5 questions to ask a freight forwarder before closing a business
Created on May 10, 2022
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When it comes to international or domestic freight, selecting the right forwarder is crucial for a successful business partnership. Fortunately, there are a few questions to ask a freight forwarder before closing a business that can help you through this process.
With a large number of freight forwarders on the market, it is common to feel overwhelmed during the process of selecting a potential freight partner. However, it is still your responsibility to ask the right questions in order to make the best decision for your business.
But don’t get discouraged now! You are the person who best knows your forwarder and with our help, you will easily be able to choose the ideal freight partner… So let’s do it!
The process starts with you
As mentioned previously, there is a high variety of forwarders available in the logistics and freight industry.
This means that there is a wide range of freight forwarders with different levels of experience and capabilities that you can choose as a new freight partner. Therefore, it is often difficult to figure out which one is qualified to meet the needs of your business.
The final choice should result from an appropriate freight forwarder evaluation process. However, this process starts with you.
Before you start looking for a freight forwarder, take a look at your company’s transportation needs. See what types of service you will need, what volumes you plan to ship, and list all those criteria you judge essential in a partner.
A deep understanding of the type of service you will need is crucial to finding the most reliable and efficient forwarding service. That is why the first step in selecting the best forwarding service for your company is to define what your requirements are.
This basic information is essential for your selection and for judging whether that forwarder will be able to do the job for you.
So once you have identified your forwarding company’s needs internally, it’s time to find a freight forwarder that meets them.
To help you with this, we have prepared this guide with a few questions to ask a freight forwarder before closing a business.
5 questions to help you choose a freight forwarder to do business with
Although each company has its own criteria when it comes to freight forwarder selection, there are certain questions to ask a freight forwarder before closing a business that should be considered by everyone.
Making the right choice the first time can simplify the way you do business and increase your results for years to come.
So, when looking at different forwarding companies, make sure you ask about some important details to learn more about the company and how it operates.
Here is a list of questions you should ask your freight forwarder:
- Are you licensed?
Making sure that your forwarder is licensed should be the first step in deciding whether you should work with them.
This is because, a licensed freight forwarder is required to follow the regulations set by the licensing agency, which can often mean rules and standards – that can help ensure that you have a channel for feedback and support.
You can find certified licenses, like FF, FMCSA, and NVOCC, among others.
- Do you provide cargo insurance?
Unless the company issues a certificate of insurance, your shipment is not insured by the carrier and will be under your responsibility.
So don’t make the mistake of assuming that the carrier automatically provides insurance that will cover the shipment. Ask your potential forwarder if they offer cargo insurance
- What is included in your rate?
There are many fees involved in a simple transaction that companies can present in their own way.
It is important that you know exactly what you are paying for. Always make sure you know what is included in the total amount you will pay, especially if fees are included.
- What are the costs I should expect to pay at the destination?
There are always some additional expenses when exporting a shipment, which can change depending on the carrier, the port, country of destination, etc.
Most of the time, freight forwarders have an idea of the estimated cost and can help you or the shipping company. Asking about costs will help you to be better prepared for these costs.
- What are the regulations and requirements for the destination?
It seems obvious to say that each country has a specificity of how you transport cargo and that your logistics team or any forwarder you are considering should be able to inform you about them.
Some countries will not accept your cargo unless the appropriate document has been issued by the relevant entity in the country of origin.
So before you arrange a shipment to any country, find out if there are any specific regulations or requirements you need to know about in order to export your goods.
Start asking the right questions
Research is key when choosing any product or service, including freight forwarders. Consider the questions you should ask your freight forwarder before closing a business listed above and take the time to “interview” several freight companies.
Take your time through this process, ask lots of questions, and review your options to ensure that you choose a reliable, qualified, and experienced forwarder.
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