The Middle East is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. This region is experiencing great development in all the fields of domains. Businesses are unfolding at a rapid pace, especially in the field of import/export.
To help you navigate this landscape, this article will give you key advice to choose the best freight forwarder to ensure a good experience of import/export.
What does a freight forwarder do?
A freight forwarder, also known as a forwarding agent, is a person or a company that arranges shipments for people or businesses to transport goods from a manufacturer or producer to a market, client, or point of distribution at the end of the supply chain.
NB : A forwarder serves as a logistics network specialist and does not at moving the items.
Forwarder responsibilities included :
- the shipping mode: air freight, ocean freight, rail freight, road freight
- the type of freight: LCL (Less than Container Load) or FCL (Full Container Load)
- Documentation and customs requirements in the country of destination.
Do I really need one to ship my goods?
When it comes to international shipping, the terminology can be quite hard and stressful to get around the terms about that activity :
- A freight forwarder can advise the exporter/importer on various logistics-related expenses incurred during the logistics process (such as freight expenses, port expenses, consular fees, documentation costs, insurance fees, cost of merchandise, customs clearance, and charges).
- They take into account the nature of the goods, transit costs, time, and safety of the goods when recommending the best possible route for shipment to the exporter/importer.
- They book cargo space on ships, planes, trains, and trucks.
- They coordinate the insurance of the goods and follow it to the destination.
- Furthermore, they are also in charge of packing, loading onto the container, and storing the freight in their warehouse (if they have one).
If you are looking for transporting your goods internationally, and you don’t know a lot about the transportation procedure, then you should call a Freight Forwarder.
Things to look for when choosing a freight forwarder:
When looking for the best freight forwarder, you should respect these conditions :
Expertise is important, but the experience is more. The more experience we have, the more accurate our decisions will be and the more intelligently, and efficiently we deal with problems.
Experiences require practicing the same skills and learning more, exploring new horizons, new markets, new countries, and new challenges… The experience let them expand their network of the market: knowing the good supplies, customers, transporters, dealers… Experience creates the best services: updated, with the best quality and pricing.
Finding Reputable freight forwarders:
A quality freight forwarder is fundamental in logistics strategy.
Reputation is the finer point that distinguishes a freight forwarder from its competitors. You can also solicit feedback from previous customers. A good freight forwarder provides prompt and efficient customer service and resolves customers’ problems.
It also depends on your destination:
Shipping freight to Australia, France, and Thailand is not the same movement. Each country has its traditions, regulations, its risks, and its restrictions. So it is better to choose a freight forwarder that aligns with your needs and your conditions.
Credibility and trust with customers is a superpowers. A company should ensure their clients get their needs in the best conditions. To build credibility, companies should
- Ensure performance
- Showcase and recognize their achievements
- Put words into action; this is a fundamental point to boost trust.
- A good relationship with its clients
Budget is fundamental in choosing the right dealer, but you should never forget the balance between quality and price.
A freight forwarder price comparison will help you find not only the best, but also the most cost-effective option. Finding the right agent at the right price with the best service is a great opportunity.
How much does a freight forwarder cost?
You should know the freight forwarder’s pricing mechanism, which can be based on a percentage, volume, value, or method, then you can do your comparisons with competitors.
The factors involved are :
- Mode of shipment: sea freight, air freight, road freight, rail freight
- The country of destination: Morocco, France, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia…
- Cargo Type: 20’ Standard/DV – 40’ Standard/DV – 40’ High Cube (HC)
- Weight and volume of goods
- Packing and Palletization
- Container Costs
- Carrier Costs
- Documentation Fees
- Administration Charge
- Surcharges and fees