03 January, 2023News Categories. News
Entrusting the shipment of your goods with a freight forwarder is a big deal, so it’s crucial you find a logistics company that you trust. The right freight forwarder is like a key business partner – they must know your areas of strength and weakness in order to support you, be trusted to oversee your money, and care about your customers as you do.
To help you choose the company that’s right for you, we’ve put together five things that you should be looking out for when in the selection process.
Does the freight forwarder have a strong network of international freight agents? When importing or exporting goods, working with freight forwarders that have strong networks and connections will allow you to overcome numerous barriers that would otherwise cause roadblocks for you. They will have the local knowledge required, as well as an understanding of local business customs, languages and cultural barriers.
The level of experience a freight forwarder has will determine how well they deal with shipping issues such as dockworker strikes, port shutdowns, cargo reroutes, customs, and warehousing. These issues are common in international shipping and must be dealt with efficiently to prevent further problems from occurring.
2. Range of Services
The range of services a logistics company offers will let you know how large and established they are.
- Sea Freight
- Air Freight
- Road Freight
- Rail Freight
- Warehousing fulfilment
- System Integration
- PO Management
- Export packing
- Customs clearance
- International removals
Most importantly, make sure they offer all the services that you will require for your shipments and that align with your supply chain processes.
A strategically located freight forwarder will be important to you if they are physically handling your cargo through warehousing and/or packing services. With most of the major UK sea ports located in the south, you may want to consider location and weigh it against efficiency levels. The cost of national distribution to your customers will be affected by this, and taking a more central location like the Midlands can help balance your service and cost options.
4. Credentials and certifications
Always ask to see the freight forwarders’ credentials and certifications. These will inform you whether or not a freight forwarder has the specialised training and expertise required to handle your goods and shipments. Here are just some of the questions to ask:
- How long have they been established?
- What accreditations do they have?
- Are they experienced in the specific trade lanes that you operate?
Alongside this, always ask to see references from other clients they have worked with, and follow up with the client themselves if you deem it worthy.
5. Responsive customer service
Communication is essential in the logistics industry, so working with a freight forwarder that understands this is important. Often shipments are urgent and quick decisions are required, so to avoid further issues, the freight forwarder you choose should appreciate this and be responsive in their communication.