How to Choose a Freight Forwarding Company

Freight forwarders act as an intermediary between shippers and various transportation services. As a logistics company, they are there to help you address the multi-faceted task of transportation. There are a lot of advantages of using freight forwarding services, all of which frees up your time for more beneficial tasks. While there are many freight forwarding companies in Singapore that you could choose from to help with your business, choosing the right one can be hard.

However, choosing the right freight forwarder can be an important decision for your business; goods that don’t reach their destinations can create a lot of problems, so here is a list of things to keep in mind when choosing the freight forwarding company for you.

1. Cost

The first thing that you should consider when choosing a freight forwarding company, whether it’s an international or local freight, is the cost of their services. Of course, you should check your budget to know how much you would need to delegate to shipping. If your company is small and new, you could always benefit from hiring a freight forwarding service.

However, if you are only shipping a few items, or if you do not have the funds to hire a freight forwarder, you may need to grow your business a little more. But be sure to hire a freight forwarder as soon as you can.

When considering cost, you should also consider the value-added services that some freight forwarding companies can provide you. For example, some freight forwarders can provide on-demand reports, while others can provide cargo tracking services.

These value-added services can be very beneficial to your customers and to your business. Of course, you should also be careful with services proposing deals that are just too good to be true. If their prices are significantly lower than others, it may mean that they are offering inferior and unreliable services.

2. Size

One of the things that you need to consider when choosing a freight forwarder is their size. Larger forwarding companies such as Singapore is much more beneficial as they have different carrier contracts. Should a problem arise, they can change the shipping company responsible for the transportation of your items, to make sure that they arrive on time.

3. Experience

The next thing you need to consider when hiring a freight forwarder is their experience. Since different items need to be handled in different ways, it’s a good idea to check if this freight forwarder had worked with businesses in the same industry as yours. In this regard, you could ask colleagues from your industry for references. You should also check to see how long they have been established, and if they have the necessary licenses and certifications, whether in Singapore or overseas.

4. Expertise

Another thing you will need to consider is their expertise. Again, how knowledgeable are they about businesses like yours? Do they have previous experience with businesses in your industry? How proficient are they with the service models and modes that they offer?

If you need to ship your products via sea freight, you wouldn’t want to use a company whose expertise is air freight. If you are shipping international freight, you should also make sure that they are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the countries that you will ship to.

5. Their networks

Networks are important when working with logistics services. You would also need to know if your chosen freight forwarder has networks in the countries that you are shipping your goods to. While it would be expected that a forwarder has a strong network around the globe, it is helpful to know that they have solid connections in the countries of origin and destination.

This is especially true for business owners who ship international freight, or via sea freight or air freight; you would need to make sure that your forwarder has connections and experience shipping to or from the destinations of your choice.

6. Crisis management

Transportation is a business with a lot of moving parts, which means that there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. The ability of your freight forwarder to quickly react and solve problems will be invaluable for your business.

Your forwarder should be able to provide various solutions and be able to respond in an urgent and timely manner. A good forwarder must also be able to quickly notify you of problems the moment they arrive and pre-empt problems by creating preventive measures or securing alternative arrangements.

7. Communications

While not at the top of the list for most business owners, good customer service can save you time, effort, and money. Your forwarder should keep you in contact with them and with the shipping company handling your items. Forwarders should be accessible through different avenues, from e-mail to phone calls, and they should also respond promptly especially if you are asking time-sensitive questions about your shipments.

Good communication is especially important for those who are new to the shipping industry. Even if your forwarding company will handle the details, it is still necessary for you as the business owner to know how their service works, and how your goods go from one place to another.

There is a lot of information that you need to be aware of, all of which you will need to interpret for your business and for your customers. Getting this information means that you’ll need to ask a lot of questions to your forwarder. You will need a forwarder and logistics company that is willing to guide you through the ins and outs of your shipment, making sure that they are transparent with all the information that is available to them.