What can you expect from the freight forwarder you select? Have a look. These multi-tasking agents truly cover the entire spectrum of details involved in moving international freight around the globe. Interview several of them as well as their references before determining the one you will use. If you find a rock-solid international freight forwarder you will find an invaluable partner for your business ventures.
1. Expect your freight forwarder to handle all transportation logistics in their role as transportation brokers. This may not sound like much if you’ve been used to getting a freight quote or two from small Ltl carriers to ship goods from your manufacturing plant to other U.S. locations. But the international freight game is far more complicated. These agents must have thorough knowledge of U.S. export laws but also the varying laws, rules and regulations of countries throughout the world – and these are by no means universal. To attempt to master these rules in-house would overpower your shipping department – and would be unnecessary since these freight forwarders routinely settle these issues.
A comprehensive freight calculator will covered and factored into the freight quote which puts together every single aspect of the logistics. The international freight forwarder will have established relationships with air carriers, rail transport companies and ocean freight carriers, including Ftl and Ltl carriers. They will cover every aspect of transportation from the point the load leaves your shipping dock to the time it arrives at the receiving dock of your foreign buyer.
2. Expect help with the details. Your international freight forwarder will be well-versed in handling all the papers required including the commercial invoice and the declaration of origin. Every individual target nation will require local documentation, too. If you want the forwarder to produce and submit the paperwork they will do so and include the cost in your freight quote so that no detail is ignored.
3. Expect an accurate freight quote that covers every factor. When you decide to ship international freight many dynamics need to be taken into consideration. They include the possible need for warehousing your goods during the process, the freight class your goods fit into, the use of Ltl carriers for smaller loads, insurance to cover risk, possible taxes and tariffs, special needs like refrigeration or protection for harmful materials, payment to foreign service providers, and much more. Of course, the distance and the type of carrier – air, rail or ocean liner – are also major components of the freight quote. Most freight forwarders and transportation broker agents will supply you with more than one freight price by including different modes of transportation into their freight calculator. That way, you can decide whether getting the items to market more quickly is worth the extra shipping bills you will incur.