If you are an established importer / exporter, you know that it is now a difficult decision to choose a reliable logistics or shipping company because you must ensure that your valuable possessions are transported by the right and competent hands. For those of you who only start the shipping process, do not worry, as complicated as everything sounds, once you have chosen a safe and decent logistics company, the hardest part is over and you will get peace of mind. So my job is to help you choose the perfect freight forwarding company that will deliver excellent according to your needs!
To start the process, I recommend that you get in touch with at least 5 freight suppliers. Keep in mind that each industry will have different freight forwarders expectations. For some companies, they simply need their cargo from point A to point B but for other storage and abnormal loads, etc. may be involved. So what I can suggest you do is write down a list of your transport needs before contacting freight forwarders, as this should give them a clear indication of what you expect, which makes the process of requiring information from them softer. You can then use the information they give you to limit the selection and make your final decision.
Use the following points as guidelines for what information to look for when choosing a reliable freight forwarding company:
How big is the shipping company? Larger companies can give you the perception that they are well established and have secured their business. However, smaller companies often have more time to pay attention to detail and offer good customer care. Perhaps the best option is to find an in-between company?
Will the freight forwarder be able to handle the product / you want to send? Some logistics companies specialize in only some areas such as vehicle transport or transport of dangerous cargoes. You must ensure that the company you choose is to transport your goods safely from point A to B using the most secure and cost-effective strategies.
Are freight forwarders connected well with agents at your chosen origin / destination? Like all business, keeping in touch is good. A structured network of global agents helps to ensure that the shipping process is well communicated. This guarantees a smooth and fast delivery.
Is the freight forwarding company economically safe? Keep in mind that just because the company can work well and well established does not necessarily mean that they have secured a stable cash flow. You really do not want to make a payment to your agent to find out that your shipping has not been released because they have not paid the shipping company!
How does their customer care process work? Do you need to dial a phone number for switch and constantly redirect to the right department or do you have a direct dialing number that guarantees that you will always talk to the same person? You must ensure that communication is good and easy. This is very important because you will have many questions and questions to your agent along the way.
Will the freight forwarding be able to handle all documentation in the right and current way? When shipping goods, there will always be plenty of documentation that needs to be filled in very accurately and your chosen company will offer an excellent turnaround time in this department.
Ask for references! This point should not be missed. A good reference goes a long way and a bad reference can save you from maintaining the same future problems. All companies should be able to offer you a reliable list of reference contact numbers.
Is the company well insured? What happens if the company loses your shipment and they can not pay you back? Make sure they are well insured. Also ask them about the details of their insurance plan if you have to!
Do they expect competitive prices? This last point is often the most important because this is where you have to dig in your pockets. Give the company an acceptable price for the service you need? Acceptably, I think the course may be too high, but it may also be too low, which gives room for concern. Request a quote and compare them until you can choose one that offers a price you think is acceptable and fair.