Any small business involved in purchasing or selling products overseas will require the services of a freight company. Unlike larger companies, negotiating preferential freight rates for smaller companies can prove to be difficult if you are not dealing with a flexible freight company. After all you will want your business to be as competitively priced as possible when it comes to exporting or importing goods around the world, to ensure you do not lose out on any potential business opportunity.
It is important to search for a freight forwarder that offers good pricing structures, reliable service levels and wide range of shipping options. By limiting yourself to a freight organisation than only offers one service, can mean you not securing the contract for new business because price or service issues will affect your chances, by using a particular freight company.
Whilst most freight forwarders are able to offer global coverage and a one stop shipping solution – sometimes it may be better to consider choosing a freight service provider than specialises in a particular market or trade lane, rather than a global organisation. The reason for this is because there is every chance that the freight forwarding company that focuses its services to or from a particular country, will more often than not
1. Offer better rates due to better buying power to or from that particular geographical location
2. Have a better understanding on export or import rules to and from the country, in particular from an area of customs clearance and local formalities etc.
A freight forwarder that offers services to a particular country or handful of countries, will know the formalities of shipping goods to and from the country and be able to offer you a more in depth knowledge and service overview, rather than dealing with a general freight forwarder than just offers worldwide delivery coverage.
It is essential that you still ask the right questions of a freight partner, prior to using their services – to ensure you know that they are the company that are most suited to your companies’ individual needs and requirements. I would also recommend contacting a minimum of 3 different freight companies to compare the shipping quotes you receive, to ensure you are getting the best deal available. Remember that the cheapest freight forwarder, is not necessarily the best service and I would always recommend not selecting a potential freight forwarding partner purely based on price.