Even before the rise of online shopping and marketplace platforms like Amazon and EBay, freight forwarders have been around and were already significant parts of business and trade. For decades, businesses and homeowners relied on freight forwarders to ship and deliver goods safely, efficiently, and fast. As online shopping rises in popularity and with more and more people venturing into online businesses while sourcing their products from other countries, reliable freight forwarders are becoming in high demand. The transport and logistics industry in Australia gained an estimated revenue of $95.4 billion, adding $39.26 billion in the country’s economy, according to the Australia Industry Standards.
For business owners, choosing the best freight forwarder is crucial for success. With the overwhelming number of international freight forwarders offering their services and the skyrocketing number of new players in the industry, choosing the best one can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are common traits that the best freight forwarders share and these should be the standards when making a choice.
Common Qualities among the Best Freight Forwarders
Logistics Management Magazine provided a list of the 25 top international freight forwarders of 2017 with focus on gross turnover revenue and freight forwarding volumes. These firms have proven their reputation in the industry and continues to improve industry service over the years by setting the highest of standards. Looking closely at the prestigious list, one can say that these tops firms have some things in common—contributing to their notable success and growing client pool. Here are some of them:
1. Impressive Track Record and Credentials
Names of firms on the list provided by Logistics Management are greatly familiar. This is due to the fact that these freight forwarders have already been in the industry long enough and were able to build a name that many trust. Experience and a good reputation speak about the capabilities of the firm to deliver as agreed and help you with some concerns regarding your goods. They are able to assist in securing permits, providing necessary documents, and other requirements. Seasoned freight forwarders were also able to expand facilities, build an expansive service faculty, and utilise modern methods for better and more efficient freight forwarding services.
2. Comprehensive Freight Forwarding Services to Match Customer’s Needs
Freight forwarding needs vary in shipping and handling requirements depending on the products. As well, different customers owning different businesses require varying specifications on their shipping details. Reputable freight forwarders often offer full-service freight services with specializations in handling certain commodities and shipping methods. They also display a deep understanding of the industries their clients belong to and offer the right services for them. With a wide-range and expansive facility, they are able to deliver as agreed.
3. Good Fee and Pricing Structure
The thing that business owners want to deal with the least is having to decipher overly complicated fee and pricing structures that some freight forwarders have. Often, this causes misunderstanding and even falling off of the B2B relationship. The best freight forwarders ensure that all fees, additional fees, and surcharges involved in the preparation, handling, shipping, and delivery are clear and easy to understand for clients. This includes insurance prices, flat rates, volume discounts, seasonal rate fluctuation, incidental charges, and documents preparation.
Similarly, this also means not including unnecessary fees and additional charges that the client may not be aware of.
4. Reliable Communication and Management System
Knowing the details of your goods’ shipping and being able to track it is becoming an important feature that the best freight forwarders offer. Additionally, good customer service, reliable query response times, impressive dispute handling when necessary and other processes involving communication and management is significant in cultivating a healthy relationship between a freight forwarder and its customers. Firms providing these to its client pool certainly know how to do business effectively.
Understanding Your Role In Freight Forwarding
There are many cases where problems occur not because a freight forwarder did not deliver the service as promised but because the client was not able to do its part in the process. Part of a good freight forwarding transaction is the client’s understanding of his or her responsibility in the process. Ultimately, this is seen in the provision of accurate information about the goods, as we all in being truthful in providing details in the preparation of documents.
Finally, it is also the responsibility of the client to choose the right freight forwarder for his or her needs. This means taking the time and effort to go through the potential contractors before making a decision. This shows taking responsibility and maintaining control of your exports. Having a clear business agreement with the forwarder is a crucial responsibility that the client is primarily accounted for.