Six Steps to choose a Freight Forwarder

Previous DSV Newsletters in this series have included topics such as: 

What is freight forwarding?
Why choose a freight forwarder? 
How your business can benefit from using a freight forwarder. 

In this edition, DSV would like to offer: “How to choose a freight forwarder” in six steps.

When it comes to international or domestic freight forwarding, selecting the right freight forwarder is much like choosing a key business partner or realtor. They must know your areas of strength and weakness in order to support you, trusted to oversee your property, and care about your end users just like you do. 
Below a few steps to consider in choosing a freight forwarder for your industry:

1. Do your homework

Before you contact a logistics provider, analyze your own company’s’ transportation needs, the specific services your business requires, and the volume you plan to ship and create a checklist of requirements. You should find a forwarder who is able to grow with your changing business requirements, yet maintain a level of personal contact.

2. Industry Experience

Discover if your chosen freight forwarder has experience in your industry. Often, a freight forwarder is able to move cargo well – but not always in the vertical market of expertise that you require. It is optimal to choose a company that has local experts in your area. 
Check for global reach. Does your freight forwarder live where your customers and suppliers located? Can you expand with this provider if your business grows? Find your local DSV office

3. Risk Management

Transportation by nature offers instable conditions when navigating Door-to-Door worldwide cargo logistics. You need a freight forwarder who can mitigate risks, and know what to do when problems occur.

They should be proactive and offer solutions to issues in a timely manner. 

One of the risk mitigation strategies is cargo insurance. Be sure to ask about what kind of cargo insurance a freight forwarder can provide. Opening your company to standard carrier liability could prove a costly mistake. 

Look for open communication and transparency. You want a partner during crisis.

4. Multiple Types of Services

If your business requires multi-modal shipments or you need to store goods in a warehouse for some time, it is better to choose a freight forwarder who provides a full array of services such as air, sea, road transportation, and logistics solutions.  Be sure to discuss all aspects of your logistics chain with your provider. If they appear to be only local, or narrow in their service offerings, this could be a sign that they will not be able to be flexible when you need to step outside of the norm.

5. Communications and Customer Service

Communication is key. Logistics can be tricky.  Your freight forwarder should handle concerns from door-to-door. However – you need the details. Be sure your logistics provider is able to offer data through online Track & Trace, timely notifications or simple personal calls which help to build your relationship with your provider.

6. Licenses, permits and other required documentation

Research what kind of permits and documentation a logistics provider is required to have to order to handle you cargo. Various licenses are required for not only operating as a freight forwarder, but sometimes carrying sensitive products. When you talk with a prospect, ask where their license references are located.

DSV offers these simple steps as a suggestion to our readers which we hope can offer assistance in finding a premium freight partner.

Contact us if you are looking for services in Air, Sea, Road, Solutions, Vertical Markets, or even Cargo Insurance. DSV will be happy to assist you.  

Bon Voyage! 

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