Blog

freight rate management

How Safe and Secure is Your Commercial Data?

In the previous article, we’ve listed the numerous benefits of using Software as a
Service and why it would be one of the best solutions for your business nowadays.

The first and most important question is always about data safety. You literally
have to trust with all your sensitive commercial business information to your software
provider. You need to be 1000% sure that your data is safe and secure.

Let’s look at the safety and security risks of cloud computing, and compare them to
the most popular business solution used by the Freight Forwarders for their internal
freight rate management and sending freight quotes to their customers.

Excel Spreadsheet is King

There are no official statistics as to how many logistics companies are using Excel as
their main tool to manage their commercial information, but it is safe to assume that it
is around 90% of business globally.

Majority of the freight forwarders manage their freight rates in Excel internally and use
MS Word or Excel to distribute their rates externally. The benefits of keeping and managing
your commercial data in Excel are quite obvious: it’s (relatively) free of charge, it’s
available, it’s simple, it’s familiar. When it comes to the risks, we have covered them
extensively in the article called “Freight Forwarders Deserve Better Tools”, which speaks
for itself.

This ‘spreadsheet madness’ in the industry is led by the shipping lines. Historically, over
time the pricing structures got so complicated, that it was not possible to translate it
into the digital language. Hence, Excel spreadsheets are all over the place.

freight rate excel

How Safe is Your Data in Excel?

The answer is it is not full-proof, even if you use password protection and own discs for
storage. Here are some tips for you to be safe and secure:

  • Always upgrade to the latest version of MS Excel when available;
  • Save your files as “.xlsx”, not “.xls”;
  • Choose strong passwords to protect your workbooks, sheets, cells;
  • Choose safe storage places;
  • Backup your data regularly.

The Cloud Software Alternative

Cloud-based solutions for business are in high demand right now. These solutions
include everything from secure data storage to entire business processes.

Email is a simple example. Most users don’t save emails to their devices because those
devices are connected to the Internet. Any time you access the emails stored
remotely, you are accessing a cloud.

The cloud is simply a collection of servers placed in massive complexes which are
owned by some of the world’s largest corporations: Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple have
all invested huge sums in creating homes for our personal and business data.

The end result is a service that is convenient, portable and reduces the need for

expensive hardware in our offices. That important business email from your partner is
easily accessible on all of your devices, no matter where you are.

How Secure is Cloud Storage?

All files stored on secure cloud servers benefit from an enhanced level of security.

Cloud storage security vendors do not just rely on password protection, but secure
data using other means as well.

Some of these include firewalls, intrusion detection, action logs, encryption and
advanced physical security of the data centers.

When it comes to cloud data ownership, the contract between the company providing
the storage service and the client has a clear distinction that the provider has the right to
store and process the data but the ownership is retained by the customer at all times.

The end result is a service that is convenient, portable and reduces the need for
expensive hardware in our offices. That important business email from your partner is
easily accessible on all of your devices, no matter where you are.