If you are looking for a freight forwarder, then there are different aspects that need to be checked to make sure that you are working with the right company. Let us look at some tips that will help you take the right decision and select the most suitable freight forwarder for your needs.
Food Shipping Companies and Selection of a Freight Forwarder
Tip #1: Look for Someone Experienced
Your aim should be to search for someone with good industry experience as well as a strong relationship with different carriers so that your freight can be connected with ground, sea, and air partners.
The freight forwarder you select should have the expertise in handling dangerous goods, transportation of multi dimensional loads, emergency shipping, and providing temperature controlled transportation services.
Additionally, the freight forwarder should have experience in shipping to cities and countries that you will be shipping to and from.
Tip #2: Check the Services
Right before you contact the freight forwarders and transportation carriers for dry goods, it is important for you to create a detailed list of your requirements. This way you will be able to ensure that the company you contact will be able to provide you with the required services.
You will also have to determine the volume that is to be shipped before you get in touch with any freight forwarder. The list of requirements you create should consist of:
- When asset based transportation is required.
- The speed of delivery you are expecting.
- Commodities that are to be shipped.
- Any kind of special packaging the will be necessary.
- What are the terms of sale.
- The type of volume you are planning to ship.
Tip #3: Examine Their Network
The freight forwarder you select should have a strong network of agents in other countries. These networks will result in timely and open flow of communication.
Moreover, these networks will facilitate freight tracking on a global basis. This way it will also become easier for you to check the status of shipment.
Tip #4: Analyze Financial Strength
Before selecting freight forwarders and food shipping companies, you should analyze their financial strength. This way you will be able to ensure that your freight will not be held up because of financial issues.
For example, you may find that your cargo is held up because the freight forwarder you appointed is not able to make payment to the carrier.
Tip #5: Check Industry Certification
If freight forwarders and companies offering asset based transportation have industry certification, then it will give you the assurance that they provide quality services to their clients.
One such certification that freight forwarders in Canada should have is the PIP or Partners in Protection certification which falls under the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) program.
The focus of PIP is on:
- Securing trade chain
- Enhancing border security
- Elimination of contraband smuggling
If a freight forwarder has this certification then it means that they maintain the highest security standards and are considered trusted traders.
In addition, the freight forwarder you want to work with should have a registration with Transport Canada. This registration is a constituent element of Air Cargo Security Program (ACSP) and it is quite similar to PIP. However, this program specifically focuses on air freight requirements.
Last but not the least, the freight forwarder you are looking for should be part of The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association or CIFFA.
The role of CIFFA is to ensure that all the freight forwarders who are member of this association adhere to specialized security and training requirements as laid out by the association.
Tip #6: Examine Capabilities
Another thing to check will be whether the company you want as your freight forwarder has the capability to manage your global business. It will be necessary to examine the service contracts the freight forwarder has.
In case, it will be necessary to ship your goods on the vessel that sails first, then you will have to choose a freight forwarder with multiple carrier contracts. Examining this aspect will be crucial during peak seasons since at that time getting required space is often a problem.
When transportation carriers transport dry goods and freight forwarders are able to offer multiple carrier options, the probability of having your cargo on-board increases multiple times. This becomes possible since the forwarder is able to locate alternate options when they have contacts with multiple carriers.
Tip #7: Look into Customer Service
For any type of business, customer service is an important aspect to look into. Your aim should be to select a freight forwarder who promptly replies to your queries and requests.
Additionally, there should be valuable information as well as required forms related to shipping available on their website for you to download.
Tip #8: Examine Shipment They Can Handle
During your search for the right freight forwarder you will have to check whether the company is able to manage different kinds of shipments. For instance, presently you might be importing goods only from France using ocean freight, but in the future your needs may change and you can start importing from USA through air freight or export to China.
Thus, your aim should be to find someone with experience, technical know how as well as partners in difficult countries to handle any kind of shipment need you may have.
Tip #9: Understanding of Different Aspects
Shipments can be sent using multiple modes of transportation, there could be different commodities (such as garments, machinery, perishables, cars, hazardous things, food items, etc.), various regulations (ITAR, BIS, OFAC, etc.) as well as destinations and origins.
Every freight forwarder will not be able to manage all these requirements. As such, it will be important to check if a forwarder has experience in managing your specific requirements.
Additionally, you should ask to see their portfolio of companies for which they have performed similar activities. Your responsibility will be to contact some of these companies to understand if they are happy with the service they have received.
Tip #10: Examine if They Have Insurance
Lastly, you should check if the company has necessary insurance coverage that will be needed for freight that you will be shipping.