Things to note before hiring a Freight Forwarder

Posted by Kingdavid Ozobodo on

After placing orders from a reliable foreign supplier and working out a workable payment plan, your goods won't fly from the point of origin to your choice destination. They need to be transported either by air, land or sea and shippers are generally unable to handle the logistics behind shipping cargo and require freight forwarders to provide logistic services.

Forwarding is a major arm of international trade and you have to outsource this task to a good hand, as hiring a bad freight forwarder would affect your business negatively. Your goods might be delivered late, in bad condition or not even at all if the wrong hands manage this delicate task.

Let's firstly look at the traits that make good freight forwarders before we look at online sources and platforms from which you can identify the perfect freight forwarder for your business.

Traits good freight forwarders possess

Reputation: a good name is built over time and it is an indicator of efficient performance. A credible forwarder would have a reputation backed by a known track record. You can ask the forwarders you're considering to hire to provide proof of evidence on previous jobs and testimonials.

Experience: A good freight forwarder must have extensive understanding on laws that govern trade in both country of origin and destination and must be able to navigate them. The forwarder must also have good knowledge on the type of product you deal in an should be familiar with transporting it because all goods are not transported the same way. A freight forwarder that would be good for you should understand the logistics for your type of product.

A Strong Network/Connections: Your forwarder's contacts and connections in both country of origin and destination matter in making the shipping process smooth and hitch free. A freight forwarder with ground contacts can navigate local authorities and paperwork. You can ask your intended forwarder who they work with and make sure these contacts are physically on ground.

Ability to provide a range of services such as
Tracking inland transportation
Preparation of import and export documentation
Packing and storage
Inventory management
Booking cargo space
Customs clearance
Negotiating freight charges
Freight consolidation
Cargo insurance

Note that a freight forwarder is not you and is not responsible for ensuring your product complies to standards. You have to make sure you do your homework and live up to your responsibility to ensure your product's compliance to standards and documents are up to date. 

On a final note, research is of great essence when choosing a freight forwarder. You have to be diligent on this and make sure you patiently check from reliable sources and ask the right questions to get clarifications before making a deal.

You can identify reliable freight forwarding firms on the WCA platform. You can also check out FreightDeadbeats to report debt issues or check a forwarder's performance rating.

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