How to find your best freight forwarding company?
Freight forwarding definition is accept the entrustment of the consignee and shipper of import and export goods, handle international cargo transportation and related business for them, and collect labor remuneration. The freight forwarding role is the intermediary, broker between the cargo owner and carrier, it is also the transportation organizer, play an important role in international trade. It’s an industry – the freight forwarding industry, the freight forwarding company is the actual operator.
Currently, the global freight forwarding industry is developed and the number of freight forwarder is huge, If you want to find a best freight forwarding company among so many freight forwarding group, You can follow the steps below:
Step 1: Determine the reasonable freight shipping methods according to the cargo situation.
First of all, you need to know that transport different goods will take the different freight shipping methods. You need to choose a reasonable freight shipping methods according to the product characteristics, such as the goods type and nature, whether they are dangerous goods, etc., the quantity of the goods, whether there are special requirements, whether there are time-limited requirements, etc.
International cargo transportation mainly includes the following freight shipping methods: sea transportation, railway transportation, air transportation, multimodal transportation, etc., The following is introduction of the international cargo freight shipping methods and their application.
Sea transportation has strong capacity, the sea freight cost is low, fit for long-distance transportation, but it is relatively slow. It is fit for international transportation of bulk cargo (ore, coal, petroleum) and container cargo (such as daily necessities, textiles, handicrafts, chemical products, hardware and electromechanical products, electronic machinery, etc.).
International railway transportation is a major mode of transportation second only to sea transportation. It has large shipping volume, fast speed and small risks, it can maintain punctual operations all year round.
International railway transportation is fit for the frequent and stable bulk goods and heavy goods transportation, such as engineering. equipment, ores, agricultural products, animal husbandry etc., but you should consider whether the importing and exporting countries have opened international railway trains.
Road transportationis generally suitable for short-distance and small-volume cargo transportation in neighboring countries or inland.
Air transportation count freight based on goods weight. If your goods is heavy cargo, will count freight with its gross weight; If it is light foam goods, air shipping company will compare the gross weight and the volumetric weight (converted by 1 cubic meter equal to 167 kilograms), then select the larger weight to count the freight.
Air transportation is fast, but air freight shipping volume is small, air freight is high, main fit for the transportation of fresh goods, seasonal goods and other goods which with a short shelf life and difficult to store, and fit for the small goods, valuable goods, urgent goods transportation.
Multimodal transportation refers to the connection and transshipment of two or more means of transportation to complete the transportation process together. The common transportation is sea-land combined transportation, land-air combined transportation, and sea-air combined transportation.
The cargo owner only needs to sign a contract, pay once, insure once, and complete the entire transportation through a single document. The goods to be transported are mainly container goods, no need to change container or pack the goods during the transportation, This freight shipping methods can effectively shorten the transportation time and reduce the transportation cost.
Step 2: Match the main freight forwarding operation of the freight forwarding company.
Each freight forwarding company may have different freight forwarding operation, they are good at different transportation fields, for example, some focus on air transportation, some focus on land transportation (include railway transportation, road transportation etc.), and some are more professional sea freight forwarding agent. Some can provide multimodal transportation, while some freight forwarding companies only have an advantage in a single mode.
According to the freight shipping methods you choose, you can distinguish whether the main business of the freight forwarding company meets your needs, whether its carrying capacity and service scope can receive special products, and preliminarily screen out the matching freight forwarding company.
Step 3: Analyse the Geographical coverage of freight forwarding services
Even have same or similar freight forwarding operation, the freight forwarding company may have different freight forwarding services geographic coverage. Not all freight forwarders ship anywhere in the world, some companies usually only deliver or pick up locally, their agency network in foreign freight forwarding and customs clearance is very limited, this is difficult to meet your needs.
Step 4: Review whether the freight forwarding company’s advantageous freight shipping routes match your needs, and how much does it match?
Many international freight forwarding companies have a broad freight forwarder market size and can ship to many countries, but most of them have their own advantageous shipping line. For example, some are mainly for European and American routes, some are mainly for the South American market, some are specialized in the Middle East.
If the freight forwarder’s advantageous shipping lines do not match your needs, they are not familiar with customs procedures and port operation procedures, don’t know the requirements of the destination port, their freight forwarding services professionalism will be greatly reduced, It may even cause the consignee to face fines or can’t clear customs after the goods arrive at the destination port.
It should be noted that most of the freight forwarding company presentation show they provide various transportation services, and have many advantageous shipping lines, say they are top freight forwarding company. In this case, you can request freight forwarder quotes and distinguish it by the quotation speed and professionalism of each company. Normally, the quotation of the main lines should be very fast and the price will include the cost details.
Step 5: Check the Scope of freight forwarding services.
In general, freight forwarder provides transport to pick up shipment from consignor, canvassing, booking, consignment, warehousing, packaging, supervision of loading, unloading, container loading and unloading, customs declaration and inspection, and shipping etc. one-stop services, as well as overseas double-clearance door-to-door service and tax refund service etc. However, not every freight forwarder can provide all of these services,
you can choose freight forwarding company according to the freight forwarding services items you need.
Step 6: Analyze Freight forwarding quotes carefully.
Most freight forwarding company will claim to provide you great service, but they know that winning new customers often requires a good price. So, as a buyer, you need to know that decisions based solely on price can be deceptive.
Each freight forwarding company has its own freight forwarding pricing strategy, for example, some companies discount the first shipment to win customers, but they will make up in following orders. Some companies hide fees in the terms to make their offer looks more attractive than other honest competitors quote. There are also some freight forwarder who reduce price by reduce their service content, but many things can easily go wrong in international cargo freight, if your freight forwarding company cannot provide you with comprehensive professional services, the cheap price may bite you in turn.
Be aware that a reliable freight forwarding service provider should not have hidden fees or unfair terms that will get themselves out of trouble.
Step 7: Pay attention to the reviews of the freight forwarding company
You can quickly and efficiently search the freight forwarder listing through the Internet, compare them step by step, continuously narrow the selection of freight forwarders. Then you can refer to the users online freight shipping reviews to see the freight forwarding services and reputation。
Step 8: Try to choose the freight forwarding company at the port of departure.
Before the goods are transported internationally, they also need to be transported from the factory to the port warehouse, as well as customs declaration and inspection procedures. The freight forwarding company at the port of departure are more familiar with local operations and policies, and can provide better services.
If there is no port where your goods are located, you can make an agreement with your supplier to deliver the goods to the warehouse designated by the port forwarder.
Moreover, a good partnership requires both parties to clearly understand each other’s needs and maintain good communication.
Hope the analysis in this article can help you find your best freight forwarding company.