6 Things You Need to Know About Your Freight Forwarder. Updated Version
Whether your business is emerging growth, middle market, or an established Fortune 500 company, one commonality remains – the procedural implementation of your supply chain must be efficiently governed by a thorough freight forwarder for progressive growth and overall development.
The following 7 headers exemplify the necessities and valuations that reputable freight forwarders bring to the table. Having a clear understanding of the procedural flow that a freight forwarding partner absorbs for your company, will then allow you to indicate areas of your business that promise positive returns and extensive growth to your bottom line.
Number 1: What is a Freight Forwarder, Exactly?
We broke down the basic components of all things ‘freight forwarding’ in a previous post entitled, “Freight Forwarding 101 – A Beginners Guide”. You can read it here now, if you haven’t already.
“A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.” [Freight Forwarder definition via Wikipedia.org]
Freight forwarding companies specialize in end-to-end logistics, essentially liaising between carriers and customers employed to negotiate rates and ongoing contractual agreements concerning the most efficient and effective route.
Number 2: Range of Services Provided by Your Freight Forwarder
Employing the services of a freight forwarder and their logistics expertise can certainly increase overall production efficiency, however, truly understanding the particular service offerings are critical to maximizing advantageous capabilities.
As a general rule, look for your freight forwarder to provide a full range of logistics services, including:
Imports on a global scale
Exports on a global scale
3PL Warehousing and Distribution
Small Package Service
International Control Center
Compliance and Regulatory Service
Pro Tip: Documentation services should also specify the particular documents provided by your freight forwarder. Those should include: The Commercial Invoice, Bill of Lading, Certificate of Origin, Inspection, Export Packing List, and Declaration Document.
The range of services offered by a freight forwarder highlights certain proficiencies while increasing transparency. Transparent logistics are critical to not only a continued partnership, but a sustainable supply chain.
Number 3: How Your Freight Forwarder Benefits Your Business
As previously written in our blog entitled, “Of All the Benefits an International Freight Forwarder Brings to Your Business – Which Ranks Highest?”, three main freight forwarding advantages were highlighted within this article as they relate to your overall supply chain. These benefits can be broken down as follows:
Growing your business: International Air Freight Forwarders provide quick and seamless access to international markets. The ability to reach the demands of your clients across the globe in an expedited manner opens immeasurable opportunities for expanding businesses.
Cost Effectiveness: An international freight forwarder can lower the overall cost of your shipments by offering consolidation when necessary, by comparing competitive rates using digitized rate management systems, and by managing multiple sectors within air freight logistics, simultaneously.
Continual Access to Knowledge: It is no secret that air freight logistics can be a complex business. Shipping, documentation, and Customs all bring their fair share of challenges. Working directly with a qualified international freight forwarder provides valuable knowledge and experience not available elsewhere. Freight forwarders can give industry insight and best practices on a global level.
Number 4: How Vast is Your Freight Forwarders Network Connections?
Seasoned, vetted, and established freight forwarders will have a wide-spread global network. This not only expands their physical reach but ensures that your shipments remain both economical and transparent from origin to destination.
International shipments are simply inaccessible without the assistance of an overseas network of partners and agents.
Having direct access to a global network allows your freight forwarder to mitigate risks, compare costs, and transport shipments more effectively. Knowing that you can ship to all corners of the world simply because your freight forwarder has adequate coverage through their networks can give your company the confidence it needs to conduct business without geographical limitations.
Number 5: Maintaining a Solid Partnership with Your Freight Forwarder is Crucial
The importance of maintaining a good relationship with your freight forwarder is grossly underestimated. Why is this so important? Freight forwarders are often tasked with legal feats involving governing agencies as they pertain to your cargo.
Maintaining a good working relationship with your freight forwarder allows for a subtle peace of mind when shipping freight of any kind. Trusting that your shipments are in good hands takes some of the pressure off the entirety of your supply chain.
Number 6: Shipping Delays are Not Your Freight Forwarders Fault
Delays can be attributed to bad weather, mechanical issues, port delays or closings, road congestion or construction. While these delays are out of your freight forwarders realm of control, it is important to note that they will be diligently working to rearrange any feasible transaction to negate any further delays and to push the movement of your shipment back on track.
You must remember that there are a number of moving parts all strategically working together to complete a shipment from origin to destination. If one minor delay takes place, the entire remaining legs of the transport could be compromised. It is then up to your freight forwarder to triage the situation and find alternative solutions.
Finding a freight forwarder who is solutions driven first, must be a prerogative, especially in the business of international trade. In a world where everything could go wrong, trusting that your forwarder will have you covered when it does, makes all the difference in the world.
As always, if you have any further questions regarding the efficiency of your supply chain and how a knowledgeable freight forwarder can help streamline the logistics process for you, then reach out to us right here to schedule a free consult.
CLN Worldwide offers a complete range of end-to-end logistics services. Our services are customized and tailored to meet the specific requirements of our clients.
Our Single Source Global Management System provides the structure and support to drive industry leading performance results from each of our service areas.