5 Essential Questions to Ask Every Freight Forwarder
When finding a customized door to door service provider, transaction is a vital approach like any major business endeavor. The more information you have from the outset, the easier it is to make the right decision. According to ShipIt.com, it is up to you to understand the freight forwarding industry. You cannot depend on the company to provide you with every possible detail in their brochure.
Here are five questions you should ask:
Are Your Insured/Bonded?
Accidents happen, even with professional companies. Most large shipping companies carry insurance that crosses international borders, providing complete reimbursement for damaged or lost items. This does not mean you should forgo private insurance, it just gives you one more layer of protection.
Do You Have Any References?
Ask to speak with prior clients to verify the quality of service. By having a holistic understanding of the company’s past, you will be able to weed out underperforming companies and those with a track record of damaged or lost merchandise. When working with a customized door to door service provider, trust is key. What Routes Will You Be Taking? When shipping across international lines, or from one part of the country to another in the United States, knowing the route is vital to guaranteeing that your product arrives safely and on time. A quality freight forwarder will make sure to avoid routes prone to delay, and especially avoid known crime zones.
Who Can I Contact?
Quality customer service is vital for any business in the 21st century. When shipping valuable or time sensitive materials, being able to get in touch with a company representative and receive an accurate update as to the location and delivery time of the merchandise can help reduce stress. For companies that are looking to form a long term relationship with a quality freight forwarder, an open line of communication with someone that has access to all of the relevant data is key to guaranteeing a happy business partnership.
How Are Rates Determined?
When you understand how rates are calculated, you can better prepare yourself for issues that may result in the final shipping cost being adjusted. Everything from fuel to mandatory rest periods for the crew goes into determining the final rate. Since these factors are normally considered proprietary information, you will not be able to get the exact figures on every step of the way. Instead, focus on the situations where rates will have to be raised. By acknowledging the possibility of issues up front, you can build a solid relationship that can be used to help mitigate the financial shock when unforeseeable events strike.
Do Not Limit Yourself
When reaching out to a customized door to door service provider, do not limit yourself to just five questions. No query, regardless of how minor it may seem, should go unuttered. Remember, knowledge is power. There is one additional question you should ask, but not to the company. According to Export.gov, all freight forwarders are required to be licensed by the International Air Transport Association and the Federal Maritime Commission. Check with these bodies before you approach the company to weed out the worst performers.