10 Important Questions to Ask Every Freight Forwarder
Updated: Oct 5
Organizations have varying expectations when it comes to freight forwarding, and as the business needs change over time, these expectations change. When you ship products abroad, your freight forwarder will be one of the most important business partnerships you will have. Such experienced professionals help organize shipments to get them from the manufacturer to the consumer, whether you call them freight forwarders, forwarding agents or simply forwarders.
When trying to offer their services to customers, every freight forwarder should have this question in mind, “Am I a trustworthy freight forwarder?” It’s an assumption from consumers that they can trust the logistics company they select. Whenever they need support, they should be able to rely on their freight forwarders.
Businesses want to work with freight operators who can help them grow their business and work efficiently according to their business objectives. Before agreeing to a deal with your logistics company, here are 10 questions and tips you need to ask every freight forwarder.
1. What Are Your Credentials?
Before deciding to work with any forwarder, you need to ensure that they are registered with the government and qualified to operate. This is to make sure that they follow the standards set by regulating bodies. Furthermore, clients can be protected from fraudulent transactions. The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) is an organization that regulates importers and exporters registered in the USA. Using the guidelines released by the Federal Maritime Commission, NCBFAA provided the requirements to become a licensed forwarder in any state in the US.
2. Do You Have Any Experience?
By principle, as a freight forwarder, anyone can set up without the need for formal training or certification. You allow yourself to have a variety of companies from an influx of freight forwarding firms to choose from. Ask yourself if you would be pleased to trust your cargo to a freight forwarder with little or no experience.
3. What Type Of Cargo Do you specialize In?
Many freight forwarders are “jacks of all trades,’ while others are based on particular cargo types. Clearly, it’s a smart move to find a freight forwarder that specializes in what you want to send. It can range from Balikbayan boxes to vehicle shipments, furniture and home appliances.
4. Can You Provide Client Testimonials?
Ask for references to see if they are pleased with their other customers and what their level of customer service is. Metro Box Cargo will be more than happy to tell you about our smooth transactions with a number of our customers.
5. What Is The Breakdown Of Your Rates?
When asking for a quote, the forwarder usually considers factors like the timeframe and volume of merchandise. There are usually better rates during the promotional period during the holidays like Christmas. Make sure to work with a transparent forwarder who will clarify what you’re paying for such as replacement boxes, strapping, pickup, proof of delivery and even package insurance.
6. Who Will Take Care Of Customs?
While some forwarders only deal with the shipment of packages, it’s definitely more convenient to work with someone who will do the clearance for you. Not only do you save time and money, but also reduces the hassle of having to deal with a third-party. You can also read our blog on the New BOC ID Rules on Tax-Free Balikbayan Box Privilege.
7. What Type Of Requirements And Documents Are Needed?
When arranging a shipment to any country, you should first find out if you need to be aware of any specific regulations or conditions to export your products. You should be able to inform your logistics department or any freight forwarder. The specifications are usually related to the type of cargo that you carry. Ask for a checklist as well as corresponding forms.
8. How Can I Ensure My Compliance?
Having a decent communication line with your forwarder helps to make sure that you’re not stuck with any delays or penalties. Any pending requirements or specific instructions that need to be followed can be addressed in a timely manner.
9. Can I Track My Package?
It should be a norm to be able to track the progress of your shipment. A reliable forwarder wouldn’t fail to provide a tracking number and instructions on how to track a client’s package.
10. Were You Able To Answer Every Question?
If the answer is yes to the questions you should ask every freight forwarder, then work with this company. Otherwise, maybe you should consider other options like Metro Box Cargo (because we can).
Metro Box Cargo is a freight forwarding services company established in 2013 with two main offices – at Hayward, CA in the United States and at Teachers Village in Quezon City in the Philippines. Founded by Egay Tajonera, and his wife Mabelle, they are passionate about providing exceptional service to the Filipino community. Our company provides personalized, reliable, on-time customized door to door service for balikbayan boxes, container shipments, loose cargo and odd-sizes shipments. We also offer vehicle shipping services for cars and motorcycles.
We have locations in northern and southern California: our two main warehouses are located in Hayward and Santa Fe Springs, and our five drop off locations can be found inside Island Pacific stores. Feel free to call us toll-free at 1-855-355-6387, on Facebook, via email at email@example.com, or through our website’s Contact Us section for any questions or concerns; Or just stop by at our office. For more details, please visit our website at www.metroboxcargo.com.