OpenTug: Your New Partner in Freight Forwarding

November 21, 2023

There are a number of players to consider in the logistics space when considering how to best arrange transportation for your cargo. A key player in this decision is the freight forwarder. 

A freight forwarder is a liaison between a shipper and operator that helps to facilitate the arrangement of a shipment. Similar responsibilities are handled by third-party logistics providers (3PL), as well as agents. 

In 2023, freight forwarders are better connected to the world than ever before. Nevertheless, pain points and bottlenecks prevail in coordination because the process remains time-consuming and laborious without a streamlined way to search, compare and book sailings. Now freight forwarders are looking for tools to streamline their operations and enhance service quality to gain a competitive edge and keep clients satisfied. 

OpenTug for Freight Forwarders

OpenTug is an innovative marine network that offers an open digital marketplace for shippers, freight forwarders, agents, and 3PLs to connect with operators and move cargo on the waterways. OpenTug simplifies requesting, receiving, and comparing quotes for transportation, and finding the right service provider for your needs. With detailed terminal specifications and various route options, OpenTug ensures freight forwarders have access to over 200 terminals across the US, and over 40% of barge capacity within the platform. This provides the opportunity for freight forwarders to find the best fit and rates for their client’s shipment. 

OpenTug enhances capabilities by providing a comprehensive view of shipping options, including marine terminals and barge routes. While barge shipping is often underutilized  as an option for logistical moves, this transportation mode is more cost-effective and environmentally efficient than traditional modes such as rail or truck.

Plus, with real-time barge tracking and updates, you can make informed decisions and provide up to date information to your clients. This transparency and access to a wide range of shipping options help you optimize your logistics strategies.

What Makes OpenTug Different from Traditional Freight Forwarding Services?

Unlike traditional freight forwarding services that focus on managing logistics and cargo handling, OpenTug is a facilitative platform. It complements your shipping expertise by streamlining the search and comparison process. OpenTug allows you to contract directly with service providers, supporting and enhancing your role– not replacing it.

OpenTug's route optimization feature is a significant advantage for shippers and shipping companies. It analyzes factors like distance, cost, and transit times to suggest the most efficient options. This saves time and reduces operational costs, enhancing the overall efficiency of freight forwarding operations. By leveraging OpenTug's network, you can offer your clients more competitive rates and better service.

How Does OpenTug Ensure the Best Rates?

OpenTug's marketplace model allows you to receive and compare multiple quotes from different service providers. This competitive comparison ensures that you can access the best possible rates for your shipping needs. Additionally, OpenTug's comprehensive database of maritime routes and service providers throughout the Americas provides a wide array of options on every waterway in the country.

For those new to OpenTug, there's extensive support to ensure a smooth onboarding process. This includes detailed tutorials, customer service assistance, and resources that guide you through the platform's features. OpenTug's user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate the platform, request shipments, and manage your logistics operations effectively.


Getting started with OpenTug is easy. Simply sign up online, choose your starting origin and destination, and get quotes from across the market. After inputting your cargo type and specifications, you can submit a request and quickly compare quotes to find the best service provider for your customer.

Upgrade your freight forwarding services with OpenTug. Discover a world of streamlined logistics and optimized shipping solutions. Explore the benefits today at or contact us to learn more.

Moving Marine Logistics Forward with OpenTug

OpenTug delivers the visibility and connectivity needed for shippers to fully utilize inland and coastal shipping.

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