If you are in the business of import-export then you might have heard of or used the freight forwarding services many times. Freight forwarding is a service where the particular shipment of goods gets shifted from one place to the other with proper coordination. This shifting is generally done through rail, road, and even by the air and the company which involves in this is known as freight forwarder of freight forwarding service provider. The concept of freight forwarding was first established in Canada in the year 1948 by Canadian International Freight Forwarders. If you are in the business for many years and it involves the forwarding of shipments then you might have already tied up with a particular freight forwarder. But if you are new in the business then you would be confused on how to choose the right one as freight forwarding is known as the critical process and only expert professionals can handle it effectively.

Sometimes asking few questions to the provider can make your life easy. If this is your first time handing over the shipment to the freight forwarder then you can ask few questions which would help to make this process easy. Here is the detailed guide to making things easier for you. Take a look!

Check the rates

If this is your new business then you would look for the cost-effective option and hence checking for the overall cost with your forwarder would be the first task on the list. Many freight forwarders such as Mcnaughts transport work towards the injecting pricing transparency policy and hence this industry has remained opaque today. While getting the quote from the forwarder make sure to get the breakup of each in detail for your better understanding. Here you can several questions regarding the cost of each service such as custom charge, documentation charge, release fees, terminal handling, etc. These charges might seem minimal but can sum up to a huge amount in the final calculation. Hence make sure to get the clarity on each to avoid the conflict at the last moment.

Ask about custom clearance

Custom clearance is known to be an important part of the freight forwarding process if you are dealing with an international business. Getting custom clearance is important since it would decide whether your shipment can move further to the recipient or be in the trash. Most of the freight forwarders would provide you with customs clearance for all of your international shipments but it would be beneficial to be clear on this part from the start of your conversation itself. Some of the forwarders only provide logistics and transportation and hence in such a case you would need to look for another handler to look after the customs clearance. Always look for the person or the entity who can take responsibility for the entire process.

Ask about cargo tracking

Digitalization has made things easy for all of us including the business and services. It has even made a great impact on the freight forwarding industry as well and hence now you will be able to track your shipment easily online while sitting in your office. Most of the freight forwarding service providers now provide you with the facility of tracking the shipment online and that too round the clock. Hence you do not need to call the forwarder 10 times a day to get the exact status of your shipment. You will get a unique tracking ID and you can look for the status through it on their portal.

Ask about the network strength

Freight forwarding businesses purely depend upon their network and hence it is important to check for their network strength as well while handing over your shipment to them. Any freight forwarder who has well established and the reliable international network would be able to process the shipping without any hassles.

Ask about their authenticity

Another factor that would help you to recognize the reliability of a freight forwarder is their license and registration. A freight forwarder would need a license or a registration to run the business. But you might come across few who do not possess it. Hence make sure to check about their registrations and licenses on their website. A simple research of a couple of minutes can save you from a huge loss.

Ask about shipment arrival preparation

If you are moving the shipment overseas then there are chances that the other countries might have different regulations to handle it. Here a freight forwarder would be able to help you with it to understand the requirement for the arrival preparation. It could be in terms of documentation and any other formalities.