A freight forwarder’s main role is to act as a representative for their clients and tackle the overwhelming, and at times frustrating, aspects of logistics and supply chain management. Freight forwarders provide their clients with beneficial insights related to freight pricing and routing, navigating international and domestic regulations and complicated document requirements, to name a few.
If you are going to expand your business internationally, freight forwarders play an integral part in supply chain management. They will negotiate freight rates on your behalf with the primary international cargo carriers (such as airlines and steamship lines), assist with documents, deal with Customs formalities and, finally, organize transport and deliveries.
So, what makes a successful freight forwarder and how do shippers benefit from setting up a relationship with a freight forwarder?
In order to be an effective service provider, freight forwarders who handle your import and export requirements typically have many years of professional experience. In the case of Universal Logistics, aside from a team with years of industry experience, we also have specialists who focus on the various sectors of the industry. These specialists are continually learning and using this knowledge to best serve the needs of our clients.
Successful freight forwarders have to be versatile to adapt to market conditions that are continually in flux. While price is a key component, it is only one aspect of an international freight move. It is very important to be fully aware of what is happening at any given time. Issues such as space allocation, equipment requirements, scheduling updates and navigating regulations are matters freight forwarders deal with on an ongoing basis.
If your goods are in the process of being transported via ocean, air or road, it is understandable that you might get concerned about the status of your cargo. Freight forwarders track your cargo throughout its journey and provide updates and information when required. This provides shippers with the reassurance that their shipments are in good hands and are being monitored continually.
Supply Chain Optimization
If you are unsure about selecting the correct carrier or mode of transport for your goods, this is where a freight forwarder excels. They will help you decide the best course of transportation for your goods. There is more to a freight move than pricing, as transit times, space availability and carrier reliability are factors that must be considered when routing cargo. Forwarders are continually analyzing all of these factors when deciding on the best routing for a client’s cargo.
Controlling your freight and using the services of a freight forwarder of your choice is the ideal scenario to protect your interests and save money. Freight costs can be very volatile, as the past year has shown. Working closely with your freight forwarder, who will have the best market insight and advise accordingly, ensures your freight costs are kept in line and you have full visibility to fluid market conditions.
Helps Your Business Create a Broader Network
Global freight forwarders such as Universal Logistics work with a broad network of international agents and, in most cases, these relationships are longstanding with proven service records. Knowing their international shipping requirements will be taken care of, allows shippers to broaden their scope of business worldwide. At the same time, international contacts provide expertise in their local market, and ensure your shipments are coordinated economically and efficiently.
For more information, contact David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services.