How to choose the right freight forwarder: 5 tips
Freight forwarders are known as the service providers that help to ship goods internationally. You would find many companies around you that deal with forwarding services but choosing the right one is crucial. If you have started a new business and your operations involve international shipping then you might not have the complete idea about choosing a good freight forwarder. Choosing the wrong freight forwarder can ruin your logistic management and hence affect your international business. Generally, Freight people are in charge of the storage and shipping of the goods. Hence your international business is indirectly dependent upon the freight forwarder.
Generally, Freight forwarders are involved in the transportation of goods from one place to other via air, railway, or road. Choosing the right freight forwarder would help you to ease the logistic process so that as a businessman you can focus on other core aspects of your work. But what are the things that you should look for while choosing the right freight forwarder? Here are few tips that would help you to select the right logistic partner for your business.
Look for the Experience
A quick search on Google would give you a huge list of freight forwarders around you. But how do choose the right one? The first thing that you can check while selecting the right freight forwarder is the experience. An Experienced freight forwarder would be aware of A to Z of the logistics and can handle any issues that can occur during the process. If you are into exports then it is important to choose the one who has the right experience as the forwarder would be aware of all the laws and the regulations about it. If your business involves dealing with perishable items then make sure to choose the one who has the experience in it and who knows how to handle the items carefully during the whole process.
Look for the Reputation
According to the famous saying it takes years to build trust and reputation. Sometimes these factors play a major role in the service industry than the pricing chart. If you wish to check the reputation and the trustworthiness of a freight forwarder that you would like to work with then you can check it on the WCA website. If the service provider is on the list of WCA-approved members then you can certainly go ahead and get it onboarded. The reputation factor can be also decided based on the strong network that it has got. The business of freight forwarders is based on connections and networks. Hence you can check the details regarding its network connection on the respective websites. Most of the freight forwarders mention all the details regarding their tie-ups and network on the website.
Look for the overall services
After checking the reputation and the network strength of the service provider it is time to check its overall service offering. The core services that freight forwarder handles during the overall process are logistics services and document services. Talking about logistics or Shipping services it is important to check whether the freight forwarder is taking care of negotiating freight rates, offering import and export quotations, finding the right shipment routes, Arrangement of loading and packing, getting the right freight insurance, and making the payment on behalf of your company. Talking about document service make sure to check whether the service provider is offering services such as making corrections in the document, notarizing the invoices, helping with custom clearance, obtaining various certificates, and preparing the documentation.
Look for the pricing structure
Here comes the important factor that you would need to consider while choosing the right freight forwarder. Most of the time you would find the difference between the prices that were quoted to you and the final amount which you get billed for. It could be due to the PSS or GRI adjustment. But if your freight forwarder has already maintained transparency about it while quoting then you should not be worried about it. Apart from this, there could be additional charges such as brokerage fees or fuel surcharges. Hence it is important to get clarity on all the possible charges from the freight forwarder.
Look for the insurance coverage
Insurance coverage is an important aspect that you should look for while availing of forwarding services. Sometimes your package or goods can get damaged during transit due to natural calamities or any other issues. Hence most of the forwarders offer insurance coverage for this purpose. Check the offer the insurance coverage offering by your freight forwarder before availing of the services.