What They Are, And What They Do
When you’re dealing with some heavy shipments, it’s almost a certainty that your smarts are in order when you enlist the service of a freight forwarder.
They’re not behemoths designed to break the ice or bust up battleships. Their only purpose is to transport imports and exports back and forth from overseas port to port. A forwarder’s main function might surprise you: you’re looking at a representative for safe travel. In other words, if a company ever has issues or disputes with shipments, a freight forwarder handles them all. In addition, they can also narrow down the field of carriers, simplifying the shipment process. Handling specific requirements and facilitating the deal with trade legalities are also on the repertoire of the freight forwarder.
Don’t Companies Have Their Own Transportation Services?
The fact is this: yes and no. Logistics is a very specialized field, and while car transport companies do have their resources for car shipment transportation, to ensure the protection of goods, a freight forwarder wins out in many ways, like….
- Appropriate Handling of Paperwork
- Quality Condition of Goods
- Prompt, Safe, Efficient, and Cost-Effective Delivery
- Even Airfare for the Customer
Can’t Beat That – So Where Do I Get One?
Do your research. Because there’s a lot of competition out there. And never, ever, ever rush into a relationship with a freight forwarding company. Period.
The fact is you’ll have a long-term partnership with any company you choose, so make sure you choose one that fits your bill. There are a variety of quotes and estimates out there, and some companies, unfortunately, utilize some unethical means to catch their customers. Watch out for those.
Referrals from friends and/or family members tend to help out – although if none of your friends or family members have any need for freight forwarding, that resource is, unfortunately, a no-go! No worries, though, as you can even check up on the Household Goods Freight Forwarders Association of America (HHGFFAA) and the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) for more information on any given freight forwarding company. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is also a great place to do some research.
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Your Product: The Most Important Piece of the Puzzle
There’s something grand when you look at the spectacle of a company that practically pulls in and ships out all your goods on a magnificent Titanic, unsinkable and insurmountable. Needless to say, freight forwarders are islands made of steel, surface leviathans designed to champion the seas without fail.
However, these monster ships are, of course, made of steel. So they can sink.
Typically, freight forwarding companies offer insurance for your product. The most important piece of your corporate puzzle. No one wants to see your goods go down where the real Titanic sits. And if it just so happens that a big meteor falls from the sky and breaks your freight forwarding ship in two, your goods are covered! That’s the important thing.
You can rely on a good freight forwarding company to do these things:
- Replacement Cost Protection (covers repair, replacement, or reimbursement)
- Depreciation Value Coverage (covers repair, replacement, or reimbursement of lost goods)
- Basic Liability Coverage (a no-brainer, really)
On the Subject of Documents….
Yes, it’s always a scary thought: paperwork. In addition to worrying about your goods traveling across troubled waters sometimes, there’s the sickening feeling of having to deal with all the paperwork.
Trade is a tough business.
As mentioned earlier, though, a reputable freight forwarding company handles all of that for you. No ifs, and, or buts.
Typically, you can expect inventory handled from top to bottom, the bill of lading always done right and submitted correctly, and customs prepared perfectly. When you think about it, that’s their job!
They’re About the Shipment of Goods
Plain and simple. At first, I know, it might seem redundant to go through a ‘middle man’ like a freight forwarder.
But it’s well worth it. After all, it’s about your product such as your vehicle – the safety of your vehicle, the quality of your vehicle, and the sanctity of your vehicle. And you can’t put a price on that.
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