The global freight forwarding market is growing. In 2017, it grew by 8%, meaning there are new entrants into the market offering parcel forwarding services. The services are essential as they’re crucial in planning the logistics that make an international business succeed.
If you’re new to international business, you may not fully understand the impact of freight forwarding. However, the truth is that you’ll need the services more often than you can imagine. The wrong choice of parcel forwarding services can hamper your global expansion.
Fortunately, you don’t have to make this costly mistake or gamble with service providers before finding the best. Here you’ll get insights into factors to consider when choosing the best parcel forwarding services.
1. Types of Products
One of the essential factors to consider is the type of products you want to ship. When looking for shipping services, carefully review the sizes, shapes, and weights of parcels they handle. This will help you determine if the service provider is best suited for your package.
Some companies have certain restrictions that may come as hindrances. Some of their policies may also not suit your products, for example, if you’re shipping food supplements or perfumes. Some other service providers may not handle expensive or fragile products.
Take note of all these intricate details when consulting with various carriers.
2. Shipping Rates
One of the factors that’ll ultimately dictate which service provider to choose is the cost of shipment.
The shipping rates you offer your clients will go a long way in earning or losing their trust and loyalty. As such, you need to engage the services of a forwarding company with fair shipping rates. Sometimes, you may have to involve different shipping companies, with varying prices, to give your customers the best deal.
3. Range of Services
Every industry has a set of requirements for international shipping. When looking for parcel forwarding services, ensure you’ll get all that you need. The more services you can get from a company, the smoother the shipment process will be.
Some of the services you need to check for include
- Tracking services
- Preparation of transportation documents
- Packaging and storage
- Customs clearance
- Package consolidation
- Carrier options available (UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS, etc)
- Personal Shopper services
Before you do your research, you should have a compiled list of the services you want to get. Ensure the service align with the processes of your supply chain.
4. Tracking Services
After shipping your goods, you or your customers will want to know how far they’re from being delivered. Go for a service provider with a website where you can check on the delivery status of the package.
It’s always good practice if you can tell if your goods have been delivered or there has been a delay. This way, you can efficiently liaise with the shipping company in case of any concerns.
5. Worldwide Services
When looking for parcel forwarding services, go for a company with global agents. The way your shipments are handled from the source to the destination is upon the freight forwarder. International delivery calls for many logistics, and this is why it’s essential for the company to have a network of global agents.
Confirm if the company has an agent in the country you’re sending your shipment to. With such a network there’ll be a flow of information, keeping you notified at every stage of the delivery process.
6. Delivery Time
A good forwarding company keeps its words on matters of delivery schedules. Choose a company responsible enough to ensure on-time delivery of goods to the right destination.
In most cases, you’ll be given an estimated delivery time, which you can work with and plan accordingly.
7. Industry Experience
When it comes to international business, experience comes at the forefront. It’s the company’s expertise in the forwarding industry that’ll determine how they handle
- Port shutdowns
- dockworker strikes
- cargo reroutes
All these are potential issues that occur with international shipping. If a company has been in the industry for long, they’ll have enough experience to navigate these issues. This is especially if it’s a company dedicated to the delivery of services.
8. Customer Services
Just like any other industry, the quality of customer service in the forwarding industry is crucial. A company with excellent customer service provides you with all the support you need round the clock. It’s especially vital if you’re venturing into international trade for the first time.
With excellent customer service, you’ll get direct access to the agent handling your cargo. Their lines of communication should remain open, and their level of responsiveness should be amicable. A company with excellent customer service should take the responsibility of alerting you when any issue in shipment arises.
With shipment, it’s never always a guarantee that your goods will arrive at their right destination or in good condition. Whatever type of products you handle it’s recommendable that you choose a company that offers damage insurance.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your goods are covered in case anything happens.
Are the practices of the carrier company environmentally conscious in the transport solutions they offer? How do they demonstrate their environmental commitments, and are they measurable? Customers are keen about environmental sustainability are more inclined to use companies with this reputation.
Parcel Forwarding Services – Take Away
Choosing parcel forwarding services is just like choosing any other service in business. Whether you’re new in international business or a veteran, you need to choose reliable shipping companies. A freight forwarder has the responsibility to handle all your cargo and hence determines your business success.
This is why it’s crucial to take the time to scrutinize several companies before making a decision. Some of the essential factors to consider include shipping rates, insurance, and tracking services. You also want to deal with a company that forwards cargo in various destinations around the globe.
More importantly, check the quality of the customer service. You don’t want a company that’ll frustrate your shipping process by not showing any concern when hitches arise. Don’t forget to check their level of expertise in the industry.
At OPAS, we offer parcel forwarding services for international shoppers who want to buy US products. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us today.