A freight forwarding company handles the transportation of goods from one point of origin to different destinations via sea, land, or air over multiple carriers. Shippers are not able to handle the logistics of shipping cargo and require freight forwarding companies to offer the 3PL services. Therefore you need to find a freight forwarding company that can handle all your business needs. It is the bridge that can make your business run smoothly or experience major losses when shipments do not arrive on time.
Whether you are looking for land freight, air freight, or sea freight services, you should make careful considerations when choosing a freight forwarder to ensure you work with the best.
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Ensure they are reputable
For freight forwarding companies, their connections and reputation are what keeps them going. So before you decide to work with a specific freight forwarder, check their reputation. Read online customer reviews, check their financial statements online if they are a public company, and ask other clients how their experience is. Any reputable freight forwarding company will be willing to provide you with references to review their work. Logistics partnership membership is also a good sign that you are looking at a reputable freight forwarder.
Find a freight forwarding company with the right experience. That is very important. For instance, if the freight company has been in the logistics industry for many years, they have the much-needed expertise to navigate freight laws both in the country of origin and destination. Again, you also need to work with a freight forwarder that deals with your cargo type. For instance, if you are transporting perishable goods, you need a freight forwarding company with experience in handling such kinds of cargo.
Do they have a good network?
Connections in the shipping and logistics industries often make the difference between success and failure. Connections enable freight forwarding companies to leverage better carrier rates and navigate the paperwork and local regulations more efficiently. You can ask the freight forwarder you are considering working with for their references to evaluate their network of connections in the industry.
Choose a freight forwarding company with the right services for your cargo.
Ensure your freight forwarding company can provide the following:
- Help with custom clearance.
- Obtaining insurance and inspection certificates.
- Preparing and reviewing shipping documentation.
- Notarizing invoices on behalf of shippers.
- Make amendments to shipping document mistakes.
- Negotiating freight rates with the carrier.
- Arranging for packing and loading.
- Facilitating payments on your behalf.
- Finding the appropriate shipment routes for your cargo.
- Providing import and export quotations.
- Finding the most appropriate shipping insurance.
Transparent pricing structure
It is easy to find out that the total freight rate offered is not transparent, and there are some hidden costs. Freight forwarders can charge you brokerage fees or fuel surcharges, and you may not be aware. Be careful to find a freight forwarding company with transparent pricing structures.
Do they offer cargo insurance?
If you want to be at peace shipping your products, choose a freight forwarding company that offers cargo insurance.
The final words
Note that freight forwarding companies are intermediaries for 3PL services and are not to be blamed for shipping delays. They only estimate the delivery dates, but they can help solve issues causing hold-ups or delays.