Freight forwarders provide shipping solutions to individuals, commercial companies, businessmen exporters and importers who need to send containers, crates, and packages from one nation to another. While the transport of goods for individual customers is often handled by courier and postal services, freight forwarders usually manage the movement of goods by the bulk. This is also known as freight or cargo.
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The main role of all freight services companies is, of course, to help importers and exporters transport their goods. But with varying requirements in each country and with many different transport options and routes to choose from, it is vital that you choose the right freight company to suit the specific needs of your business.
All business enterprises are subject to a vast range of legal rules and policies, such as health and safety, employment law, accounting standards, and public liability. Also, there are legal issues that particularly affect forwarders as well as their customers.
The role of international freight forwarders is to make some arrangements that allow for the movement of goods from the seller to the purchaser. This process usually involves a journey of a couple thousand miles using one or more mode of transportation.
Before one needs their services, there should be a sale-and-contact agreement between a seller and a purchaser for the supply of a certain merchandise. A lot of the aspects of this contract directly affect the detail and nature of the contract eventually agreed between the client (which could be the buyer or seller of goods) and the forwarder. They act on behalf of exporters and importers in the delivery of their clients’ goods to their destination in great condition and in a timely manner.
This involves booking cargo with airlines, ocean lines, road or rail carriers. Some shipping agents have their own road transport and actually move merchandise themselves. Other duties of forwarders include arranging insurance, preparing and checking bills for shipping, arranging warehousing, and making sure the lowest possible custom fees are precise.
Finding a new international freight forwarder to handle your shipping needs can seem like a stressful job. They will be a partner for your business and choosing one that is right for your company is important to keep your flow of goods moving through the supply chain. You can start with a search online, but be sure to have regular direct contact with them before signing any contracts.
So what do you look for in a good freight forwarder for your business? There are several different types of freight forwarders including both large and small companies and some will tend to specialize in certain commodities though they may not divulge that information. Ask as many questions as you can since you will want them to have some knowledge of your commodity. If you have regular weekly shipments, you will want your forwarder to have service contracts with various carriers. They may have better freight rates as a result as well. This may not be important if you have a smaller company and are shipping less frequently.
Another key issue in handling your international logistics will be their level of customer service. Is the sales manager already late to meetings or is the rep ignoring your calls before you even signed on with them? This is a red flag that you may not get the service you need when moving your shipments. While you may love their website and their international shipping rates, if they are not available now they may not be available when you have a problem. Ask for references. If they are a stable company that is looking for long term clients, they will be able to provide you with references that include satisfied customers.
The best freight forwarders can provide instant shipping quotes online. This new technology provided by freight forwarders allows shippers to book and schedule their shipments efficiently and effectively. When you are looking for instant shipping quotes, make sure that the freight forwarder offers all-inclusive rates, which includes all of the shipping services for just one low price.
The first thing you should always check is whether the company is fully licensed. Just because the company has the transportation does not always mean that they are legitimate so check their license. Never feel like you cannot ask them to see the appropriate documentation.
Of course in these times of financial instability and uncertainty it is vital that you check to see if the international removals company is financially stable. Of course there may be no way of fully finding this out but checking to see how long the company has been in existence is a good indicator of a financially stable business. Also if you need more information on this you can get help from trade references and commercial banks. They should also have established partnerships with leading carriers so that you can receive expeditious service online.
Finding a good freight forwarder for your company can take a little work, but the right partner can greatly benefit your company. Take your time and do not be afraid to be picky. It will be worth it in the end.