There are a little over 100,000 freight forwarders in business as of 2021. This is great news for you if you’re looking for a solution to your shipping needs. However, that also means you have a lot of options to consider.
One of the best ways to choose is by vetting your freight carriers. To do so, you’ll need to get in contact with the company you’re considering and ask them questions that are relevant to your situation. To get you started, read on to find six questions to ask freight forwarding companies!
1. Are You Licensed and Bonded?
Ensuring that you are working with a company that offers licensed forwarding services is extremely important. One of your first questions should be “are you licensed and bonded?”
A licensed freight forwarder is required to follow certain requirements set in place by their licensing body. That means you get fair prices, standards, and a support network to file complaints if something were to go wrong.
When a freight forwarding company is bonded, that means they are taking steps to protect their customers. If you were to suffer from a financial loss due to a shipping error, they would be able to reimburse you.
2. What Is Included In Your Rates?
When you receive your quote, you’ll need to fully understand what you are paying for. This is an important question to understand because it helps you avoid any surprise costs along the way.
There are certain services like customs and documentation that aren’t always included by companies. Be sure to also ask about any potential unexpected costs that could come up.
3. Can You Help Me With Customs?
If you are dealing with an international shipment, you will need to understand what is required in terms of customs. Many freight forwarding companies handle customs for you. However, if they do not, you will likely need to find another broker that can help you with the customs process.
4. Can You Accommodate My Timeline?
For this partnership to work, you need to find a company that can accommodate your timeline. You’ll need to let them know as soon as possible about any deadlines that you need to meet so that they can plan.
On the other hand, you will likely expect higher prices. Some freight forwarding companies offer you the shipping options that get your shipment their the quickest but others offer the most affordable.
5. Can I Track My Cargo?
Tracking packages these days is basically a daily task for most of us. Being able to track your cargo can be essential for your supply chain and logistical process. This will give you peace of mind and you’ll know that your freight forwarder is offering modern technology.
6. How Extensive Is Your Network?
Having a reliable and extensive network is a vital characteristic of a good freight forwarder. When they have more connections they can offer better services to you.
Choosing the Right Freight Forwarding Companies
When it comes to planning out your logistical process and supply chain, shipments are a huge task. That’s why it’s essential to find the right option in terms of freight forwarding companies. These questions are just to get you started when vetting a company. Be sure to communicate your needs.
Do you need help with your shipments? Contact us today to get a quote and more information!