Freight Forwarding Evaluation
Choosing the right Freight Forwarder for your business can save you money, improve your delivery service and help your business to expand. We have written a guide on the considerations to make here, but how do you review a company you’ve been working with for a while. As with any business agreement, it pays to audit and evaluate the agreement put into place to make sure you’re both getting the best results. In today’s guide, we’ll go through the considerations you should make when establishing whether your freight forwarding agreement should continue or be altered.
Why Evaluate Your Freight Forwarder?
Businesses grow, change and diversify. Whether you’re expanding into new markets, increasing your product availability or looking to compete with better delivery lead times, you need to work with companies that can help you to achieve this. Many business owners choose to invest in the services of a freight forwarder as their in-house international delivery services begin to suffer. Perhaps they’re unable to get the best and most consistent deals? Perhaps they’re constantly experiencing delays. Or maybe it’s just time to re-invest money elsewhere.
Whatever the reason, you likely chose a freight forwarder that worked for your needs at that point. Building a good relationship with a steady stream of communication helps to iron out any issues and expand on services if needed. But it also pays to take an annual evaluation or review of the services.
Benefits of a Freight Forwarder Evaluation
Taking time to assess the support you’re receiving from a freight forwarder will:
- Save You Money – You’ll be able to identify whether there are any tasks or levels of support that you can either take in-house or no longer require.
- Improves Internal Operations – You may not have a clear understanding of all of the services offered by your freight forwarder. An evaluation can identify these and pair them with your goals for business growth.
- Understand Reliability – If you’re investing in a freight forwarder, you want to know that they’re doing their very best to get you the most competitive deals. The only way to do this is to work with a reliable and trustworthy company – and to review your partnership to ensure they’re on the same wavelength as you.
- Review Customer Service – When something goes wrong, how quickly does it get resolved? Customer service is everything and this goes for freight forwarding too. An evaluation will help you to better understand what speed of support you’re getting and whether it matches the urgency of your own needs.
What to Consider?
A freight forwarder evaluation doesn’t have to be a structured and formal process. The best kinds take place with decision-makers of a business and allow opinions and discussions to occur. You want to establish whether the company and the services that you’re paying for aligning with your business. Within your evaluation, consider the following points.
How much are you paying for these freight forwarding services? Is this offering a good return on investment? Consider what packages you’re paying for and whether any factors go unused. Can these be utilised to create a new avenue for international shipping? Or could you engage in conversation to see whether the costs can be removed from your package? All businesses need to have a good, strong understanding of how much they’re paying for external services. An evaluation gives you a clean base to assess these prices and establish whether this is money well-spent.
What services are you using that your current freight forwarder provides? Is there other support that your business can benefit from, but you’re unaware as to whether it’s offered by your current provider? Do you need very specialist support and cannot find the right contact to make this happen? Freight forwarders typically provide a wide scope of services, depending on their experience and their specialism. You must find the one with the largest database of contacts within your chosen niche and one that has the experience to provide the best quality services too.
When you first start working with a freight forwarder, you likely took note of how established the company was. The best in the business have a good presence within their chosen markets and a large base of contacts that help them get you the best deals. However, depending on how long you’ve worked together, their presence may have changed. Hopefully, this is for the better – the forwarder will have used the past years to continue building but it may have been detrimental. Understanding how their reputation and presence has changed will determine whether they’re the right fit for your business.
We mentioned the importance of reliability when it comes to working with a freight forwarder. And, this should definitely be something you review during your evaluation. You want to understand whether they’re certified to move the type of goods your business ships. You want to make sure that they have a structured process in place to prevent delays, damage, loss or other complications that could negatively impact your business.
How responsive is their customer service and support network? International shipping is a complex process and delays are commonplace. To maintain good customer service for your business, you need to have an understanding of where your goods are at any given point. Reviewing the support system of your existing freight forwarder allows you to recognise where they may be falling short and how this could be impacting your customers. If your demand has increased, you may also find that the company you’re working with aren’t able to keep up and provide the same high levels of service as they once did. It is things like this that an evaluation helps you to flag up.
As a freight forwarder with specialisms in USA and Far East inbound and outbound movements, Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services encourage our clients to evaluate our services every year. Not only does this give them a clearer understanding of our professional partnership, but it also helps us to improve our services too. If you would like more information or to request a quote, please get in contact with us here today.