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Things to Look Out For When Hiring a Freight Forwarder

What's in this article?
  1. What Is A Freight Forwarding Company?
  2. How Much Do Freight Forwarding Services Cost?
  3. Do I Really Need A Freight Forwarder?
  4. Is A Freight Forwarder Worth The Time Investment?
  5. Is Your New Freight Forwarder Trustworthy?
  6. What You Need To Look Out For
  7. Educational Resources
  8. Single Point Of Contact
  9. Capabilities
  10. Delivery Duration
  11. Documentation
  12. Accuracy
  13. Demurrage And Detention Charges
  14. Know What You Want
Things to Look Out For When Hiring a Freight Forwarder

Managing the shipment of goods from all over the world is no easy feat for the freight industry.

Numerous moving parts are involved in the process, from selecting a shipping company to tracking packages to ensuring they comply with local laws.

Because the industry is constantly evolving, new issues always arise along the path.

What Is a Freight Forwarding Company?

Freight Forwarding services are experts in moving goods from one location to another. They work with shipper companies to determine which types of shipping are most suitable for their goods.

Freight forwarders will handle everything from negotiating shipping contracts to arranging for customs clearances. They will also file necessary documents with government agencies.

How Much Do Freight Forwarding Services Cost?

Shipping costs can vary widely. Think about where your destination is, where the boat is coming from, and if there are any special requirements for the cargo.

In general, the further the final destination, the greater the cost. For example, shipping containers from New York City to L.A. could cost between $3,500 and $4,000 per 24 hours.

However, if the same package is shipped from San Francisco to London for the same period, the cost could be around $1,300.


Do I really need a freight forwarder?

It depends on your industry. If you have a lot of international shipping or need special handling, you might want to hire a freight forwarder.

Alternatively, you can likely manage your own shipping if you're just sending a few packages across town.

Is a freight forwarder worth the time investment?

It may be challenging to get started if you do not have an established relationship with a carrier. It takes longer to complete tasks while on the phone than working.

However, if you anticipate using your new carrier often, it's worth doing the work to establish the relationship.

Is your new freight forwarder trustworthy?

Ensure that any prospective company has a solid reputation. Discuss them with people who know you well. Check out user reviews and feedback on sites like Yelp or AngiesList.

What You Need To Look Out For

Here are a few essential things 2yoou should take note of and search for when deciding on finding a freight forwarder company.

Educational resources

To determine if a business offers high-quality educational materials, look at the resources available for its clients.

If they don't provide additional value beyond basic informational websites, it may be because they're selling their products rather than delivering value for their visitors.

On the flip side, offering extensive training, white papers, cases, etc., could indicate that the company is invested in its client's success.


Single point of contact

If you're looking for a partner to ship goods internationally, it pays to do some research beforehand.

You don't want to end up dealing with multiple people handling your shipments; there's no reason why you should have to go through several different channels just because you've signed up with a fulfillment center.

Ensure you are aware of who is accountable for each shipping process step. If you have to call multiple people to answer questions, it might be better to look elsewhere.


The first way to do this is by using a 3rd party logistics provider (3PL).

A 3PL is an organization that provides warehouse space, transportation, custom­s brokerage, insurance, and similar services to companies.

These companies often operate from multiple offices around the globe.

Another way to get started is by building your international network. You'll work directly with local providers to offer shipping services.

Many companies believe this is the best way to go because they can control their costs and maintain high standards. It also requires a lot of initial upfront investment.

There are considerations to be made in both scenarios. Before choosing a carrier, know how much capacity they offer.

For example, if the carrier has enough room for your product, does it have enough room to handle it?

Do you need to hire additional staff to meet increased demand? Is the shipping company equipped to handle large volumes of orders efficiently?

If you're looking to hire a freight forwarder, you need to look for one who has experience shipping your type of product.

Ask the company about its customer service history.

Do they respond to customer needs? Do they provide support 24/7? How long has their business existed? Finally, check references. Ask previous clients for their feedback.

Delivery duration

How long does it take for the company to go from Point A to Point B? And how often do these companies meet the expectations they've established for their clients?


How often do customers complain about errors in documentation? Do they handle things poorly or misplace things? How frequently is inventory lost, and is it delayed by customs?


It's essential to be accurate when forecasting demand because if you're too far off base, you could have too much or too little inventory.

If you deliver products before they're ready, they're just sitting around, wasting time and costing you money. If you're delivering late, it costs your business.


Demurrage and detention charges

Timing is everything when shipping. There are always fluctuations in the supply and demand for transportation and storing goods, especially when it comes to oil and gas.

You can use two methods to see whether your freight forwarder is good. When carriers or consignees exceed their allotted space or storage, they incur demurrage and detainment fees.

If a container is not returned within its allotted time, demurrage charges are applied; if it is not returned at all, there may be a deten­tion fee.

Even though some factors, such as strikes or weather events, can sometimes cause unexpected fees, such additional costs can usually be attributed to sloppy practices within the shipping business.

Know What You Want

Before you start comparing forwarders, know exactly what kind of relationship you want to have with them. Ensure you specify the precise nature of your relationship with the forwarder.

Before starting, think through your costs, how critical time is to your business, how you want communication to work, and which types of help would be most beneficial for your team.

If you know what the perfect user journey looks like, you can then use that knowledge to identify your best partners.

You want your shipping company to be a long-lasting partnership.

You may need to put some effort into finding the right freight forwarder, but you must understand how they think about shipments.

Luckily, A1 Auto Transport places reliability and customer experience first and foremost.

We're one of the world's leading freight forwarders for a reason. Ready to save on reliable, fast shipping for your business? Get a free quote today!

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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