5 Tips on Choosing a Freight Forwarding Company

5 Tips on Choosing a Freight Forwarding Company

When your business depends on shipping goods domestically and globally, it’s imperative to understand how the process works.

Unless you’re an expert in shipping and the supply chain, it’s best to outsource this task to a freight forwarding company. UK-based business owners searching for forwarding services might find themselves unsure how to proceed.

Indeed, many forwarders offer their services to companies looking to expand their reach, but not all of them will be the right fit. When you do your research, keep in mind these five tips to help narrow down the selection.

The Right Kind of Experience Matters

It makes sense to hire an experienced freight forwarder. Still, merely spending years in the industry doesn’t mean they have an impressive portfolio.

Perhaps you need help with bulky and hazardous cargo shipping, but their main focus is domestic road freight. The key is to reach out to a freight forwarding company that has developed and tested strategies in the area your business requires. When you speak to a forwarding agent, they should be able to tell you exactly what to expect.

To ensure their experience matches your needs, ask them about their partner network and how many carriers they partner with. The forwarder might be reputable but still unable to manage your request.

A Comprehensive List of Services Is a Must

If you’re a complete novice to the concept of freight forwarding, you might not be aware of all the associated benefits.

A trustworthy and efficient freight forwarding company should offer their clients a wide variety of services. Ideally, they would be specialists in all forms of freight transport, including road, sea, and air.

The best forwarders apply tailored solutions for each client and often combine different modes of transport to achieve the best results.

Your forwarder should negotiate with the carrier to get the best price, prepare documentation for each shipment, organise warehousing, and provide accurate tracking.

Cargo Insurance Is Non-Negotiable

Don’t waste your time talking to a freight forwarder that doesn’t include cargo insurance as a part of the deal. It doesn’t matter how big or small your shipment is; skipping cargo insurance is a bad idea.

With some modes of transport, such as road, accidents are relatively frequent and cargo can get lost or damaged. There are other risks involved with freight transport, and a great forwarder will advise against skipping the insurance policy.

Cargo insurance coverage should also be customised and reflect the specifics of the cargo and type of freight transport.

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Transparent Pricing Structure Is a Good Sign

Before you partner with a freight forwarding company, you’re likely going to ask for a free quote. If it takes them days to respond, that’s already a red flag.

But even if they do give you a price and you book your shipment, the final price might be bigger than what you’ve negotiated.

This usually happens because forwarders are not transparent about the hidden charges and want to attract clients with low quotes. It’s far better to tell you in advance about fuel surcharges and different brokerages fees you wouldn’t know about otherwise.

The Quality of Customer Service Is Vital

Cargo shipping can be stressful and full of sleepless nights for any business owner. No one can predict port delays or motor accidents, yet these events happen. If your shipment is running late, your freight forwarder should be able to tell you about it immediately.

On top of that, a freight forwarder with excellent customer service is always open to questions from clients and are happy to offer advice. Keep in mind that a forwarder inattentive to their clients likely has the same attitude towards their cargo.

Choosing the Best Freight Forwarding Company UK

A few facts should be clear before choosing the right freight forwarding company for your business. First and foremost, complications in the shipping industry are not unusual. Rerouting and changing strategies is all part of the deal.

Also, freight forwarders are responsible for the safety of the cargo, but not for delays. Still, constant issues and lack of communication combined are a recipe for disaster. If that’s the case, switching to a different freight forwarding company might be the best solution.

Finally, don’t forget that cargo insurance is important and that the right forwarder for one company might not be what your business needs. Therefore, do your research and trust your instincts.