When it comes to choose the “people” who will finally take your goods to the final customers, there are several factors that needs to be taken into consideration. The forwarding services are as crucial as the quality of your goods itself given it can impact the experience your client is going to receive in a very dramatical way.
You can’t deny it. Logistics is at the forefront of your customer service.
That is why you need to be very careful when choosing who will play such an important role. We have prepared a list of “key elements to look for” when choosing a freight forwarding provider.
Experience and knowledge
This is not to disregard the hard work that new players put in but it is undeniable that choosing a forwarder with years of experience it’s going to be a safer bet. They will have encountered a variety of problem before and will know exactly how to deal with any issue quickly and without impacting costs too much.
Staff MUST be very knowledgeable and that should clearly come out from first interaction. This is especially true when it comes to regulations and legal requirements, in particular with foreign countries, but also with specific types of transportation or channels.
Good enough variety of services offered
Unless you are a huge multinational company and deliver goods in every single corner of the world, you probably are not going to need one of those unbelievably big forwarders companies that offers any type of service you can imagine.
Most of the time small to medium size forwarders will try and offer complementary services, where they are not specialised, in order to keep or earn the client. That can put your company in some uncomfortable situation that you really don’t need for your business.
Try instead to find forwarders who are specialised in fewer services but that they execute in an impeccable manner. Some of them will use partners to cover areas that they don’t directly, make sure you check the quality of those partners too and that they have same standards (especially for foreign activities – not all the forwarder will have own infrastructure in every country).
One of the most important aspect in the relationship with a forwarder is trust. You need to trust the people who will bring YOUR goods to the final customer. That is why it is important to look for reviews or feedbacks on other people’s previous experiences. You want someone who will handle your goods with the maximum care and that is honest and timely in the exchange of informations.
Competitive price doesn’t mean cheap. It’s out of doubt that moving goods around is not an inexpensive activity. Therefore we can’t expect to always receive extraordinary prices. The classic “you get what you pay for” is extremely true in the world of freight forwarding. Still, good quality service should be the starting base and not an optional you can pay for. Try to find the right balance based on your needs.
Licences and Certificates
Another aspect to check are the Licences and Certificates. You don’t want to do business with someone who is not allowed to. Certificates, if coming from respectable sources, will give that extra confirmation that you are dealing with a professional.
A very important factor when it comes to evaluate a forwarder. We all know how hectic the production and logistics worlds can be and sometimes it is really out of our hands when things get delayed or canceled. A good forwarder will be flexible and work out solutions with you to come through the unexpected. At the same time it doesn’t mean they should just do whatever and that you should rely on that. Unforseen should not become habits.