Picking a freight forwarder isn’t always easy. You’re left with figuring out which has the better price, which will provide the most bang for your buck, and which will get the job done right. Everyone wants a good deal, that’s just how business works, but sometimes your left with “is this too good to be true”?
When picking a freight forwarder to ship your goods there are several factors to look into, such as a list of fees (from pickup to delivery) what services will your forwarder provide and importantly, cost. Depending on your price range you typically have several options for shipping, whether you ship domestic or International here are some key factors to research while picking a freight forwarder.
Avoid any extra fees. When requesting a quote, be as detailed as possible. If you are unsure of any details such as “will you need a lift gate?” ask for your price options. Have your freight forwarder go over any additional fees that could apply upon delivering. Will your shipment require customs clearance? Does your freight forwarder provide customs brokerage? If so, make sure to ask your freight forwarder for any fees the clearance port requires in addition to any duties or clearance charges.
Deadlines are important, be sure to mention any deadline or date you need your shipment delivered by. Although an expedited shipment could be costly, it ensures your shipment to arrive within your desired time frame. Look into your freight forwarder’s history with any specialized shipping, such as trade-show and expedited freight.
Specialized shipments, are you shipping cargo that is overweight, over-sized, or special handling? Make sure your freight forwarder has previous experience with shipping your type of cargo. Liquids are commonly imported using a flexi-tank; this type of container will require special instructions from pick up, delivery and disposal. If not booked correctly, you could be stuck with costly fees and or fines.
Look into your forwarders office locations; do they have offices in different time zones? Although it isn’t the first idea that comes to mind, having an office within your time zone makes your communication much easier. Multiple locations also give you the advantage of not missing out on any updates or changes on your shipment due to the time difference.
The research process could be tedious but is well worth the time. Getting the most out of your freight forwarder goes a long way.