How to Locate an International Freight Forwarder

18 March 2009 authored by Gen Wright Locating an International freight forwarder is easy on the Internet. You can, of course, choose the traditional way of sourcing for contacts by looking up freight companies in print directories.

But surely, this traditional method can never beat the convenience and benefits offered by the Internet. Here is how you can locate the right freight forwarder quickly and easy.

Freight forwarder companies are often listed in various trade directories. From the perspective of these companies, being listed in such websites is a form of advertising. The more sites they are listed in, the more exposure they are going to get. That eventually leads to more leads, and more business.

So that is the first place you should start – trade directories. Trade directories usually list all the information you will need about a freight forwarder. For example, you can find information such as pricing, delivery time frame, and port of departure / arrival. You would probably be most concerned with the ports. Remember, different freight forwarders serve different routes. So be sure to contact one that will pick up the cargo from where you reside, and send it over to the port that you want your cargo to arrive.

Once you are familiar with the pricing and the destination, you may then proceed to contact the freight company. Here is where you need to know how to pick the right companies to work with.

First impression counts. Trade directories, besides listing contact information, also list the companies’ background information. You can tell a lot about a company just by reading a one page introduction of the freight company. There are a few things you should be look out for:

1) Number of years established.
2) Core and secondary services provided.
3) Documents handling.
4) Value added services.

The number of years a company has been in business reveals the amount of experience and expertise that a company possesses. Usually, well established freight companies provide a comprehensive range of services to ensure that customers enjoy a good experience with them. These services range from document handling to consultancy.

Therefore, never base your final decision on pricing alone. The greatest benefit of hiring a well established freight company is that you don’t have to worry about the logistic issues. Most, if not all, of these issues would be well taken care of. For instance, custom clearance can present a problem for inexperienced companies. But for well established companies, this is just another daily operation.

Never make rash decisions. If you are unsure of the level of service that a company will provide, don’t hire them for a large and complicated shipment. Try them out first with small shipments, and if they prove to be reliable, you can proceed to use them again for larger shipments.

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