Did you know that maritime transport accounts for over 90% of the world’s trade? Yes, and it is by far the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world. Freight forwarders are an integral part of the supply chain and global maritime trade.
Who is a freight forwarder?
A freight forwarder is responsible for the transportation of goods between two or more destinations. Freight forwarding companies specialize in arranging the whole process for their shippers, from storage to shipping of their merchandise. Global freight forwarding companies coordinate the shipment of goods from one destination to another using a range of carriers, including air freight, ocean freight, road freight and, in some cases, railway freight. But remember, the freight forwarder is only taking responsibility for the arrangement of the international movement of your cargo; he is not taking any ownership of the cargo.
What to look for when choosing a freight forwarder?
- Begin by analyzing your internal requirements. Know what you will specifically need before you even begin looking for a forwarder. Determine what mode of transport and what specific services you will need and what volume you plan to ship before contacting a forwarder.
- A good way to choose a reputable freight forwarder is to go through the top affiliations and associations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Cargo Association (WCA). Joining reputable freight forwarding associations such as WCA requires financial strength, operational efficiency, integrity, and many other requirements.
- Experience speaks volumes. There are many modes of transport, commodities (e.g. garments, machinery, cars, food, garments, chemicals, perishables, hazardous, etc), regulations (OFAC, BIS, ITAR) and origin/destinations. All freight forwarders cannot handle all of these combinations.
- Cost is a critical parameter when it comes to freight services. As the competition among the logistics companies intensifies, you are likely to find a freight forwarder that offers quality services at an affordable price.
- Technology is the game-changer. Amid increased competition in the global marketplace, you need quick access to information about your area of transportation. Experienced shipping companies often work with the latest technology such as ERP and satellite tracking. You want to make your shipment information is no further than a computer click away. That helps keep track of your product's information.
- Growth Potential. Besides its expertise, technology, and experience, your freight forwarder should help you reduce the cost of transportation. The reduction in transportation costs accelerates your company’s growth. Also, a freight forwarder can help your business penetrate new markets.
Questions you must ask a prospective freight forwarder
- Can you handle my business?
If they are a smaller business, you’ll want to be sure of the necessary resources and competitive rates available to successfully take on your contract. If they are a larger company, find out if their size will impact the level of customer service that you will be expecting.
- How will you manage my operations/shipment?
This relates to who will be your point of contact for submitting documents, coordinating the shipment and who to ask for when there is a problem.
- Do you have cargo insurance?
This is important as they should be able to issue insurance policies for your shipments in case of theft, damage, or loss.
- Do you provide extra services?
Many global freight forwarders offer extra services for your shipment, so always ask them when receiving a quote. These extra services include warehouse storage, cargo insurance, cargo tracking, and dangerous goods handling. Even if you don’t require them, it’s always worth bearing these additional services in mind for future reference when using a freight forwarder.
- Can I Check Your References?
You should definitely ask the freight forwarder for references! Successful global logistics companies offer testimonial pages or comments from real clients so potential clients like yourself can see reviews made by real businesses similar to your own.
- Are they using any freight forwarding software?
You should always be preferring someone who is updated with the fast-growing digital world and should be using any sort of service or freight management software to manage their operations. An online freight forwarding software will help you to get accurate information in real-time, like quotations, shipment confirmation, invoices, and all the other shipment related documents.
We are the new age company to provide Freight forwarding software as a Service covering all the logistic activities. Our freight logistics software manages all the operations right from getting quotations from customers, getting rates from vendors, managing shipments, to accounts providing efficient in house software solutions to all of the requirements for running freight forwarding business.
Feature of our Freight management software?
Our online Freight Management Software is particularly used by logistics and supply chain professionals who are responsible for getting and delivering goods from and to the customers. Our NVOCC approved Freight management software delivers a standalone package of software solutions that allow freight forwarders to book orders instantly along with getting the best carrier rates, quotations, automate logistics operations, accounting, and sales for forwarders and international distributors. That makes freight forwarder more profitable, more organized, and more relevant to their customers. Our Logistics Management software is designed for effectively managing, end to end shipment workflow.
Freight Forwarders can handle a great deal more than just shipping your products but there isn’t a “one solution” fits all. Choosing the right freight forwarder is extremely important in the success of a company’s exporting endeavors.