In today’s world of business, seamless service is something you have to promise to your clients. A big part of that service is freight forwarding if you are running a nationwide or international business. Your choice of freight forwarders can make or break your business reputation as the clients will count on good shipping with your services.
If you want to find the best freight forwarder, you will first need to know what freight forwarding entails. Typically, freight forwarding involves transporting goods through the air, water, or land routes from one point to another.
As a business owner, you will have to appoint a forwarding agent for the shipping services you are offering with your services. You can find the best freight forwarder if you follow the following tips:Freight forwarders are the middle-men that can either make your business run smoothly or halt it to a standstill. Here's how to find the best one! Click To Tweet
HOW TO FIND A FREIGHT FORWARDER
1. Check the Experience
Experience is a must-have if you are looking for a good freight forwarder. When it comes to importing and exporting, you need to be assured that your business partner will handle all the details of shipping without encountering any hiccups.
The ideal freight forwarder will know the laws of the country you are shipping to and how to handle the shipping items.
2. Check the Freight Forwarders Reputation
Reputation is something that can put a business to new heights. The same goes for freight forwarders. Research the available options and ask around to see which forwarding agent is the most reliable and reputed. Make sure you check if they are WCA approved.
Also, ask for forwarder references to better understand the business. A good freight forwarder will readily provide references.
3. The Freight Forwarding Service Handle Your Shipment with Care
The shipment you are going to transport should arrive at its destination in pristine condition. This is only possible if it is treated well by the freight forwarder.
Ask your forwarding agent if they are capable of providing the following 3PL and document services:
- Notarizing invoices on the shippers’ behalf
- Preparing and reviewing the documentation
- Aiding with customer clearance
- Amending mistakes made in the documentation
- Obtaining the required certificates like insurance and inspection
- Completing payments on the shippers’ behalf
- Providing export and import quotations
- Finding the right routes for the shipments
- Arrangement of packing and loading of the shipment
4. Check their Network
One of the most defining aspects of freight forwarders is their business network. Their relationships with other businesses and within the industry are what define their effective services.
The better a freight forwarder’s network, the better their experience in the industry and the more efficient their service. These also help them obtain adequate licensing and documentation with ease. You can ask your forwarding agent about their contacts to get a better idea of their network.
5. Get Acquainted with their Pricing Structure
Do you hate it when you make a purchase, and by the time you get to billing, there are hidden charges applied to the product’s price? This is how it will feel if you do not get involved with a freight forwarder who has a transparent pricing structure.
After you get a quote and negotiate a price, you can make a deal, but there are chances of the billing amount being more than what was negotiated because of GRIs and PSS adjustments.
If the pricing structure is not transparent, you will lose all the money you saved during negotiation. Some of the ways in which you will pay extra are because of brokerage fees and fuel surcharges. Be straightforward with your demands and ask for any hidden charges beforehand.
6. Make Sure the Freight Forwarder Includes Cargo Insurance
Many freight forwarders are more than capable of offering your cargo insurance. It is necessary because you never know when an accident may occur and severely impact your business.
Cargo insurance is a small price to pay for your peace of mind. This insurance will cover the land, sea, and air routes and cover your cargo shipment costs.
When you are thinking of getting cargo insurance, asking your freight forwarder in detail about it is a good idea. The forwarding agent can acquaint you with specific cargo insurance based on the type of your shipment.
Other Freight Forwarder Pointers
Maintain a Good Relationship
Once you have found the right freight forwarder, you will have to maintain a good relationship with them for the sake of your business. Maintain a professional as well as an interpersonal connection for better service.
The shipping industry is unpredictable. Some unprecedented problems may arise that are beyond the control of the freight forwarder. It is then your responsibility to delegate with your clients to let them know about the situation.
The best freight forwarder will ensure that the business deal is as beneficial for you as it is for them. Finding the right freight forwarder might seem daunting at first, but once you research and compare among the options, you will realize that only a few forwarding agents can exceed expectations.