5 Questions to Ask Your Freight Forwarder
January 24, 2021
Your cargo is valuable and every professional freight forwarder knows that. The shipping industry is designed to make your life easier by ensuring your cargo leaves and arrives at your destination safely. With so may freight forwarders to pick from, how can you have peace of mind you’ve picked the right one to handle your cargo?
Asking the right questions will help you decide if the freight forwarder you pick will do the job you need done, efficiently. Here are five questions you should be asking your freight forwarder before handing over your cargo for shipping.
1 – Is Your Network Extensive?
You want to know your freight forwarder is able to meet your shipping demands, no matter where in the world you want your cargo delivered. The more extensive a freight forwarder’s international network, the better. This means you can stay with one freight forwarder to handle all your shipping needs.
The more countries your chosen freight forwarder can operate in, the more likely they can handle your door-to-door requirements. If they’re not present in a particular country, ask them if they can still assist with presenting a solution.
2 – Do You Handle All Customs Requirements?
Customs clearance and logistics can be a nightmare, if not handled properly. While some freight forwarders only handle transportation from one destination to another, other companies handle customs clearances for you.
Ask the freight forwarder if they offer customs brokerage services. A freight forwarder who understands government regulations and is able to clear points of entry seamlessly, means your cargo will arrive according to schedule. Plus, you won’t have the headache of extra costs caused by unnecessary delays at border points.
3 – Can I Track My Cargo?
Every shipper wants to be able to track their cargo at any time during transportation. Are you able to watch your cargo as it moves to its destination? Can you rely on up-to-date notifications at any time of the day or night? These are questions you need to ask your freight forwarder.
Tracking your cargo and knowing at any time where it is, gives you peace of mind your cargo delivery is well on track. You’re also able to inform your clients should they question where their cargo is, enabling you to be professional at all times.
4 – Do You Handle All My Insurance Needs?
While shipping cargo should be straightforward if being handled by professional freight forwarders, you should always plan for the inevitable mishaps. Make sure your chosen freight forwarder is able to cover and handle all your insurance requirements during shipping.
Your freight forwarder should be able to provide insurance services should there be a shipping accident. Furthermore, they should be able to deal directly with the insurance company, saving you the headache of haggling with them.
5 – What Freight Services Do You Offer?
If you’re looking for a freight forwarding company that offers a range of transportation services, this is a question you should ask. Some companies will only make use of ocean transportation while others have trucking and air freight services.
Having more options available gives you more flexibility when transporting your cargo especially if you need faster service.
Asking the right questions upfront makes it easier for you to decide if the freight forwarder you pick is the best one for your cargo transportation needs. Make sure you ask these five questions before signing up a contract. You’ll also get the other answers you need once you get the ball rolling with these questions.
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