Picking a freight company that can’t meet a deadline can be a very expensive decision, which can be avoided if you approach the selection process in a more systematic manner. Before you trust valuable goods to a cargo shipping operator, you should go through a checklist covering all major factors that could prove decisive. Only the selected few companies that check all the boxes should be taken into final consideration since even a single liability represents an unnecessary risk.
Here is a list for you of main features you should ask about:
Brand history & reputation
Do some research on the background and track record of the freight forwarding company, and you will quickly learn to distinguish between reputable providers and aggressive pretenders. Don’t limit your scooping to the official website, as you can often learn more about actual performance on blogs and forums where users share their experiences anonymously.
Modes of transportation
Depending on your exact needs and the route that needs to be travelled, it’s possible that multimodal transportation will be required. It’s wise to check which freight companies are well equipped to organize airborne or waterborne transport of large cargo before you make a commitment. That way you will be spared the stress of having your shipment stuck in a distant port for days.
Top freight forwarding companies collaborate with a reliable network of transporters in many different countries, which is why they are capable of delivering on time regardless of the distance. Intricate knowledge of international markets and their specific conditions is another valuable asset that can affect the quality of service.
Warehouse space quality
Very often, it’s necessary to store the goods for a period of time before the voyage continues, so your preferred freight partner needs sufficient warehousing facilities at disposal in critical locations. It’s not just about the size of warehouse space either – you want to make sure this space allows for temperature control and proper ventilation.
Time is always in short supply in business, and you can’t afford long delays when you are sending goods over long distances. Companies that offer faster delivery times have a significant advantage and are sometimes worth considering even if their service is relatively costly. However, if you are comfortable with a longer delivery cycle, you should prioritize other factors.
Vehicle tracking in real time via GPS technology greatly improves safety and allows the customer to have a complete peace of mind. This option is standard with all better companies in 2018, so there is no reason to settle for anything less. Make sure you ask the prospective freight forwarding company whether their vehicles can be tracked.
Prices and bulk discounts
Of course, money matters a lot, particularly if you are shipping commercial quantities. Seemingly small differences add up over time, and it’s prudent to take the most affordable deal when all other factors are equal. Some companies could even offer discounts to large-scale customers, which can provide additional financial relief and tilt the math in your favour.