Choosing an international freight forwarder is crucial to the ultimate success of any business that has to import or export cargo on a regular basis. The last thing any business needs is for shipments to be late, get lost or arrive in poor condition. The only way to ensure that your shipping needs are met is by hiring a competent freight shipping company best suited to your needs. Whether your firm is just starting up, branching out into a new sector or simply looking for new freight forwarders with whom to do business, there are some very important questions that need to be answered before you can tell if you are a good match.
The first question you should likely ask is whether their company will be able to handle the shipping load. If the freight forwarder is small, then it might not be able to handle more than a certain number of shipments per month and if your company’s requirement exceeds that number, then your business will suffer. So, finding an international freight shipping supplier that can handle your volume of shipments is essential.
The next thing to find out about any potential international freight forwarders on your short list is how long they have been in business. It is best to choose an established company because newer international freight forwarders will not have as large a network of agents, shipping companies and other contacts with whom they can coordinate shipments. An established freight shipping company will have a good network of people with whom they deal and from whom they can call in favours in order to get your shipments sent and delivered on time.
Finding our whether the international freight forwarders on your list have brokering services is also a good idea because if the freight shipping company you hire can also clear your shipment through customs, then you will not have to hire a separate customs broker to take care of that aspect of your shipping needs.
Hiring an international freight forwarding provider who also has experience dealing with your type of cargo is also a good idea as they will know exactly what kind of special issues such cargo might have and how best to deal with anything that might come up.
Lastly, are you comfortable with the agent assigned to you by your international freight forwarder? Can you communicate easily with the person in charge of your account? If not, then you should definitely ask for a new agent and if they are unable to provide you with one, then you should take your business elsewhere. As freight forwarding is such an important part of any business, it is imperative that you feel comfortable with and are able to talk to the person handling your account. Unless you are able to talk freely and feel that you are getting the kind of attention that you need, then take your business somewhere else.