While a bevy of high-tech outfits have threatened to disrupt the current freight forwarding marketplace with its their digitized offerings, older established players are hardly standing still as far as innovation is concerned. Witness, say analysts, the recent moves made by Damco – the third-party logistics subsidiary of Danish shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller – Maersk. Starting this month, “Twill” will be openly available to shippers in the UK market, and later to shippers worldwide.John Klompers, the company’s global head of freight forwarding, told LM in interview that he sees the modern freight forwarder changing into a global freight supply chain “orchestrator.”“Service reliability, space allocation guarantees and a multi-carrier platform have become much more important to spread risks and to avoid supply chain disruptions,” he says.To that effect, Damco has positioned itself to compete with Twill by enabling logistics managers to book, manage and monitor shipments online with a simple keystroke.“Damco is a frontrunner in the digitalization of the supply chains and does this by co-creating with customers,” says Klompers. “The focus is on the customers’ immediate need and using technology to provide insights and trends, and to spot potential problems and supply chain stresses before something goes wrong. We have developed Apps to provide the visibility needed to effectively manage supply chains.”Klompers notes that as the supply chains become increasingly more complex, one may never be able to take risk completely off the table.“But we believe freight forwarders are the key solution for logistics managers to avoid supply chain disruptions in the ever changing freight market,” he says. “The modern freight forwarder should be able to go beyond the classic job description and have expertise in supply chain management. The logistics manager of the future should not see the freight forwarder in a supplier-customer relationship, but rather as an indispensable part of the organization, managing and improving supply chain competitiveness and efficiency.”So far, the beta model has been focusing on managing ocean shipments within the China to UK trade. Damco spokesmen say that it will add more shipping routes and products over the coming months, and in the first part of Twill’s expansion all of Asia-Europe trade will be addressed.