Ask a Shipping Expert: How to Choose a Freight Forwarder
As a top tier shipping expert in Canada and the USA, we often get asked for advice on how to choose the right freight forwarder. Here are our best tips.
Shipping goods and coordinating their movement from one location to another via air, marine, or road can be a headache. Luckily, you can avoid stress and streamline operations by working with freight forwarders.
What are freight forwarders?
A freight forwarder is a logistics expert who organizes companies’ entire transportation process. With their help, you can select the most efficient shipping methods while ensuring goods reach customers or warehouses in good condition.
Other services freight forwarders offer are:
- Custom Clearance
- Booking space on transportation modes
Tips for selecting a freight forwarder
While freight forwarders play a significant role in the transport and logistics industry, identifying a suitable service provider can be daunting. Read on for some practical tips on picking the right freight forwarder.
Consider their reputation
Before selecting a freight forwarder, it’s vital to consider their reputation. Search the company online and read any articles reviewing them. Besides, visit their social media pages for feedback regarding their services. You may also contact the company for a list of references and call them for more information.
Assessing the reputation of a freight forwarder allows you to determine if they are the best fit for your business needs. This measure can also avoid falling for scams and wasting money.
Evaluate their customer service
Customer service is critical in any logistics and transportation business. Hence, you should ensure the freight forwarders you hire offer timely and reliable support.
A suitable freight forwarder should provide online tracking. This way, you can locate your cargo in real-time and reduce delays that may affect client satisfaction.
Other customer service aspects to look for in a logistics provider are:
- Timely notifications
- Omnichannel communication
- 24/7 customer support
- Multilingual capabilities
- The ability to address concerns promptly
Find out if they have industry experience
Some freight forwarders specialize in specific types of cargo. Hence, you should confirm if the companies you want to work with provide the needed services. One way to get this information is by visiting various freight movement websites and reading about their services. Moreover, check how long the companies have been in business.
An ideal service provider should have adequate experience in your industry. This way, you can trust them to move cargo and meet the needs of your business.
Check licenses and permits
Freight forwarders need business licenses and permits based on the mode of transport they use. When searching for the best company, find out if they have the required certification. You can also request an image or physical copy of these documents to verify validity.
Look for the ability to manage risks
Worldwide transportation comes with a wide array of risks. Thus, it’s best to work with a freight forwarder that can control potential issues to avoid losses and delays.
When searching for a good company, ensure its team is proactive and offers practical solutions. Likewise, verify that they provide cargo insurance to minimize your brand’s liability.
Need to move some freight across Canada and the USA? ShipNorthAmerica is your number one shipping expert. Through our member companies, we offer a wide range of services in specialized freight movement. Contact us now or visit our blog for more articles, news, and updates on the transportation industry.