Top 7 List: The Best International Freight Forwarders. Revisited.
Updated: May 8
Question: What makes a company stand out, branded as the best International Freight Forwarder, and selected from the masses?
Answer: Numerous variants including accessibility, network, multi-functionality, regulatory factors, visibility, and digital assets - all of which differentiate across industries.
While some may argue the validity of selectively grouping and ranking achievements on specifics, there are however, valuable points to be made regarding the comparison of the following seven points with overall international freight forwarding success. These can be classified as a general synopsis of the tools necessary to succeed as a freight forwarder on a global level.
1. Access to manage multi-functional areas of the industry
“Access” could potentially be directed solely toward networking and company networks as a whole. This is a vital part. One we will touch on next, however, in this instance, access pertains to the ability to manage complexities that are not always foreseen in the transportation of cargo.
An “if this, then this” protocol integrated within the operational procedures of a particular freight forwarding company. The world of logistics offers variants on a shipment to shipment basis – no two are exactly alike. While it is imperative that your freight forward have a systematic approach to transportation management, they must also possess the ability to manage nuances and mitigate any unforeseen risks as issues arise.
In order to be ranked as one of the best international freight forwarders, checking the extent of a logistics provider’s network is essential. Without proper connections and networking ability, your freight stalls.
A well-connected forwarding agency has the ability to reach even the most remote corners of the world while simultaneously acquiring the ability to solve problems no matter where the shipment originates. Having an agent in or around every country allows for an optimized and efficient workflow on a transactional basis.
Insurance simply helps people sleep at night. Knowing that you are covered if something goes wrong with your shipment puts one at ease. Knowing that the freight forwarder has insurance also denotes trustworthiness and confirms proper business precautions.
Partnering with a freight forwarder who can essentially be a broker for your company and all insurance complexities will allow your business to outsource an entire sector with no initial investment in overhead or infrastructure build-out.
4. Multi-functional Groups
Having groups within a company composed of cross-functional team members with the ability to work as one problem solver is critical. Multifunctional groups work together to engineer the logistical movement of freight, both efficiently and effectively.
Putting a solution driven team of experts on a shipment could be included in as another sector of “insurance”. CLN’s knowledgeable team of logistics professionals have become the “Olivia Pope’s” of logistics – the problem solvers of the freight forwarding industry.
5. Regulatory and Compliance
Per www.clnusa.com/compliance: “Organizations that participate in international trade fall under the oversight of countless governmental entities. Each of these have in-depth requirements for companies that are either importing or exporting products and material.”
The fact of this matter revolves around the urgency and type of shipments trickling down your current supply chain. Are you shipping food? Does your shipment require dry ice? Temperate controlled? FDA Approval? Pharmaceuticals?
The reality of commerce or product shipments of any kind is the level of regulation involved in proper and updated compliance. Find a forwarder who is well versed in regulatory actions.
6. Supply Chain Management
The ability to control complex global supply chains for multiple companies on all levels in an organized and functioning manner yields exceptional regards to professionalism in the international freight forwarding industry.
This ‘juggling act’ takes dedication, consistent training, and passion. Coordinating a company’s supply chain can make or break their budget. Trusting that your logistics partner is efficiently moving your product is imperative.
Co-managing your supply chain is another level of oversight and management that you may be interested in. Not only could this model increase your predictive profit margin, but will also eliminate overhead.
Where your business evolution meets strategic solutions.
7. Information Systems
Information systems, by definition, suggest top priority. If your freight forwarder does not have an organized process in place to collect, store, and communicate pertinent information, then unwarranted situations and circumstances can happen. Stalled shipments, lost shipments, fees, and non-compliance infractions can occur.
As we move forward, automation and robotics will have a place within the supply chain and entire freight forwarding process. Adaptive integrations that properly utilize customer transparency will inevitably be the service companies that rise to the top.
This top 7 list is a broad outline of what makes the best international freight forwarders. There are an abundance of technicalities and variants that also go in to successfully forwarding freight and cargo on a global scale. Make sure your logistics partner in charge of driving your supply chain is fully equipped for the job. If you have any questions or concerns involving the proficiency and movement of your shipments, you can contact us HERE.
CLN Worldwide is a passionate group of professionals with expertise in areas ranging from transportation, Customs and compliance, to distribution, legal and financial. We understand that logistics can be a labyrinth. One question will always lead to three others. Our team will help you through the maze.
Our Single Source Global Management System provides the structure, support, and visibility to drive industry leading performance and results from each or our service offerings.
We look forward to working with you on your next global project!