Why technology is the key to a smarter supply chain

January 11, 2021
Statistics on a computer screen in office
James Coombs
Head of Business Change & Innovation
4 Minutes

Creating online freight management for everyone, not just the 1%

In the summer we did our first post-release enrolment of clients onto Pathway, our cloud-based freight management platform - against the backdrop of a global pandemic, we were asking our clients to change their behaviour further and help Unsworth to become a better freight partner to them - and they did!

We wanted to write about some of our motivations and challenges.

Setting out to modernise our entire customer experience from the ground up was no small task. Innovation is built into our DNA, and while most people within Unsworth today don’t remember when email revolutionised global communication, there’s an understanding that the institution we represent has always led the way, in one form or another.

We also recognise that the challenges we face today are actually not too far removed from the challenges our predecessors at Unsworth faced in 1974. The global supply chains that we manage for our clients are as nuanced and complex today as they were then, but what has changed is the technology we use, and the way we understand the power of data.

Freight forwarders today hold comprehensive data on their clients, but we can be so caught up in making sure the wheels on the bus don’t fall off, we sometimes forget to help our clients steer by creating actionable insights for them.

We asked ourselves;

How do we rationalise and make visible enough information to be useful, without being overwhelming, to put control of your freight network at your fingertips?


Embark on a years' long plan to move our CX into the cloud. Provide an end-to-end management portal that truly unlocks and even simplifies global trade for all of our clients, not just the top 1%.

My team at Unsworth are convinced that cloud-based freight management is the solution. Infinitely more functionality than the Excel Spreadsheet in a soft, easy to open GUI wrapper - And we're not the only ones. Digital forwarders with a silicon footing have blazed this trail, giving us plenty of teachable moments along the way.

Over the last six months, we talked to dozens of clients to understand their needs, and the consistent message we received was that in 2020, it’s not enough to just answer simple questions like “Where is my shipment?”

With Pathway, we’re able to take hundreds of data points, and give you the insights you need to make effective decisions quickly. Our core ideology of managing by exception, focusing our clients' valuable time and energy where it’s needed and cuts down on noise.

We’re excited to bring together your team, your suppliers and our operations team seamlessly onto the same page. Truly being able to better facilitate international trade by streamlining communication and creating a single universal truth within your global freight network and supply chain.

Our V1 sits in front of 150 clients today, and the feedback we're getting is invaluable in helping to develop a customer-led roadmap of new features and tools. That's 150 clients who have ditched the spreadsheets with us and adjusted to a new way of working - arguably faster than we did!

If you, like me, sit in an intrepreneurial role within a traditional forwarder there's no better time to look at improving your CX. The language of technology and development can be a huge gatekeeping factor. It doesn't need to be all about agile sprints and scrum masters - We made it about process, and understanding our client.

If you’re an active (or inactive) client, and wish to try out our platform, to see first hand how it will help you manage your day-to-day logistics by exception, request a Pathway demo and see what all of the fuss is about.

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