The decision to find your freight forwarder or allow the supplier to handle it comes down to what is best for your business.
Small businesses often face a myriad of financial challenges, especially when it comes to shipping goods. In an ideal scenario, companies use a cost-effective, reliable, and efficient way to get their products from point A to point B. But arriving at that ideal solution can be challenging.
Many allow the supplier to arrange their shipments, while others opt to find a freight forwarder themselves. But which option is the right one for your business? Let’s explore both sides of the equation and make an informed decision.
What is a Freight Forwarder?
A freight forwarder is a company that specializes in transportation and delivery of goods on behalf of its customers. They coordinate shipments through various transportation methods, such as trucking, air cargo, rail cargo, and ocean freight.
They are responsible for negotiating rates with carriers and selecting the most cost-effective and efficient option for their customers. They also provide services like document processing (i.e., customs clearance), tracking goods during transit, and insurance coverage.
Freight forwarders differ from logistics providers because they are not responsible for carrying the goods. Instead, they act as an intermediary between carriers and shippers to ensure their clients’ cargo is delivered on time and intact.
How Can a Freight Forwarder Help?
Using a freight forwarder can benefit businesses that want to save shipment time and money. Since freight forwarders have a professional and experienced team handling and monitoring shipments, they can guarantee that your goods will be shipped and negotiate better rates than those available to individuals or small businesses.
Additionally, freight forwarders are experienced in handling customs regulations, licensing requirements, and other documentation needed to ship goods internationally. This knowledge allows them to expedite the shipment process by ensuring that any necessary documents are taken care of quickly and accurately.
They can also arrange insurance for the shipment and provide tracking services so that you can keep an eye on your goods throughout transit.
A good freight forwarder leverages its digital systems to provide tracking solutions and automated updates on the shipment status. These help businesses streamline their shipping processes and make them more efficient.
Main advantages of Choosing your Own Freight Forwarder
Choosing your own freight forwarder may demand some time and research at first, but it can have great advantages in the long run.
Here are some of the main advantages of choosing your own freight forwarder:
- You are in control of the shipment journey, so you can be sure that your goods are being shipped in accordance with your specifications.
- You have more options when selecting a carrier or freight forwarder who best meets your needs. Your supplier may not always choose the most cost-effective option for your business. They may have a preferred carrier or freight forwarder that they are loyal to, which could cost you more in the long run.
- A freight forwarder can offer you additional services that you might otherwise not receive if your supplier is the one responsible for arranging transportation, such as flexible payment options and financing.
- You can track shipments more closely since you’ll have full visibility of their progress throughout the entire process.
In some situations, however, letting the supplier choose the freight forwarder makes sense. If your supplier has a good relationship with their own freight forwarder and the most cost-effective process is not your first priority at the moment, then letting them handle it may be the best option for you.
The decision to find your freight forwarder or allow the supplier to handle it comes down to what is best for your business. If you have the resources and time to research and select a provider, then it may be worth considering this option. This is recommended as it gives you more control over the process and could save you money in the long run.
For your shipping needs, Ship4wd can help. Our digital platform lets you to get real-time quotes and track your cargo from any device. We specialize in providing freight forwarding services to small and medium-sized businesses, so you can rest assured that we have the optimal solution for your business. Sign up to get started.