Have you ever pondered on the reliability of a freight forwarder before hiring one? Or did you merely rely on the cheaper cost when deciding to work with a particular company? If you lacked these initiatives before, then you have probably failed to take the opportunity for a more cost-effective shipping transaction – it is always possible by shipping with a reliable import or export broker. This is not a mere proposition as the company shippers sending larger amount of items could attest to the advantage of freight forwarding in terms of simplified and efficient process and competitive cost given only that the broker has expertise in the industry and has wide resources as well. For this compelling reason, it is thus vital to ask yourself these critical questions before or when hiring a freight forwarder:
Can the Freight Forwarder Handle Global Business?
If you are involved in a huge enterprise and do ship large items in regular basis, it is imperative to choose a California freight forwarder who can properly handle your goods or the processes relative thereto. Along with that, it is also important to ascertain the quantity of the service contracts they have given that shipping with the first sailing vessel is often beneficial. Particularly, the advantage can be realized in peak seasons when the space becomes a primary issue; in such a case, the freight forwarder has more than a single carrier option to get the cargo on board with ease.
Is the Forwarder Specialized in Certain Commodities?
Freight forwarders have distinct specializations when it comes to area and the type of items to be sent, which is why knowing where a particular profession is best into is crucial. It is so because the knowledge on customs and changes in the industry is quite necessary to settle certain issues or ensure that the shipping processes will be gone through efficiently. Nonetheless, this can be a simple job if you take time searching for best options in the web or through the referrals of your friends or associates in business.
Does the Shipping Agent have Good Networks in the Industry?
To ensure smooth information flow and avoid delay as much as possible, the sea freight forwarder should also have good networks of agents at the port of origins and destinations. In particular, this would help the shipper keeps track of where the items are and help to get them at the date expected. Yet, with various connections in the industry, the shipping process would likely be easier to go through as compared when one has to work alone.
How is the Financial Status of the Freight Forwarding Company?
Although you are the paying party in this venture, it is still necessary to check the financial strength of the freight forwarding company so as to know whether they can shoulder the possible payment for damages. Another instance in which financial capability would come into play is when the cargo has not been released because the forwarder could not pay the ocean carrier, though the payment has already been given at the outset. This might lead to the delay of cargo release or cause additional charges including detention and demurrage.
Aside from these, it would also be beneficial if you can ask about the communication level, documentation process, references, and cargo insurance of the ocean freight forwarder so as to ensure that you will be working with the most reliable one.