Freight forwarding is a key part of the warehousing and distribution industry. Without the skills and knowledge of professionals that handle both national and international freight forwarding on a day-to-day basis, business supply chains would be a complete mess. So what questions should you ask before you hand over any goods?
What countries do the Freight Forwarders ship to?
This should be one of the first questions you ask because if they don’t ship to countries you’ve got lined up waiting for your products, then there’s no point continuing the conversation.
How long have they been in the freight forwarding business?
It’s always good to gauge the amount of time a company has been involved in freight forwarding, as it’s a good indicator of their experience. But at the same time there’s no need to be put off by emerging freight forwarders as they will be keen to take on new clients and negotiate deals.
Are they reputable?
Perhaps something you could check out on your own time as opposed to asking directly. Have other companies given them glowing testimonials, or were they personally recommended to you by another business owner?
I sell hazardous materials; can you handle them?
If this applies to your company you’ll need to know that your chosen freight forwarding specialist is a) certified to handle hazardous materials and b) knows how to move them safely over long distances.
What additional costs might there be?
It’s never a bad idea to get a complete run down of the costs before you sign a contract. Who knows, you might even discover a freight service that you suddenly can’t live without.
What happens if something goes wrong?
Even with the most experienced freight forwarding company steering the ship, complications will undoubtedly arise. But what’s more important here is do they know how to deal with them?
Are you insured against cargo theft or damages?
This might fall under ‘additional costs’ but it’s good one to know in advance – you don’t want the added misery of finding out you have to replace any stolen or damaged goods out of your own pocket.