Freight Forwarding Services

Freight forwarders allow you to reach a wider audience and tap into niche markets through global shipping. They minimise the stress by managing the entire process so you can focus on other aspects of your business. But how do you know whether you can trust them?

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to partner up with and want to know how to find a reliable company, this article is for you.

We’ll discuss the five main areas to consider when choosing a freight forwarding company UK-based.

Freight Forwarding Services

Before we dive in, here’s a summary of the basic services a reputable freight forwarder normally provides:

  • Organises storage or warehousing.
  • Prepares products for freight by air, sea, road, or rail.
  • Obtains cargo insurance and negotiates contracts.
  • Handles insurance requirements, customs, and other regulations.
  • Arranges transpiration and ensures the carrier has all the information and documents required.
  • Negotiates handling fees, schedules, and routes for the right balance between cost, speed, and reliability.
  • Track’s shipments.
  • Ensures cost-effective and secure solutions for smaller shipments.
  • Keeps on top of legislation and other factors.

How to Choose a Freight Forwarding Company?

There are several factors to consider before signing an international shipping contract:

1.      How Knowledgeable Are They? Does Their Expertise Suit Your Requirements?

Every business is unique and although many freight forwarders offer comprehensive packages, they can’t be all things to every business. Consider a freight forwarder that can offer customised services to suit your requirements.

Find out how many years they have been operating, and if possible, information about the owner’s background. Many businesses have testimonials from past clients on their websites. Read a few of them to get an idea of what they’re like to work with.

Confirm they have experience in your specific freight. As particular goods require precise legal paperwork to pass through customs, and other countries implement restrictions that can be difficult to understand. The freight forwarding company UK-based you choose should be able to confidently advise you on all these matters.

2.      Services and Pricing Transparency

Rates that are too good to be true often are. The lowest rate is not always the best, and may not be a match for your needs. You might save on upfront costs, but these could cost you in delay charges and poor customer service. Some freight companies may cut corners by using longer routes, for example. Before opting for a forwarder that does so, ensure the extra delivery time will work for your business.

A company that is confident in its offerings will have reasonable pricing to match. For the best supply network service, choose a forwarder that offers a good service at a competitive rate.

To confirm you’ll get the deal appropriate for your business, consider the company that has transparency and is clear on what you’re paying for. You’ll need them to explain how your shipments will be handled, the routes, and pricing structure.

3.      Accreditations, Certifications and Trade Bodies

You’ll be entrusting the task of delivering thousands of pounds’ worth of goods to your customers on time to a chain of strangers. No matter how many testimonials you read and what the company claims, it’s better to perform thorough due diligence.

Consider a freight forwarding company UK-based that is a member of trade bodies. See whether they are members of associations like BIFA (British International Freight Association) or FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations). Affiliation with such associations is a strong indicator that they’ll operate in an ethical, legal, and compliant manner.

4.      Customer Service Levels

A freight forwarder may offer a great service, but it will take them time to develop a relationship with you and accurately understand your business needs.

Look for a forwarding company that will assign you a dedicated freight specialist to oversee your entire project and ensure it runs smoothly. Having one point of contact will be so much easier for you. You can go to them for queries and updates. In turn, they’ll provide you with complete visibility throughout the supply chain.

When selecting a trustworthy freight forwarder, you’ll need assurances regarding anything you’re unsure about. Accordingly, their answers should be jargon-free and honest. In the dynamic and fast-moving industry of importing and exporting goods, getting your questions answered promptly is essential. Be sure not to choose a partner that’s likely to leave you waiting for a response.

5.      What Technology Is Available to You?

For real-time visibility of your supply network, partner up with a freight forwarder who can offer a real-time tracking system. Access to online tracking is usually standard and also expected by the end customer.

They’re great for providing a multitude of information 24/7 via a few clicks. You can find the details of all your bookings, including key milestones, shipment arrival dates, deliveries to warehouse dates, and proof of delivery to your customers.

Trusting Your Products Get From Dock-to-Door

The idea of entrusting a company to deliver your goods to your customers on time may make you uneasy at first. Your goods are valuable and you know the process involves multiple entities handling your products – especially throughout international freight.

Fortunately, you can decide whether a freight forwarding company UK-based is reputable by asking the right questions. Are they an established company? What associations and trade bodies do they belong to? What do past clients say about them? If the answers are encouraging, you’ll know you’ve found a professional freight forwarding company that you can trust.

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