When you choose a freight forwarding company you are choosing a business partner who you will hopefully work with successfully for many years to come, a partner who will become an integral part of your operations. With logistics and supply-chain optimization vital to the success of your business this isn’t an area you can afford to get wrong; the cheapest rates and the lowest logistics costs are not normally desirable if they lead to compromise in other areas.
To help you decide which freight forwarder to use, we’ve established five must-have qualities that if present in your chosen partner are likely to contribute to a long, successful and rewarding business relationship for both parties.
Excellent communication and service
When you have cargo moving all over the world you need to know where it is and when it is going to arrive at its destination. Excellent communication is an oft-overlooked yet absolutely essential quality in a freight forwarder. Working with a company that does not answer your questions quickly or get back to you with vital information is not only frustrating, but can also prove costly.
Expect and demand a great level of communication and your own representative that you can contact at any time with questions or concerns. Do not accept a situation where you have to wait on hold or speak to multiple people to find out where your goods are.
Long-term business plan
A freight forwarder can have many great qualities and provide everything you need at this moment in time and still be a bad choice. Why? Because when you choose a logistics company you aren’t just choosing a one-time service, you’re choosing a service you’ll be using for years to come.
Look for a freight forwarder who not only meets your business needs now but will continue to do so. You may only need ocean freight now but 5 years into the future you might need to use air freight – look for a freight forwarder who is not only successful currently, but also looking to grow the services they offer
Experience delivering in your niche and area
Different goods and different countries have different legal requirements, taxes and paperwork. The chances of there being a problem is significantly reduced if a freight forwarder has imported or exported goods of a similar type to yours in and out of your target destinations. This experience can help your goods get delivered more quickly and at a lower cost.
Extremely detail orientated
Just a small mistake by a freight forwarder can mean the difference between your goods finding themselves in their intended destination or arriving somewhere completely different on the other side of the planet. Yet, this small mistake can mean large delays and higher costs for you. This makes attention to detail a key attribute of a good freight forwarding company.
You should expect excellent paperwork, high quality tracking and a partner who is prepared to call and ask for clarification when they not certain if they are correct.
A large network of contacts
The more contacts and service contracts a freight forwarder has, the more likely your product can reach its intended destination quickly and successfully. More contacts means better knowledge and information, while multiple service contracts give more carrier options.
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