Whether your shipping requirements are domestic or global, finding the right freight forwarder isn’t always easy. Definitely, you want to be sure that all deliveries will be on time and goods in optimal form. Look into the following essential points before using a freight company:
Needs and Requirements
This is ridiculously obvious, but some people still somehow forget that not all freight forwarders are created equal. Many focus on specific routes – air, rail or ocean – and you should choose the one whose specialty best fits your needs. Asking for quotes from various companies not only lets you in on their prices and logistics but also their customer service skills. You will probably be in constant contact with your chosen forwarder, so find out early on how things may work out between both of you.
Very importantly, make sure your quote request comes with all the necessary details. Call them and speak to a live rep or, better yet, send them an email. To avoid forgetting anything, prepare your information in advance, though they have to ask you in case you do miss anything. Remember to include any future needs as your company grows.
The freight and cargo industry is as old as commerce itself, so spend time researching companies that have an established track record. More experience usually means a better business experience for you – otherwise, they just wouldn’t have lasted that long.
Freight forwarding is a complicated task, which is precisely why you’re looking for an expert instead of doing it yourself, right? As soon as you’ve received quotes from different companies, be careful not to be tempted by the cheapest option. Most probably, there’s a catch. A low-bid company could meet your needs, but this may come with suspicious fine print or bad customer service. Whatever the case, don’t make a decision until you’ve checked the fine print and read reviews (choose reputable sources as many are biased or just plain fake).
Lastly, choose a freight company that can deliver all the important shipping documents, such as certificates of origin, shipping and negotiation documentation, and so on. Furthermore, make sure they can issue approved house bills of lading. You need not be a pro at these docs, but you have to get them with every single transaction. When checking out a certain company, don’t hesitate to ask them about this. As a consumer, you have the right to know this important detail from the beginning.
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