6 Tips How To Find A Good Freight Forwarder

From pain points to the nuances of cargo, freight forwarders in the industry are the middlemen who can keep your business running smoothly or bring it to a standstill.No wonder choosing a freight forwarder can be a daunting task, which is why we’re here to help.

When you hire freight forwarders for your global shipping and business needs, look forward to their relationships with various freight forwarders such as ocean liners, cargo companies and airlines.

You can also benefit from their extensive knowledge of how import and export work in different countries. Additionally, they can smoothly handle your shipments through customs and track the status of your shipments on the way from the supplier/manufacturer to you.

How To Find A Good Freight Forwarder
How To Find A Good Freight Forwarder

What is a Freight Forwarder?

A freight forwarder is an agent or company in the international trade industry that handles the transportation and transportation of goods from one part of the world to another, whether by land, sea or air.

They are involved in sourcing goods from suppliers and manufacturers, storing them and facilitating transport logistics to end users and consumers or some other point of distribution. For example, if you want to ship goods from China, it is best to hire a Chinese freight forwarder who will help you with the arduous and complex process of shipping your goods by sea, air, road or rail or other means.

The commercial activity of freight forwarding is to transport goods from origin to destination by several carriers by land, air and sea. Freight forwarders are generally unable to handle the logistics behind the shipment and require freight forwarders to provide 3PL services. Therefore, it is important to find a carrier that can meet your needs.

You can also learn about it through the video

How To Find A Good Freight Forwarder

Nowadays, there are so many agents offering freight forwarding services. So, it may be difficult to find the best freight forwarder for your business. To that end, here are tips on how to choose a good freight forwarder that’s perfect for you.

1.Do your homework and know what you need

The first thing that helps you get the best freight forwarding services to transport your goods through international supply chains and trade routes is to do your homework. That means knowing exactly what you need. Ask yourself what kind of cargo you want to ship in terms of volume and size. When shipping something like groceries, you shouldn’t expect the exact same process when shipping something like a car.

You also have a preferred shipping method that you want to use, so it’s best to find it before contacting the carrier. Additionally, some shipments are fragile and require special handling procedures, while others do not. For special goods such as hazmat or hazmat, the shipping process is a bit more complicated.

If you are concerned about the reputation and trustworthiness of the operator, please check that they are a WCA approved member. This network of logistics partners is a good benchmark for checking whether a carrier is trustworthy. You can also use FreightDeadbeats to check if a carrier is underperforming.

If you can’t find any background information, ask your carrier for references. For reputable carriers, this shouldn’t be a problem. Again, unless it’s a privately held company, you can view their financial statements online.

2.Consider the freight forwarder’s experience and network

The years of experience of the freight forwarder you want to entrust is very important to the success of your business relationship. If they have experience, that means they have dealt with every situation that comes up during shipping.

These connections enable shippers to take advantage of NVOCCs and carriers for better shipping rates, and help them ensure paperwork and local authorities can navigate more efficiently.

If you want to learn more about carrier networks, be sure to ask them for references or ask who they work with.

With experience also comes an expansive global reach and sustainable business relationships. This manifests through good connections with various suppliers, local handlers and experts, trucking companies, and agents at numerous destinations. That’s how you can be sure your DDP shipments, FBA shipments, or any other freight will be handled well when they arrive at the destination country.

3.Find out the services they offer

Now you know your shipping needs. But you don’t want any experienced freight forwarders. Instead, you need the best carrier that provides the service for your shipping needs.

Therefore, you must confirm the service provided by the operator. These services range from preparing import and export documents, booking shipping space with air and ocean carriers, packing and storing cargo, customs clearance, freight consolidation, cargo tracking, insurance, and more.

When it comes to the freight forwarding experience, there are a few things to consider. For example, when dealing with import and export duties, you need to know whether your partner has the industry knowledge to understand the laws and regulations of the country of origin and destination.

You also need to consider whether you need to work with an expert, especially one that handles your type of shipment. Whether you are exporting perishable goods and need refrigerated containers, or transporting recycled plastic, having a freight forwarder who understands the best practices for shipping your goods is essential.

4.Inquire about their permits, credentials, and certifications

Before moving goods from one part of the world to another, freight forwarders in charge of logistics need licenses and documents to prove that they can handle the goods. Your company may want to ship sensitive products, such as hazardous materials.

