10 frequently asked questions about freight forwarding services

freight forwarding services

Choosing the right company is so important, since they will be responsible for the transportation of cargo.  It is preferable to be extra cautious and check multiple freight trucking companies before finalizing any particular one for the work. It is important to be aware of the fact that freight forwarders tend to work differently and as such, you need to ask all the questions upfront to be sure that you know about the services a particular company provides and if you actually require those services.

Appointing Truckload Companies and Top 10 Questions to Ask

1. As a freight forwarder, do you have an extensive network that we can rely on?

When selecting any company offering freight forwarding services you need to check how extensive their network is. Any freight forwarder should have an established and reliable international network to meet the requirements of its clients. The benefit of having these networks is that it helps truckload companies streamline their freight forwarding procedures.

If they have a large network then it is likely that they will easily meet the demands of their clients.

In case they do not have any presence in some countries, ensure that they have tie-ups with reputable agents in those countries, and they can rely on them.

2. Will it be possible for me to track my freight on regular basis?

Nowadays, it is necessary that freight trucking companies provide tracking facility to their clients. If freight forwarders offer round-the-clock tracking service so that the location of the shipment can be easily tracked, then it is better to work with this company.

The benefit of a tracking facility that comes equipped with automated notifications is that it helps to better plans of logistical needs and also assists in creation of an alternate plan of action in case things go wrong. By being able to track the freight, you will have the peace of mind that everything is working out as planned.

3. Does the company provide a custom clearance facility?

Custom clearance is an integral and important part of the freight forwarding procedure and many of the freight trucking companies offer this service. If this service is not provided then it can create problems and put the supply chain into complete disarray.

It is worth mentioning here that there are companies that only work as forwarders, which means that these companies are responsible for managing only transportation and logistics for the freights. In these situations, you will have to find a separate company that will be able to manage custom clearance details for you.

Thus, it will be better to work with a company that offers custom clearance, both at the origin as well as the destination country.

4. How fast can the freight forwarder provide a quote for its work?

Rates that are provided tend to vary depending upon different factors such as the volume of merchandise, carrier, etc.

As such, it is better to get a quote quickly so that the freight can be planned out accordingly and deadlines can be met. Many truckload companies are now providing instant quotes when you apply online and it is also possible to book the freight online within the shortest period of time without having to visit the business in person.

5. What is included in the rates that are quoted?

It will be better to work with a company that is willing to provide a breakdown of services they provide and rates for the same. You need to be aware of the fact that some services like custom related fees and documentation charges are included in the rates by some of the freight forwarders, but not all of them.

6. Will there be expenditures to bear at the destination?

Freight forwarder should be able to provide information about expenses that you will have to bear at the destination. Some of the common expenditures consist of delivery charges, terminal handling fees, and release fees. Freight forwarders should be aware of these expenditures and be able to share the cost you may have to bear.

7. Are there any additional charges that one need to stay aware of?

There are many factors to be taken into consideration, which can increase your expenditure. These expenses depend upon factors such as destination, seasonality, freight being forwarded, and similar other details that are oftentimes beyond your control. An experienced freight forwarder will be aware of these additional charges and update you about the same.

8. Is the company bonded and licensed?

You need to make sure the freight forwarding company you are working with is bonded and licensed to provide the required services. When you work with a bonded and licensed freight forwarder, you get the assurance that they will be following the regulations and provide standard rates and prices for the services they provide.  Moreover, you will be able to easily put a complaint against them if you are not satisfied with the services received.

In addition, when  freight trucking companies are bonded then you get additional protection and will be reimbursed in case of any eventuality.

9. Are there any special requirements to be met at the destination?

Import requirements vary from one destination to the other, even when the commodity is the same. The freight forwarder you appoint should be aware of these details so that you can prepare for things  beforehand, such as getting a special license or making any necessary arrangements for extra documents that will be required.

10. Will it be necessary to pack as well as prepare freight on my own?

You need to be aware of the fact that some of the freight forwarders provide packing services. It could be an in-house facility or they may outsource the work to some other company. Thus, you need to find a company that offers this additional service so that you have one less thing to worry about. When the company handles the work you will have the assurance that the freight will be properly packed as per requirements and statutory guidelines.

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