Choosing and managing a freight forwarder
If you are planning import or export operations, and would prefer not to manage the logistics by yourself, you can engage a freight forwarder.
Freight forwarders offer a wide range of expertise and services including:
- consolidating smaller shipments to save you time and money
- detailed knowledge of the rules and regulations that your business must comply with
- acting as an intermediary when transporting to a new territory
- arranging for and operating several different transport methods for a shipment as required
Selecting and managing a freight forwarder
You need to make sure you choose a freight forwarder who suits your needs. Questions to consider include:
- Are they a member of any Freight Association? Freight association members are covered by freight liability insurance and follow standard trading conditions and best-practice procedures. Do they have experience transporting your type of goods? Are they experienced in shipping to the countries you are targeting? Depending on your needs, you may need to find out whether they have experience of shipping globally. If you need to use several different transport methods, can they handle this?
For a successful partnership especially in situations where you do not want to outsource all your transportation and logistics, you need to make sure your respective responsibilities are clearly understood and set down. This will enable us do our role diligently and you too to flourish in what you do. The use of Incoterms, an internationally accepted system of trading terms for the delivery of goods, is recommended to avoid any ambiguity. See the guide on international trade paperwork.