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How to Pick a Good Freight Forwarder

When it comes to freight forwarding, you need a freight forwarder who will help your business to thrive. There are many freight forwarders but the points explained below will help you to settle for the best.

Ensure a freight forwarder has experience. The amount of experience a freight forwarder has in the industry is paramount. Although it is easy to begin a freight forwarding business, it is hard to execute the shipping of cargo. The advantage of working with an experienced freight forwarder is that they have faced various situations, for example, needing to reroute cargo, addressing warehousing problems, resolving custom clearance problems, and port shutdowns and disruptions. The freight forwarder will thus be better placed in helping you to anticipate and avert warehousing, custom problems, and routing hence ensuring your cargo movement goes predictably and efficiently.

Verify whether the freight forwarder has the services you need. A good freight forwarder will not only provide sea and air freight when shipping your cargo but also other beneficial services, for example, warehousing and distribution, marine cargo or freight insurance, track and trace for timely cargo location, custom clearances at ports, and more. Freight forwarders who provide only port-to-port differ from those providing door-to-door services. Port-to-port can cost less but the additional work involved in planning the port-to-door services cause the full movement to cost more compared to door-to-door services.

Choose a freight forwarder with great customer service. It is important and easy to check the level of customer service a potential freight forwarder offers. Be keen on how quick a freight forwarder is in returning requests for estimates and how fast and thorough they are in answering queries and availing assistance. A great freight forwarder is ready and in a position to take you through the freight process. Check if the freight forwarder points you to information about what you may require to know. Inquire about what they can do to ensure the process goes smooth during import or export. If a freight forwarder seems more concerned, greater chances are, they will be highly attentive to your cargo when being shipped.

Is a freight forwarder a member of a trade association? Being a member of a reputable freight-forwarding association requires operation efficiency, financial strength, integrity and more. In case a freight forwarder has a membership with a reputed association, there are higher chances they will handle your shipment with diligence and care compared to non-members. Being a member also shows that a freight forwarder has the financial strength to complete the shipping process.

Compare prices. The process of comparing freight forwarders’ prices is not as easy as buying goods. When comparing prices, first eliminate the freight forwarders who do not provide all the services you are in need of; they may be cheaper but of no help. Secondly, look at how the freight forwarders treat various volumes of cargo and the effects this has on you. Most freight forwarders provide a volume discount to urge clients to ship more with them. Check what the price covers then choose accordingly.

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Updated: November 10, 2019 — 11:44 am
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