What are some key factors I should consider when choosing an International Freight Forwarder?

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There are many international shipping companies that want your business. If you are looking for a new freight forwarding company to help with your shipping and logistics needs, you may be overwhelmed with all the choices you are faced with. Ultimately your freight forwarder must be a partner who understands your shipping goals. Usually there is some balance of low cost andschedule that is needed to meet your needs. If the low cost solution is with an unreliable carrier who often missing sailings and your goods do not arrive in time for a criticalclient then your efforts to save money may have in fact cost you a key client. Your freight forwarder has to have the ability to understand how to balance these factors.

Here are three considerations to keep in mind when sorting through these companies. By comparing each company thoroughly, you will be able to choose the one that is best suited to handle your shipping and freight forwarding needs.

Cost

The ability to derive the best low cost alternative for you is a factor of knowledge and relationships. A freight forwarder who has been in business for many years likely has more relationships and knowledge than someone new to the industry. An experience freight forwarder knows which shipping agents offer the best deals in specific markets and can use that knowledge to drive down your cost. However, cost should not be your only consideration. Remember the old adage – you get what you pay for. Cost should be considered in conjunction with other aspects to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Schedule

Businesses operate on schedules; some of these schedules are tighter than others. It is important to choose a shipping company that can get your products where they need to go in a timely manner. This is why you may not want to go with the cheapest freight forwarding alternative. The cheapest route may not be able to deliver on time. If your products arrive late or not at all, you aren’t saving time or money, and the service provided is useless. By partnering with a freight forwarder who understands your shipping needs you can ensure that you don’tsacrifice schedule for price at on a critical shipment.

Services Provided

International shipping companies provide the same basic services: shipping and logistics. However, there are significant differences between choosing a freight forwarder as a partner versus simply shopping the best rate. In the most simplistic situation your freight forwarder may not have any way to differentiate themselves other than price. However, should problems arise, such as an overbooked ship, your freight forwarderis your advocate to make sure your shipment is not the one left sitting on the dock. Additionally, if you have to coordinate an inland route in a foreign country to make a booking at the coast, get it cleared through customs in that country and get it on board your freight forwarder needs to have the relationships and the resources to do that seamlessly.

If you are looking for an international shipping company that can handle all of your shipping and logistics needs, Hawthorne Global can help. Hawthorne Global has been in business since 1959 and ourmany years of expertise in the freight forwarding industry makes us your best choice. We can handle a wide variety of shipping needs, and will partner with you to accommodate your schedule and your budget. Give us a call today to see how we can help your business.

Gary Gardner
Author: Gary Gardner
Category: freight forwarding