. The clarity of the information available is excellent, as all the information you need is there at a glance. And the support provided by Twill staff throughout is second to none.”

Twill prides itself on having a proactive and knowledgeable customer care team that sits behind its innovative platform, to ensure that customers’ bookings are always well cared-for. Twill’s customer care team has representatives in Shanghai, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The platform will continue to expand over the coming months, offering export and import services from even more locations.

Experience what shipping looks like in the 21st Century and sign up to make your first booking here: www.twill.net