A freight forwarding company is one that organizes shipping for corporations and individuals who need to get goods from producers to the marketplace or distribution point. Where international forwarding is concerned, choosing the right company can help a business succeed by eliminating various supply chain difficulties. Below are several questions to ask when choosing a freight forwarder.
Can the Company Provide Options Across Shipping Modes?
The best freight forwarders should have the capability to ship goods by ground, rail, air and ocean, and they should work with clients to choose the right option. Companies should be able to provide routing optimization and consolidation options as well.
Do They Offer Trade Compliance and Customs Brokerage Advice?
Freight forwarding companies should be able to use customs programs and information to clients’ advantage. They should know about free trade agreements, and they should know each country’s customs rules, compliance requirements, duty rates and government regulations.
Can the Company Help Determine and Cut Cargo Risk?
A reliable freight forwarder must sufficiently assess and minimize cargo risks to help clients protect their companies’ bottom line. Forwarders should have plenty of cargo insurance, and they should provide extra policies for shipments in case of loss, damage or theft.
Do They Have the Experience a Client Needs?
There are numerous transport modes, regulations, industries and commodities. A freight forwarder should easily be able to show its experience in handling important freight forwarding tasks for other companies, as well as those in a similar industry.
Are There Offices in Important Regions?
A global forwarding company should have in-depth knowledge of the countries to which clients import or export, and they should know the local language, economy, tariffs, tax laws and infrastructure. Forwarders should be members of reputable networks, such as TWIG, IFLN or WCA. If a company belongs to a network, they’re more likely to handle shipments with diligence and care, and they’re more likely to have the financial strength to handle crises as they arise.
If a company needs a new partner in global forwarding, its leadership should consider asking these questions during the preliminary screening process. While there are other things to find out when choosing a forwarder, the questions on this list are a great place to start.