Have a Business & Looking for a Freight Forwarder?
Shipping is a hassle. You’ve got to consider packaging, postage, fees, return policies, insurance, tracking, and more. Now, what could make the entire shipping process more complicate? That’s right, international shipping. But what if your business does more than just ship goods to other countries? What if you export goods en masse, import them in even greater quantities, warehouse them, prep, package, ship, and more?
A lot of business owners fail to scale properly because they get intimidated by the web of logistics that comes with the import/export game. That’s where a freight forwarder like Packair comes in. To put it in simple terms, a freight forwarder is a business that navigates your importing and exporting for you. Using their vast sea of connections and professional understanding of international shipping regulations, your freight forwarders job is to cut through the red tape and get your product moved from one country to another.
But what should you look for in a freight forwarder? Let’s look at some of the basics.
Know Your Needs
Before you start calling around to different companies and getting sucked into high pressure sales pitches, figure out exactly what it is you require of a freight forwarder. Ask yourself questions like the following:
- How much volume do you need to ship and how often?
- Where do you need product shipped to?
- Who is handling fulfillment of your warehoused goods?
- Do your goods have any special shipping requirements (such as refrigeration or hazmat)
Do Your Research
Once you know what your own company needs, it’s time to start looking into the logistics companies you are considering working with. Remember that your freight forwarder is going to become a long term business partner who will be the linchpin of the success of your international markets. It’s worth taking the time to create a short list of potential partners by searching around online and calling references. According to this Los Angeles freight forwarder, it is important to answer these sorts of questions:
- How long has the freight forwarder been in business?
- Do they have experience shipping my type of good?
- Have they ever shipped to my destinations before?
Your preliminary research should help you create a list of businesses to reach out to, but don’t let any of them talk you into a deal before you’ve talked with all of them. Get estimates from each one, ask new questions that arise, and get a feel for how comfortable you will be working with them. Make sure you get to know the representative who will be handling your account after the deal is sealed. Too often, we make decisions based on interactions with the charming sales guy only to be handed a bumbling account representative once the contract is signed.
Just like any important decision, finding the right freight forwarder for your business is all about doing your due diligence. Know your needs, do your research, and shop around until you find the right company to make international shipping the last thing you need to worry about.