Whether your company regularly imports components from overseas, exports finished products to many countries around the world, or participates in both activities throughout the year, partnering with a reliable freight forwarder could make your life a lot easier and more profitable too. If you have never dealt with an organization that offers global logistics management services, the following short guide, outlining what you can expect from a well-run outfit, will help you to choose the most suitable transportation specialist for your needs.

Competitive pricing –

An absolute must for any commercial venture and something you should most certainly demand from any freight forwarding company that you deal with is competitive prices. If you start paying over the odds to keep your supply chain running efficiently, your chances of making a profit at the end of the year will be significantly reduced. For many firms, those are able to deliver cost effective freight services across the globe can make a big difference to your bottom line. Before you agree to do business with any logistic company, insist on detailed quotations covering all your regular transportation requirements.

Comprehensive tracking and reporting software –

Getting your goods to where they are needed on time is only part of the solution as far as corporate transport managers are concerned. In order to operate at maximum efficiency and to keep customers happy, they need to know exactly where every consignment is at any particular time. The ability to track packages that are sent to overseas clients will allow you to keep them updated as to expect dates of arrival and the ability to generate reports on a monthly basis will enable you to identify problem areas and deal with them at the earliest possible opportunity.

Customs Assistance –

Anybody that has had to deal with the reams of paperwork generated by exports and imports knows only too well how easy it can be to forget an important document, resulting in unnecessary delays that cost a great deal of money. It is particularly important to be aware of regulations regarding materials that it is prohibited to import into a particular country, so you can avoid becoming entangled in legal wrangles that stop your supply chain in its tracks. A good freight forwarder will be aware of the relevant regulations in each country to which you export or import, and ensure that such issues are dealt with before they become a real problem.

Warehousing –

Large organizations that assist companies of all sizes to move goods around the world should be able to arrange for raw materials, components or finished products to be warehoused in the most convenient locations prior to them being sent wherever they are needed. Many small firms waste a lot of money importing and exporting items that could have been kept in a remote storage facility until they were actually required and this is an area in which a reliable agency will definitely be able to help. Be sure to ask about this service whenever you contact an agent with a view to developing a long-term relationship.

The ability to ship small loads at affordable prices –

This is one of the biggest reasons that many firms use a freight forwarder in the first place: you wish to have your goods transported across the globe but your consignments are not large enough to fill a standard shipping container, resulting in unacceptably high transportation costs. Any logistics consultancy worth their salt should be able to offer competitive deals on small consignments, ensuring that all their clients are able to benefit from the cost savings that sea freight has to offer. They should also be able to provide this service without any significant delays to your shipments.

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There are many other functions that a reputable forwarding agent should be able to perform but the above are those that I consider to be the most important. If your company has any unique requirements that are not covered in this article, you should of course make sure that any agency with which you deal is able to meet them all for a reasonable price. In today’s global markets, efficient and cost effective transportation services are of paramount importance.