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How to Choose Your Freight Forwarder

Whether your shipping requirements are domestic or global, finding the right freight forwarder isn’t always easy. Of course, you want to be confident that all your goods will be delivered on time and in great shape. Here are important considerations to make as you pick a freight forwarder:

Your Needs and Requirements

This is painfully obvious, but some people take it for granted that not all freight companies are the same. Many of them concentrate on certain routes – sea, air or rail – and you must pick the specialist that is most aligned with your needs. Asking for quotes from various companies not only lets you in on their prices and logistics but also their customer service skills. Most probably, you will be in regular contact with your chosen forwarder, so it makes sense to know early on how things might play out between the two of you.

Very importantly, make sure your quote request comes with all the necessary details. You can speak to their sales associate on the phone or just email them. Prepare your information in advance so you don’t forget anything (though they should ask you if anything’s missing). Remember to include any future needs as your company grows.

Experience

The history of the freight and cargo industry goes just about as far back as commerce itself, so do your research and look for a forwarder that has a solid background. More experience usually means a better business experience for you – otherwise, they just wouldn’t have lasted that long.

Beyond Cost

Freight forwarding is a challenging job, which is the reason you’re hiring someone else to do it for you, right? Once you’ve received quotes from various places, don’t make the mistake of jumping at the cheapest option. We all know there’s usually catch there. A low-bid company may meet your needs, but this could come with some questionable fine print or customer experience sacrificed for a small amount saved. 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).

Proper Documentation

Finally, go with a freight forwarder that can provide all the essential shipping documents like customs and port documentation, certificates of origin and the rest. Furthermore, make sure they can issue approved house bills of lading. You don’t have to be an expert in these papers, but it’s totally crucial that you will receive them with each transaction. When considering a particular company, don’t feel shy to inquire about this. Knowing the answer from the start is your right as a consumer.

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