6 Crucial Considerations When Choosing a Freight Forwarder

6 Crucial Considerations When Choosing a Freight Forwarder

Arranging for international shipping is no simple task. It involves a lot of crucial factors – from the different types of transportation methods to the potential storage and delay caused by customs processing and others – which all entail knowledge, expertise, and experience.

Although freight forwarders aren’t the actual people who move the parcels from point A to point B, they play a vital role in the success of the process. They act as the intermediary between transportation service providers and shippers, who are, in most cases, businesses selling goods overseas.

Moreover, since freight forwarding companies in the United Kingdom take logistics tasks off of your hands, selecting the right partner is a vital task for your company’s success. After all, customers expect the fast and efficient delivery of goods if they are to consider it to be worth their time and money.

To help you satisfy customer expectations, below are six of the most crucial considerations you need to think about before signing a contract with any freight forwarding company:

1.   Your Business Needs

Not all businesses have the same needs. Although most companies sell goods for a living, the products they sell don’t always have the same handling and shipping requirements.

For instance, businesses selling makeup online need to have their products shipped with utmost care to prevent damage to their goods, while e-commerce websites that sell perishable food require speedy delivery.

Because of this, it is important that you understand your shipment requirements for you to determine the ideal kind of freight service for you. This will also help you tick off irrelevant forwarding companies from the long list of prospects you need to consider.

Aside from the type of shipment, other things you must factor in during the selection process are seasonal shipments and the suitable mode of transport. You must also think about the volume of the cargo to be delivered and the mode of payment to be used (e.g., cash on delivery).

2.   Logistics Experience

In almost any skilled trade, experience is equivalent to reliability. Years of experience in performing the same task repeatedly provides a freight forwarder with detailed knowledge and ample understanding of the industry. This means that they would know where and when to ship a load to achieve the promised arrival time without any hiccups along the way.

Logistics experience also means that they know the necessary paperwork and can follow the rules that apply to different countries, both of which are crucial for successful shipping. They also have enough experience to come up with countermeasures for potential problems like the rerouting of cargo, hassles in customs processing, port shutdowns, problems with warehousing, and labor strikes.

3.   Cost Efficiency

Because of neck-to-neck competition in the industry, you should be able to find a freight forwarder that offers quality service at an agreeable price.

Since cost is an important factor in choosing any type of service-oriented vendor, you must always check whether the forwarding company can accommodate your shipping requirements while staying within the budget you have set.

4.   Customer Service and Support

Customer service is a crucial factor that can affect your success in client satisfaction. Since they handle the shipping of products to your clientele, the freight forwarding service provider you hire must have reliable customer support that not only offers to track parcels but also assists customers until they get the shipment at the destination.

5.   Insurance

Insurance, in every sense of the word, helps a business stay safe from any mishaps during shipping. This is why choosing a freight forwarder which offers this extra service can ensure the protection of your business and your customers in case any parcel gets lost, damaged, or stolen while in transit.

6.   Documentation

Because shipping work entails plenty of paperwork, you should also have copies of your own to make sure that the freight forwarding company does everything by the book.

Some of the documents you should have on hand include the following:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Copy of the bill of lading contract
  • Certificate of origin statement
  • Inspection certificates
  • Export license and packing list
  • Shippers’ export declaration

Pick the Right Freight Forwarding Partner

Freight forwarding companies handle most of the logistics work in the shipment of goods overseas. For this reason, the services they offer are considered crucial to solidifying your company’s reputation and customer relations.

Make sure you pick the right partner who will do the job well and help drive your business to success by considering these six important factors.


Toby Edwards is the CEO of Shipa Freight and is based in Dubai. Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. Shipa Freight empowers small and medium-size businesses, taking the complexity out of International Freight Forwarding, making it easy to manage legal, regulatory and compliance issues, and offering convenient ways to pay to move their goods.