Whether your company is looking to import, or export goods it is vital that you choose a reliable Freight Forwarding company to handle your requirements. If you are importing purchased items for retail, or manufacturing purposes your company needs to have confidence in the fact that the goods will arrive on time, on schedule and in perfect condition. If there are any problems then manufacturing maybe delayed, or stopped and late arrivals will result in gaps within the retail environment, absolutely losing your company valuable money. If you are exporting items then you also must have confidence that your customers will not be left disappointed with late deliveries, after all, constantly blaming shipping delays is not acceptable when quality freight services are available.
A standard search for 'Freight Forwarders' on Google.co.uk will highlight just how many companies are involved in this market, so how do you choose a trusted company? Probably the most important thing to do is think who you may know that has used a freight forwarder, or logistics company in the past. Personal recommendations count for so much more than a fancy website, with a number of questionable testimonials. If you are not in the position to rely on a friend's past experience then there are a number of other factors to consider. In the UK, freight forwarders are not licensed, but many members of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) and BIFA regulate their members to ensure that best practices are adhered to. Many UK based companies offering freight forwarding services will also be members of the FIATA, which helps to maintain the professionalism of the forwarding industry in Ireland through educational and representative roles.
A genuine Freight Forwarder will be able to provide not only the logistics for your cargo, whether it is via road, air, or sea, but will act as the carrier, not just as an forwarding agent. The leading freight companies will also be able to offer warehousing, storage, pick and pack facilities and multi-destination distribution. A forwarding agent is only available to offer 'spare' places on freight forwarding companies own transport, therefore, distribution and shipping schedules can be compromised and agents charge fees, meaning you are paying an agent to make phone calls for you. An agent does not offer the best rates available, but simply the only available shipping slots from the freight companies that need to fill extra container space.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked when choosing a freight forwarder is freight insurance . It is important to be clear who is responsible for the safety and security of your goods during import and export. Forwarding agents will not include this insurance service and many smaller freight companies offer low rate groupage and shipping, but without insurance. It is important to identify on your quote how much your goods will be assured for and who is liable for these costs. Major freight forwarding companies offer freight insurance as part of service. And some freight forwarders offer specialized services, for particular high-value, or awkward goods, so it is always worth being as specific as possible if you do start your search on Search Engines.
For a comprehensive list of Freight Forwarding companies visit BIFA , where you will be able to identify locally-based freight forwarders that will be able to assist your business in delivery import and export services on-schedule.