Freight forwarding business is one industry that has benefited directly from globalization and is continuously growing at a rapid rate. As a matter of fact, the demand for freight services is projected to increase until the year 2022.
This positive momentum has lured a lot of entrepreneurs to venture into freight forwarding services thus crowding the market with businesses that has less than ideal practices and risky operations.
Forwarding business is not as simple as it seems. In reality, not everyone can be a forwarding agent. It is as complex as the entire logistics process in which it is a part of. Recent study shows that most of these new freight forwarders are going out of existence in the next 5 years because most of them are inefficient and don’t even have enough knowledge to run the business.
Finding a reliable company in this myriad of both legitimate and fly-by-night forwarding industry is quite tricky. Choosing the right one to handle your shipment should be your top priority.
Here’s a quick checklist of what you should look for in a freight forwarding company:
- Experience – Your forwarding agent must come with substantial experience in the shipping industry. Issues involving customs, warehouse management and port shutdowns are serious matters. It takes a lot of first-hand experience to know the ins and outs of the industry. Only an experienced agent can help the customer with rerouting problems and ensure a smooth shipping of your cargo. Apart from having a substantial experience, a forwarding company should have…
- A Wide Network of Agents – Always look for an international shipper with a wide network of agents that’s not only confined to the origin country but also to the country that the shipment is destined to, especially when it comes to balikbayan box services. This guarantees a seamless and fast shipping experience for you. And not only that, a forwarder with a wide network of agents around the world can always help you deal with rerouting problems. Simply put, a well-distributed network offers a much better business experience. And that also includes…
- A Wide Variety of Services – Apart from air or sea shipping, transportation by trucks or rail is needed to get the cargo to the port and dispatch the cargo from the port. Always check if your cargo forwarder is capable of handling that for you. If you only need port to port delivery service, then this might not be an issue. But if you need door to door delivery service, this can definitely a serious thing to consider.
But remember, even though a shipping company is competent and offers a wide variety of services, such offering should not burn a hole in your pocket.
That leads us to our next point.
- Low Rates – You already know this. International shipping can be costly. A cargo forwarder that offers lower rates than the rest is always in the list of choices. But that should not be the be-all of the equation. Bear in mind that you should go for quality above all – always! As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Low payment should not be the final consideration, you must also look for better payment options.
- Better Payment Options – Some of the lesser known international forwarding agents offer very restricted payment options. This might pose a serious problem for international customers. In addition, order processing takes a whole lot of time resulting in unnecessary delay of shipping. This can be addressed by choosing a forwarder that offers a wide range of payment options and can provide faster processing of your shipment.
- Solid Customer Support – This is the primary reason why Metro Box Cargo is rated above their competition. How fast are they at answering any rate-related query? Are they going to guide you through the crucial steps of import and export shipping? Are they any good in keeping with timelines? Whether it’s a pre-sales or a post-sales support, always go for a forwarder that can take care of all your needs throughout the shipping process. Remember, a forwarder may offer cheaper shipping rates way below the rest of the competition, but you might end up paying extra due to unnecessary delays and unsatisfactory customer service which obviously incur costs. All of the points above lead to one thing – good reviews and references.
- Good References – Your forwarding agent must have good reviews from their past customers. Look for testimonials, reviews, comments on forums and most importantly, reach out for persons you know who have had experience availing their services. Do not settle for a forwarding company with mixed reviews. There are some unscrupulous businesses that would go to an extent of posting a counter review to downplay a negative comment. The best review comes from the people you know who had first-hand experience with their services.
Be alert and don’t be fooled. Always look for these
7 characteristics when choosing your perfect freight forwarder, even more so for balikbayan box services. Indeed, only a handful of reputable freight forwarding services, like Metro box Cargo, possess all these essential features. Choose the right freight forwarding company so you can have a smooth and enjoyable shipping experience that you deserve.