Whether you've recently started a business or you're just looking to make some changes, a reliable Freight Forwarder is important for your shipping and logistics.
Not only can the right Freight Forwarder save you money, but your delivery service also contributes towards the customer experience and your reputation.
So you really need to get this right.
However, finding the perfect Freight Forwarder can be tricky and is not a decision to take lightly. That's where we come in. To help you get this right, we've pulled together a list of the things you need to look for when choosing the right Freight Forwarder for your business.
One of the most important things you need to consider when selecting a Freight Forwarder is how reliable they are. An unreliable forwarder could not only cost your business money but could negatively impact your reputation. The good news is there are several ways to find out about their reliability levels, these include:
The company website
Reviews from other clients
Accreditations they hold
Visibility and Tracking features they offer
So before you settle on a provider, be sure to do thorough research and check out the reliability of each provider you're considering. Then you can make an informed decision and ensure you choose the most reliable service provider.
2. Professionalism and Communication
Another important consideration is how professional the service providers are and whether they're good at communicating when you need them. After all, you want working with them to be as easy and enjoyable as possible.
So before you choose a forwarder, you need to determine important aspects such as how they communicate with clients, how they do their invoicing and how you go about arranging bookings with them. Look for a forwarder that is going to make the process as seamless as possible and who are always (within reason) on hand to help should you encounter any issues.
You also want them to be professional in terms of the service they provide to your company. This means they should put efforts into maintaining clean, tidy vans and well presented drivers. This is because the external image of their representatives says a lot about the internal culture/ethos within their organisation.
3. Speed of Delivery
In a world where same-day delivery is possible, customers are increasingly expecting faster delivery times. As such, the speed of delivery is important and is something you need to consider when choosing a Freight Forwarder to assist with your shipments, whether Air, Ocean, or Road freight.
You want to choose a forwarder who can offer express shipping and rush orders when required. You might also wish to choose a provided that offers same-day, next day or overnight delivery as these options are becoming the industry standard - which will in turn impress your own customers.
So look at the company's Services Page on their website and speak with them about your specific requirements before deciding. They will be able to advise you on the types of delivery options they have on offer.
4. The range of Services on offer
We've briefly touched on some of the services you might want, but before you settle on any forwarder, you need to make sure they offer all the services you need or might need in the future.
So take a careful look at the variety of services on offer. And remember, you might be a small business only offering local delivery right now, but if you plan to expand in the future, you want a forwarder partner that can handle the logistics and shipping of your growth. If anything seems unclear, it will be prudent to call them to clarify.
Plus, if you already ship internationally or you hope to do this in the future, you'll need a service provider that offers this service.
Some of the services that you should expect from your Freight Forwarder include:
UK overnight shipping
Freight and Cargo shipping
Specialist services (such as warehouse storage and pick & pack)
We are hearing a lot more about security these days, whether online or offline, as people are sharing more of their data than ever before. And data security is something you also need to consider when choosing a Freight Forwarder.
Depending on the nature of your business, your forwarder could be shipping packages containing sensitive information or items. This means you want a partner that provides multiple ways of keeping your packages and information safe.
Not only this, but you want a service provider that is going to require proof of ID where necessary and that will ensure they are not taking any unnecessary risks with your shipment. A good way to check the measure put in place by a prospective forwarder is to find out whether they offer any of the following:
Real-time GPS tracking
Secure deliveries with POD
Full audit trails
Transparency throughout the chain of custody
Employees who are trained about security practises
The company's GDPR policy
You should be able to find these out from the company website or ask by getting in touch with their customer service team.
6. Environmental Considerations
People are increasingly becoming aware of their environmental footprint and as such, they are making more environmentally friendly choices. And businesses are no exception. If you're hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, you should look for a Freight Forwarder with that works with eco-conscious suppliers and has systems in place to reduce emissions.
For example, Freight Forwarders can opt for carriers who actively promote the use of more environmentally friendly jet fuel, and procure deliveries using electric-powered vehicles. So if this is something that is important to you and you think it can have a positive impact on your brand, speak with prospective Forwarders about how they can work with you to achieve these eco-friendly approach to doing business.
At Universe Logistics, Sustainability is at the core of all our business activities with continuous endeavour to do better.
Last but by no means least, you need to consider the price of your shipping and logistics activities. While you want a partner that is going to maintain quality customer service, security, and reliability you desire, you also need to consider the costs. You need to find a balance to ensure you get everything you need from your Freight Forwarder but at an affordable price that suits your budget.
The good news is there are plenty of Forwarders out there, but it'll just takes some time and quality research to appoint your best options(s). Once you have narrowed down your search, you may also benefit from placing sample bookings with a handful of agents to compare their actual performance for the long run.
Here at Universe Logistics, we really focus on complete all-round client satisfaction. And instead of considering you as just another customer, we see you as a business partner; a partner that we want to go above and beyond for, to ensure that all of their shipping and logistics objectives are achieved.
As technology advances and external factors demand the agility to adapt, we respond with continuous efforts to grow and improve our service offerings to our clients, resulting to constant investment in our technology and our people.
Will it be possible to deliver your shipments using drones in the future? We believe so. But that is an article for another day.
Please speak with us today to explore all the ways we can assist with your shipping requirements.