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How to build your freight forwarding business through networking

Is 2023 the year you expand your freight forwarding business? With so much competition in the market, you can increase your chances of finding the right network partners through networking. 

But it’s not simply a matter of joining a business network or showing your face at a few events. Like all aspects of business, you need a networking strategy to ensure your time spent networking is not wasted.

If you’re new to business networking, here are some tips to make it easier and accomplish your goals:

Have a purpose or goal

You’ll meet many new people and businesses you could do business with through networking. However, working with a select few rather than many is better. Before you begin networking, know your goal and whom you want to connect with:

  • Do you want to meet more ocean freight companies?
  • Do you need a shipper who specializes in perishable or temperature-sensitive cargo?
  • Are you looking for partners in a specific region or country?
  • Are you looking for other partners or vendors?

By knowing exactly who you want to connect with, you can be more purposeful with your conversations at live networking events. 

Do your research

Once you know whom you want to connect with, start researching businesses you are interested in meeting. Check out their websites, and learn about their services, products, and business values. 

Before attending a business networking conversation, you must have a pitch ready. If you can, pitch a win-win relationship where you can provide the solution to a problem or struggle they’re having or a monetary benefit. For example, if you see that they don’t have any logistics partners in your region yet, that could benefit them if you know they want to expand their business into your territory.

Attend events and conferences

Next, you should start attending logistics networking events and conferences. With the lifting of COVID restrictions, we expect that 2023 will bring the return of more in-person events. Look for ones with attendees you want to connect with. 

Before the event, the vendor and attendee list may be available so that you can research potential contacts and businesses. RW Solutions has eight networking associations and hosts over 20 member events each year. 

Have a digital presence

While networking is integral to building a successful and global freight forwarding business, having a solid online presence is also essential to building your business. If anyone is researching your company before a networking event, they can get information about your business. It increases your business legitimacy. 

Always follow up

Attending networking events and meeting lots of people won’t help you build your freight-forwarding network if you don’t follow up with the people you meet. Collect their business cards, and don’t be afraid to write some notes on their cards after you meet. You can write notes about your conversation directly on their card, so you don’t forget. 

Focus on relationships, not always selling or pitching

Ultimately, focus your networking efforts on creating and cultivating relationships within your network. You may meet a connection today but do not have an immediate need to work with them yet. In the future, when you need their service or product, you’ll have already made that connection and been cultivating that relationship so you can approach them directly when the time comes. 

Just remember that networking is about building relationships within your niche so you have an extensive network of trusted connections for anything you need now and in the future. 

Balance the give and take

Similarly, you may not always leave a networking event with a handshake deal. Sometimes you may be more helpful to a colleague than they can be to you. You can offer them advice or introduce them to one of your connections. Balance the give and take in networking opportunities.

Join freight forwarding or logistics networking groups

One of the best ways to find the right partners to build and grow your freight forwarding network is by joining a global group of logistic professionals. By joining these niche networking groups, you’ll meet businesses from all over the globe with different specialties, including those specializing in NVOCC, LCL Seafreight Consolidation, FCL, Airfreight, Perishable cargo, Pharmaceutical Logistics, and regional forwarding.

Logistics networks come with other business benefits aside from meeting colleagues and potential partners in the logistics ecosystem. Some networks, like the ones through RW Solutions, also include:

  • Global network coverage: Meet other like-minded logistic businesses who share the same values.
  • International promotion: Get your business in front of a global audience of logistics companies.
  • Networking within not overly saturated markets: Many networking groups only allow a limited number of members in each niche or per region.
  • Resources: You’ll get access to educational resources, workshops, and other resources to help you build your freight forwarding network.  

Join an RW Solutions logistics networking group

RW Solutions can help in your networking efforts. They are bridging the gap in global freight forwarding with a network of business networking groups to help you expand your operations. With eight freight forwarding alliances and 1000+ member organizations in over 100 countries, you can build your logistics business through the alliances you form within these groups. 

Find a partner from every corner of the globe through RW Solutions Networking groups. 

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