Freight forwarder : Choose wisely 5 qualities to consider
When looking for a freight forwarder what should you look for. Freight forwarding companies come in many guises. Companies with decades of experience, those specialising in particular vertical’s or routes. Or the start-ups, how do you tell them apart. Being spoilt for choice can make the decision of who you trust your cargo with a difficult one.
At Connaught global we are proud to offer a completely transparent service. One which allows our customers to have complete trust in the way we do business. Here we share the five qualities we believe you should look for when selecting your freight forwarder.
1. Experience – In the right area
The freight forwarding industry in the UK is unregulated, which means that – in theory – anyone can set themselves up as a freight forwarder.
Choosing a freight forwarder with many years of experience under its belt will give you the peace of mind. The confidence that they know what they are doing. You need to assure they can deal with any issues that could crop up during a process that can be quite complicated.
There are many variables when it comes to moving your cargo. It is essential to ensure that your chosen freight forwarder has experience that applies to the service that you need. For example, if you want to send cargo quickly by air, a freight forwarder that mainly deals with shipping by sea may not be the right one for you. This is even more crucial if you’re sending cargo that requires specialised handling.
Perishables that need to be temperature controlled or vehicles that require Roll-on, Roll-off transportation are good examples where your choice of freight forwarder is crucial.
Connaught Global has over 34 years of experience in freight forwarding. with teams of specialists in place to deal with clients in the Pharmaceutical, Courier, High Value and White gloves movements. We are confident that we can deal with shipments of any kind.
2. Accreditation – from recognised bodies
In place of proper regulation, accreditation’s can serve as a good indicator of high standards and professionalism. Look at the ‘stamps of approval’ that your freight forwarder holds.
At Connaught Global we are accredited by the British International Freight Association (BIFA). We are also a licensed International Air Transport Association (IATA) cargo agent and an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). Your goods are in safe hands with Connaught Global as our service levels are checked and re-checked by external bodies.
Look out for these accreditations when you are determining your next freight forwarder. In particular challenge their AEO procedures to ensure it is AEO Full and not simplified.
3. An extensive partnership network
A freight forwarder relies on its network of carriers and agents when undertaking your cargo movement. If that network is lacking, this could mean delays or issues that aren’t easily resolved.
Discuss with your chosen freight forwarder their network in the countries that you’ll be importing from or exporting to. To ensure the smoothest service ask them how they chose their agency partners.
With a hand-picked presence in 42 countries, we feel that Connaught Global is ideally placed to facilitate most shipments. We regularly visit and assess our partner and carrier’s service levels to ensure they remain at the highest levels.
4. Wrap-around services
Obviously, the right freight forwarder for you will be one offering the specific shipping service that you require –
- Full Container Load (FCL)
- Less than Container Load (LCL)
- Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO)
However, there’s a whole host of wrap-around services that a freight forwarder might offer, which could make your business run much smoother and make your life much easier.
Connaught Global can take care of all the relevant documentation helping to facilitate fast-track customs clearance. We also offer a full range of optional extras, from product sourcing and packing to storage and distribution. On-site pick and pack from our bonded warehouses are a particular specialism with online inventory management.
We also provide port-centric logistics, which can reduce the number of handling stages involved in warehousing and distribution. This has numerous potential benefits including saving you both time and money, reducing the carbon footprint of your cargo and also minimising the risk of issues including delay, loss of cargo or mishandling.
5. Excellent customer care
A good company is built on excellent customer care. If something goes wrong somewhere along the freight forwarding process having someone dedicated to putting it right as quickly as possible is invaluable.
You should also look for specific tools that will make your experience as a customer easier. Online tracking, for example, is a fantastic tool that allows greater communication between businesses and their own customers.
We believe that here at Connaught Global it is our standard of customer care which marks us out. If you are looking to evaluate your freight forwarding options come and challenge us on our service levels. You may be surprised when you compare them to your incumbent freight forwarder.