As customers and shippers search for ways of sidestepping the minefield of logistical problems that are so commonplace in the industry today, the freight forwarder is more essential than ever before. When there is a lack of adequate capacity, many carriers as well as their transit ports face logistical nightmares. Consequently, the queues can be long and the prices can be astronomical. This article explores some of the benefits of working with a freight forwarder.
Working with a freight forwarder is not just for large businesses alone. Small businesses can benefit too and might even be able to establish themselves in the sector on the back of their relationship with a freight forwarder company. Underestimating the value of working with a freight forwarder might mean that you are missing savings and other logistical advantages that are associated with working with experts. You can use a freight forwarder in the local and international context depending on your needs. Here are some of the ways you can benefit:
You will have improved flexibility in your operations
Freight forwarders are adept at negotiating the complex intricacies of this industry. The sector is fast-moving and you need an expert to point you in the right direction and allocate the right resources to your business. The flexibility that is available when working with a freight forwarder is an asset because changing your mind no longer costs as much as when you are working on your own. Due to the complexity of the shipping process, you might expect that you will regularly have to change your mind. The freight forwarder ensures that this is not an inconvenient process.
The freight forwarder can also provide you with added information as it comes in. For example, they may tell you about open capacity or any missed opportunities. You can then redirect your cargo so that customer demands can be met in the most efficient way possible. Businesses that have worked with freight forwarders have recorded improved productivity and profitability. This improves their bottom-line and makes them viable overall.
If you are entering a new market or sector, then the services of a freight forwarder are of the essence. Many shippers make mistakes because they simply do not understand how the industry works. An experienced freight forwarder will pinpoint your needs and link you to the right places in the supply chain. You will therefore make less mistakes and experience fewer beginner problems when you work with a freight forwarder.
Business versatility and agility is enhanced by freight forwarders
The transportation aspects of shipping comprise a series of moving parts that are not always predictable. A freight forwarder can increase their predictability through timely and accurate information. At the same time, the freight forwarder will ensure that you are in the best position to respond to unpredictable changes in the market. For those changes that are predictable, the freight forwarder will ensure that you do not “miss the boat.”
Freight forwarders are experienced in this sector and can mitigate any transportation challenges before they escalate to crisis levels. Some of the issues that a freight forwarder might deal with include rerouting and freight delays. That means you can meet your deadlines and cut the costs of dealing with bureaucracy. In doing so, you will have more time to spend on other important entrepreneurial activities.
It is cost-effective to hire a freight forwarder
The use of freight forwarding services saves money on shipments because of the discounts offered on bulk shipments. A single customer rarely takes up bulky spaces and will not access these discounts unless they are working with a freight forwarder. Moreover, the best freight forwarders can negotiate better terms of service for their clients.
Such advantages accrue regardless of whether you are using air freight or shipping. Experienced professionals give you insights about negotiations and potential benefits for your client category. They will discuss issues such as port chargers, insurance, and fees. You may even share this information with the end customer that will eventually take delivery of the cargo.
There is less hassle when you use freight forwarders
A lot of time is spent in dealing with issues that amount to busy work if you have not hired a freight forwarder. For example, there is some documentation and procedure that can be successfully dealt with by the freight forwarder without your direct involvement. They will ensure that everything is prepared in time and sent to the right officials and you will spend less time trying to understand how the intricacies of shipping bureaucracy work.
A freight forwarder can easily deal with customs and the officials that run that service. In many cases, customs and excise rules are complicated. The staff may be unhelpful to individual customers, but they are likely to have a better relationship with longstanding freight forwarders. This is a particularly important advantage when shipping to many different countries with a diverse range of legal and regulatory regimes. In addition, you are unlikely to make costly mistakes with the paperwork when working with a freight forwarder.
There are additional services that are provided by freight forwarders
Apart from the basic task of ensuring that goods travel from one point to another, freight forwarders will provide additional services that may be useful to your business. These are what are known as value-added services. Such provisions can give you a competitive advantage in your market. The information that freight-forwarder companies provide will educate you and make you a more competent entrepreneur. Certainly, your customers will appreciate your additional expertise.
One of the value-added services that you may access when working with a freight forwarder company includes tracking of your shipments. With tracking, your customers know what is happening to their order without speculating about your competence in the sector. The best providers offer on-demand reporting in real time which can improve your customer care.
Freight forwarding services are an essential aspect of shipping. They help you access vital information and contacts which you can leverage when negotiating the price of your shipping activities. Freight forwarders are also well-versed in the intricate procedures of shipping and will help make your life easier in terms of getting your goods to the right customers at the right time. It is advisable to invest in hiring a good freight forwarding company to support your business particularly if you are penetrating new markets.