If you are a master in Supply Chain Management, have 10+ years of experience in managing operations, or have great networking, does that make you an efficient freight forwarder? Does that mitigate the need for specialized hands to deal with freight? Is it a sustainable option when cutting costs? The answer to all these questions is "No."
Freight forwarders act as a cornerstone in the export shipping process. Even today, in the era of e-commerce, the importance of freight forwarders hasn't decreased an inch. But the question that arises, most often, is on what basis should one choose a freight forwarder, such that they prove to be an asset and not a liability.
In this article - the 10 things that best freight forwarders have in common - we learn how forwarders have set the benchmarks higher in the technology used, the services provided, and customer satisfaction. The following article will not only help you choose the best but also gives you an insight into their contributions to the respective industry.
1. Experience and credibility
The deeper the roots, the better the foundation. And even in the case of freight forwarders, it holds. Owing to their journey in the freight industry, the best freight forwarders will always bring a lot of experience to the table. Not only this, their work would speak for themselves and their clients would testify to their prowess.
With the wave of digitalization creeping in, the world has become a global village. But, like the 2 faces of a coin, it also brings in the risk of fraudulent along. And so, to validate the genuineness of freight forwarders, accreditations play a major role. Every top-notch freight forwarder will always have proper accreditations and Global Network Membership. These not only help reflect their professionalism but also help build trust, and testify to their authenticity. A few of these certificates, licenses, and/or memberships include the WCA membership, MPL Logistics, African Logistics, MTO, FMC license, IATA, FIATA, and the Custom broking license.
3. Expansive and Elaborate Networking
Join the dots to make it big is a phrase we often hear. And even in the case of networking, it is not different. Networking is one of the vital survival essentials of the professional and corporate world. It not only acts as a cushion in trying times but also helps one grow and expand. More so, with the advent of technology, it has now become easier to connect and to be connected. From apps to social media, it has now become much easier to network well. And so, owing to their experience in this field, every amazing freight forwarder will have an elaborate and well-maintained network of people to reach out to at their fingertips.
4. Dedicated Customer Service and Support
Customers are the kings, and only the best in the crowd treat them well. Endless and seamless support is something that the top freight forwarders will always provide for the customers. They also ensure that all stopgaps are fixed and proper closures are done, to mitigate the possibility of issues arising. Whether it be constant tracking or quick redressal, whether it be situational analysis or exception handling, forwarders make sure everything is taken care of, with the help of technological assistance deployed. Dedicated apps, AI-driven bots, AML backed systems are some of the many tech boons that they use to make sure that the customers are content.
5. Effective solutions with Proper Storing and Packaging
For forwarders, handling the goods well from the first mile to the last mile is one of their most crucial responsibilities. Strategizing storage, forecasting warehouse inflow, and regulating storage conditions are some of the few important things that the best forwarders always take care of, ensuring that the product is in perfect shape and size. Thanks to AI, AML, SCM, Blockchain and other such technologies ensure everything is on track, in sync, and well-handled.
6. Reliable Fee and Pricing Structure
The money inflow in the freight field can be lucrative. But there could be incidents of superficially high charges to churn out profits deceitfully. Besides, in many cases, forwarders leave people puzzled or ghosted after the fees are received. However, the top forwarders always ensure that the pricing for the services given is well-deserved. Not only that, they are always available to make sure that they are answerable to their customers, making them feel secure and trustable.
7. Tailored Services
Most often, in a tryst between money and time people choose money and hence buy in bundles of services only to realize later that not all services come in handy or are required from the operational point of view. However, this is not the case with professional forwarders.
The experienced freight professionals will always explain every detail and use case of the service being invested in. Besides, they always follow the customer-first approach, thus providing tailored services. This not only reduces costs but also effort and time. Moreover, in a market where people are fulfilling the basics, they go the extra mile to help and provide services, thus giving them an edge over others.
8. Track Record of Compliance
One's work should always speak for itself, and it is no different when looking at the best forwarders in the industry. Their clientele is dotted with impressive profiles who are always ready to vouch for the work done. Not only does this validate one's work but also helps in analyzing the field-specific expertise.
Work hidden is work wasted. And so, apart from doing strategic work, they also ensure their work is being recognized as well as their efforts are visible. In the era of social media and digital reading, the due visibility received in turn validates their work and operational efficiency.
10. Efficient Management Systems
End-to-end management is a task not everyone can ace. Only the best forwarders know it. Forwarders have systems to handle higher volumes and provide real-time information. Efficient forwarders use the best freight forwarding system to smoothly manage operations and maintain high customer satisfaction.
And so, be it through manual intervention or tech-driven solutions, these freight forwarders ensure that from start to finish everything is seamlessly taken care of. This, not only ensures a smooth workflow but also a much higher operational efficiency.
Thus, as they say, the right choice is never easy but once made is a fulfillment for a lifetime. Similarly, the best freight forwarders if chosen are surely an asset for the business. They not only help boost the metrics but also bring to the table a lot of knowledge, experience, and expertise to help grow the company holistically.