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You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a freight forwarder. Partnering with the right one helps you grow your company, reduce costs, and improve customer experience, while a poor choice almost always puts you at a competitive disadvantage.
Five Critical Considerations When Choosing a Freight Forwarder
Here are a few of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you choose your freight forwarder wisely:
1. Services Offered
International shipping comes with many unique requirements, depending on the industries you serve. Be sure that your freight forwarder offers the services you need so that you’re not creating more work for yourself.
Some options might include:
- Customs clearance and brokerage
- Export documentation
- Tracking visibility for all shipping methods
- Shipment consolidation
- Inventory management and warehousing
- Packing and crating
- Competitive bidding on freight charges
- Comprehensive insurance to cover claims
2. Customer Service
Customer service is a primary concern for any third-party vendor you deal with. You need to be able to access information on-demand, whether you’re monitoring the condition of your cargo, tracking its location, or staying on top of customer issues. Be sure the freight forwarder you choose offers various ways to access customer service and support to ensure your peace of mind. Clear communication and responsiveness are critical.
15 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK A LOGISTICS PROVIDER BEFORE WORKING WITH THEM
A reliable third-party logistics provider is a critical component of long-term success. Before you make a final decision as to what vendor is right for you, here are 15 important questions you should ask before making a final decision:
Your freight forwarder’s experience will ensure access to information that’s relevant to your operations. For example, an experienced freight forwarder will know how to deal with issues like dock delays, port shutdowns, cargo rerouting, warehousing, customs, and any related mitigating factors. If you want to ensure your international shipments arrive at their destination without undue delays, this kind of industry experience is a must. When you’re researching your options, make a checklist in advance to be sure they satisfy your needs. It also doesn’t hurt to look at past performance, so look to reviews and customer testimonials to identify potential red flags.
4. Global Network
To ensure compliance and quality, your freight forwarder must have a reliable network of global agents. This is especially important if you are trying to establish new markets, as consistency is essential to gaining a strong foothold. Your ideal partner will oversee how your shipments are handled from port to port. Since there are many logistics issues to consider (and just as many ways it can go wrong) a strong global network can mean the difference between success and failure.
5. The Right Certifications
Is your new freight forwarder qualified to handle the type of goods you ship? Some cargo requires highly specialized training and security compliance. Be sure their certifications are current and that they reflect the features you need. It is also a good idea to ask for references from customers and vendors they deal with. A solid industry endorsement (or two) will tell you a lot about who they are and how they conduct themselves.
DTS World Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder with all the right stuff to support your company’s growth. To learn more, reach out today. We’re happy to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.