Choosing the right freight forwarder for your business should an easy task as long as you know the factors that should be considered. Since there are many companies that offer these services, you should not just pick one without knowing what they can do. Here are some tips to make things easy for you.
1. Capacity to handle your business – How big is the company? Can they effectively manage and ship your cargo? If they do not have enough capacity, you simply should look for another forwarder to avoid inconvenience.
2. Their area of specialization – There are companies that specialize in specific types of cargo. Inquire to find out if they can ship the type of items that you are working on. The good thing, however, is that finding a company that accepts every type of cargo is quite easy.
3. A network of global agents – A good freight forwarder is one that has a network of shipping agents both at the origin port and at the destination one. This will make it easy for you to track the cargo and to know exactly when it will arrive.
4. Financial strength – Although you are the one paying for the process, you should choose a forwarder that has a strong financial ability. In some instances, you might find out that the company did not even pay the ocean carriers though you have settled your part of the deal.
5. Turnaround time – It is important to find out how long vital information will take before it reaches you. You also should know how long the cargo is likely to take before reaching the destination port because the turnaround time varies depending on the company involved.
6. Good references – The best companies in this industry are often referred to new customers by their already existing ones. Ask for some of the customers and find out if they are happy with the services that they often get. If they are not, look for another company.
7. Cargo insurance – your cargo has to be insured against risks such as loss. If a company is reluctant to offer insurance, it only shows how much unreliable they are and so, you should not trust them. Top companies will not hesitate to insure cargo.
8. Communication level – It also is good to find out if you will be communicating directly to the freight forwarder or through a third party. When you communicate directly, the process becomes simpler.
9. Pricing model – If you compare some of the companies that offer these services, you will find out that there is a big difference in their pricing model. This is the reason why some people ends up paying expensively while others find more affordable offers.
10. Reliability and availability – How committed are they to your success? Make sure that they will be available to forward your cargo when you need them to avoid unnecessary delays.
In a nutshell, taking time to identify a suitable freight forwarder can save you from lots of problems. You may also want to compare the services of several companies just to find out who has the best offers.