Marketing your logistics and freight-forwarding services
(Seeking a freight-forwarding, logistics, trucking or shipping copywriter to assist you in writing your website or other marketing materials? Contact Susan here.)
We live in a global economy. E-commerce is growing exponentially. As the internet has helped facilitate the sale of products and services across borders, the need for companies that can manage logistics and facilitate transportation of cargo has greatly increased.
New shipping companies have emerged to meet the need and existing shipping companies have had to step up their game. While the pie keeps getting bigger, so do the number of companies in the logistics and freight forwarding industry looking for their slice. How do you stand out in an industry that gets more crowded every day?
Effective marketing begins with determining your niche audience and then accentuating what makes your company uniquely qualified to serve that niche.
A copywriter who understands supply chains, logistics, freight forwarding, cargo shipping and transportation can help you establish your brand. She can create your online presence in the form of a professionally written website and also other marketing materials that will build your customer base and generate sales.
When marketing your services, you’ll want to work with a copywriter who is familiar with the full range of capabilities of a freight forwarder such as:
Let’s take a look at a few case studies of shipping / freight forwarding companies.
Shipping company #1 is a full-service, global logistics and freight-forwarding company. It has made a name for itself offering all types of transportation modes – air freight, ocean freight, road transportation and customs brokerage services.
Its representatives think of themselves as logistics and supply chain problem solvers. You contact them with your shipping problem and they solve it. The service is extremely personal and customized.
We wrote copy that explained their unique competencies. How unique? Consider some of these capabilities that we highlighted on their website.
Ship repair and maintenance – They’re maritime experts who transport spare parts for ships of any size and weight to or from any seaport in the world.
Time-critical shipments for the aviation industry – In addition to shipping spare parts and engines for planes, they ship aircrafts themselves. For example, they recently shipped several new helicopters from the factory in the U.S. to remote locations in Siberia (Are there any locations that aren’t remote in Siberia?).
Life sciences shipments – The company ships temperature- and time-sensitive products. It works with pharmaceutical companies and has shipped vaccines, medications and human blood.
Livestock products – The company ships refrigerated bull semen to cattle breeders around the world. (Apologies for they yucky visual we just put in your head.)
While that may not sound pretty, writing about these specific capabilities in the marketing materials does help to convey what makes this company special.
Shipping company #2 was founded in 2007. In its first decade of business, it did almost no marketing. It relied on word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers. Around 2017 its principals began to realize it needed to do more if it was to compete with the many other import-export shipping companies in the industry.
Based in Miami, Florida, it was known to businesses throughout South and Central America as the best resource for obtaining products that couldn’t be found in their own countries. The company sourced and shipped everything from name-brand televisions, computers and vehicles to construction supplies, machine parts and clothing.
It claimed there wasn’t a product it couldn’t obtain and ship. On its website we wrote about the wide variety of products it had shipped and invited customers to “Give us a challenge.”
Shipping company #3 differs from the first two shipping companies in that it doesn’t have representatives available to handle logistics. Instead it relies on technology, a platform built with analytics as its core component and over 75,000 lines of code. The company also uses intelligent data collection, advanced algorithms and actionable metrics to find and present the best shipping options direct to customers, allowing customers themselves to choose their own transportation solutions.
Based in the U.S., it facilitates shipping by truck throughout the country. On its website, we wrote about its unique crowd-sourcing solution. Customers post their shipping needs and receive bids within minutes from trucking companies, all of which have previously been vetted. By leveraging technology, customers are able to optimize their logistics and cost efficiency.
Many logistics, freight-forwarding and cargo-shipping companies look and sound the same. They’re competing for the same customers, and yet customers can’t tell them apart. When all vendors appear to be commodities, customers choose the cheapest providers.
Marketing success comes to those logistics and transportation companies that find a way to differentiate themselves and demonstrate their value. The copy on their website and in their marketing materials should be a big part of that strategy.
A copywriter who understands the shipping, freight-forwarding, maritime and logistics industry is critical to positioning your company and helping you achieve your sales objectives.