The ultimate guide to choosing the right freight forwarder in the US
Freight forwarders are export-import facilitators. They manage processes involved with the movement of goods like paperwork, storage, tracking, etc. Freight forwarders work on behalf of the shipper to find their goods the best transportation means. One thing to note here is that freight forwarders themselves do not move the goods. They connect the shipper with transportation services.
As an importer or exporter, you might be having trouble finding the right freight forwarder for your goods. There are numerous options out there, but how do you find the best freight forwarder in the US? Moreover, how do you find a freight forwarder who suits your needs?
In this guide, we are going to make that selection process easier by helping you understand the core services that you should look for in a freight forwarder.
The search for a freight forwarder starts with you!
Nobody knows your import/export needs like you do. So the first step is to vision your business and understand how it would leverage a freight forwarder. Some questions you should find answers to are:
Do you have your requirements figured out: It is important that you know all the specifics of the types of goods that you are hoping to trade like weight, dimensions, etc. Also, are the goods going to be transported via air or water freight? Does it require any support through roadways?
How much is your budget: If a freight forwarder gives you a quote that is too good to be true, probably it is! Keep a respectable offer in mind, that said, it shouldn’t break the bank.
Now that you have a clear idea about what you want from the freight forwarder, we can move onto the steps that will help you find the best freight forwarder for your requirements.
1. Inquire about their network
As we just discussed, a freight forwarder doesn’t handle the transportation part themselves. They connect the shipper with reliable transportation services.
So the first thing that you should check is the scope of their network. A reliable freight forwarding service should have connections with top tier transportation and warehousing services.
Make sure that you evaluate their services based on the country that you choose to trade with. Review their services in those countries so that you can be sure your goods will be in safe hands once it reaches its destination.
2. Experience in the field
The experience of a freight forwarder plays an important role in solidifying their credibility. Many things can go wrong in trade from close ports to danger on the sea. An experienced freight forwarder will have the skills and quick thinking to mitigate the risks in such scenarios.
This doesn’t mean that newer freight forwarders won’t serve you any good. But experience does play its role when it comes to handling stressful scenarios.
Pedraza Customhouse brokers have been in the field of international trade for over 15 years. During this time, we have had to work around various unforeseen and risky situations. But we have never failed to offer our clients the best trade experience.
3. Understand what they can do and cannot do
When you approach a freight forwarder, they will shower you with the many services that they provide. However, it is very important that you understand what you are missing out on.
Ask the freight forwarder to give you a clear picture of where do their services end. Once they inform you about what they can do, see if they meet your requirements. The only way to know if the freight forwarder provides industry-standard services is to review more than one freight forwarder. This will help you differentiate between the freight forwarders and plan better.
4. Check their customer support level
No matter how many features a freight forwarder has, it becomes a very frustrating experience for the client if they are not available to take customer queries or grievances. Customer care support talks a lot about how much a company cares about its clients.
Nowadays, you can read reviews by customers on how a company fares in its customer care department. This is one type of research that you shouldn’t skimp on!
5. Review past customer feedback
If you can contact past customers of a freight forwarding company, you will get a ton of relevant info from them. With the power of the internet, customer reviews are not hard to find.
See what the general opinion is about the freight forwarder and only go forward with a service that has a proven track record.
We do not advise that you take risks when it comes to trade.
6. What certifications do they have
Freight forwarders are required to handle goods that may be expensive, fragile or rare. And it is important that they know how to handle these different types of goods with fail.
Certifications are indicators that show the level of performance that the freight forwarder has in different areas of import and export.
You can ask them for such credentials and see their list of achievements over the years.
7. How many types of shipment do they handle?
A freight forwarder may have limitations on the type of shipments that they can import or export. You might be having a requirement of one type of goods. But that can change anytime in the future.
Once you expand your business, you may deal with a variety of goods that may require ocean freight or air freight. And when the time comes for the expansion of your business, your freight forwarding service provider must be ready to accommodate your increasing requests.
Choose Pedraza Customhouse Brokers and trade effortlessly!
Pedraza Customhouse Brokers also provide freight forwarding services to our clients. With Pedraza, you have a complete trade facilitation services made available for you. This means that there is no need to hire multiple services provides for your trade business. You can keep simple and streamlined by using our services, backed by impeccable customer support. Call us at (915) 791-5500 or Request a quote, we will get back to you shortly!