Freight forwarding is the planning and coordination of the movement of commodities across international borders on behalf of shippers. Other tasks involved include warehouse planning, supplying cargo insurance, and customs brokerage.
From the pool of so many freight forwarders in India, it is difficult to decide which one will be best suited for your requirements. In this article, we have tried to list a few major points that will make the process of choosing your agent much simpler and more effective.
Experience cannot be replaced. A freight forwarder with years of experience would be aware of port lockouts, dockworker strikes, emergency detours, disasters, and difficulties with foreign customs. They will be ready with the solution even before an emergency strikes. Use their experience to improve your delivery quality and timeliness with them. After all, that's what any business needs to prosper.
When you're planning to move your cargo internationally, it's important to have someone with global access. These relationships include those with other freight forwarders, carriers, ground handlers and warehouse operators, customs and financial brokers, and local logistics services. Thus, it becomes very easy for them to make your business or product available worldwide. Global networking also expedites the transportation of goods.
International shipping at no point should be underestimated. There are tonnes of documents required for carrying out international trade. Even a single missing document can result in hefty fines. In the long run, getting things right the first time saves a lot of time and money and really demonstrates where forwarders add value.
You can determine the effectiveness of your freight forwarder by looking at their affiliations with reputable international organisations such as WCA or FIATA (or, for a closer look, FFFAI). To be eligible for membership in these organisations, a freight forwarder must have sufficient financial stability, a solid track record, and effective internal controls. You are more likely to receive higher-quality service when it comes to the handling and movement of your goods if you choose a well-connected freight forwarder.
There are many freight forwarders in India who have expertise in shipping oil, hazardous chemicals, perishable goods, and livestock. Depending on your product, look for someone with expertise in the same field.
Another parameter to look for can be a forwarder's market reputation, customer support, and good references. Additionally, you can get comments from previous clients. A quality freight forwarder will provide prompt, effective customer service and will be able to answer your question.
Last but not least, there can be many good freight forwarders in India, but you need to decide who can serve you well. A price comparison along with the other points mentioned will be an economical way to narrow down your search. Understand the parameters on which your freight forwarder charges you—is it based on percentage, volume, value, or a hybrid method?—and work out the calculations at your end too.
Choosing an appropriate freight forwarder can aid in supply chain, cost, delivery, and timeliness optimization. Hire an agency you can trust and share your success with.
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