In order to successfully handle these shipments, the carrier requires a special license. Therefore, you need to verify that the carrier has these credentials. This will show that they have received the special and necessary training to do the job well.

Another important consideration is whether the carrier is a member of a reputable association such as the WCA. To become a member of such an agency, a shipper must be financially stable, operate efficiently, have integrity and meet many other stringent screening requirements.

The best freight forwarders always make sure to become a member of such associations to stay abreast of the latest developments in their industry and remain relevant and valuable to their clients.

5.What risk management procedures do they have in place?

It’s not uncommon for things to go wrong during international shipping. There are many situations that can disrupt your shipment of goods, whether at the origin, in transit, or in the country of destination.

Therefore, it is important to verify that the carrier has put in place risk management procedures. Proactive operators are best at dealing with problems and providing solutions to problems that arise.

A common risk management practice you can ask about is cargo insurance. Insurance is valuable if anything happens to your shipment, whether it’s lost, damaged or stolen.

You will feel more comfortable throughout the shipping process knowing that you have insurance or other applicable risk management policies. In times of crisis, your freight forwarder should be your partner.

6.What is their customer service like?

Good customer service is the backbone of any business! All the references, experiences, networks and connections in the world will be worthless if freight forwarders don’t treat their customers well.

Imagine that you only have to secure your shipments at a supplier or manufacturer, so you can’t reach the carrier who handles the logistics and shipping.

If you have questions about shipping rates or other issues related to international shipping, and the carrier has been responding to your inquiries, would you be willing to do business with them? Therefore, it is important to check what the freight forwarder’s customer service is like.

You can ask who to contact, how to contact you if you have questions, and see reviews from previous clients.

Since international shipping can be difficult, these details are important, which is why clear communication between you and your carrier is critical to the success of your endeavor.

Excellent customer service even goes beyond the arrival of your shipment. Winsky Freight is a proven and trusted freight forwarder in China, providing unparalleled service to all clients.

How About Freight Forwarder Pricing And Rates

You might be wondering why prices and rates aren’t mentioned in our tips for choosing the best carrier for your international shipping needs. Yes. This is intentionally avoided. Why? After all, deciding which freight forwarder to hire based on price alone is misleading and often fatal.

For example, if you choose a carrier because they offer the lowest rate for one shipment, you may be charged more for subsequent shipments. Because the forwarder wants to make up for the initial low price. Another possibility is that carriers offering low rates may be hiding some fees in their terms and conditions. All in all, low prices are often associated with unfair trading. You don’t want to be a victim, do you?

When looking for the best freight forwarder for your business, your main focus should be on meeting your specialized shipping needs in an accurate and timely manner. That’s not to say price doesn’t matter. Rather, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in who you choose.

How to ask for shipping rates from your freight forwarder

Now that you know what it takes to handle your shipment with the best carrier, you should know the details you need to get an accurate quote and product shipping costs. This will help you to be well prepared and also help the carrier to serve you well.

  1. Product name.
    The name of the product is required. Also, is the product with or without battery? Is it magnetic? Is it liquid? Are they dangerous goods?
  2. INCOTERMS or Terms of Sale.
    Incoterms refer to your International Commercial Terms with the seller, supplier, manufacturer or factory. Are your incoterms EXW (Ex works), Free on Board (FOB), or Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)?
  3. Weight and Volume information.
    If you have the goods packing lists, that’s the most preferred. Alternatively, you can send the gross weight and volume information of the shipment.
  4. Address of the supplier or factory.
    If your contract price term is EXW, then we have to arrange the pick up from your supplier or facotry, so the address of the supplier or factory will be needed for us to check the pick fee.
  5. The destination address or port of destination.
    For Express shipping or any type of door to door delivery, we will need your exact destination address and post code to check the exact cost, and for Air freight or any type of shipping to Port only, then your port information will be required.
  6. Your preferred shipping method (air freight, express freight, sea freight, or train delivery).
    The shipping cost is very different for the air freight, express freight, sea freight or train delivery, so pls let us know which shipping method do you prefer.
  7. Your preferred time of delivery – how quickly do you want the shipment to be delivered.
    If you don’t know what shipping way is more suitalbe for you, pls let us know your preferred time of delivery, we will try to recommend the best shipping method that can meet your demands.

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