To find a good freight forwarder, it is important that you perform thorough research. It is important to know how much you might pay, what to expect, and what to look for. Furthermore, you should be prepared to ask freight forwarders the right questions to make sure you are selecting the right one. By preparing yourself, you minimize the risk of dealing with unnecessary stress.
How to Find a Good Freight Forwarder
- Understand Your Freight needs
When trying to find a good freight forwarder, it’s best to understand what your shipping needs are before you start looking.
- Know Your Budget
Knowing how much you are willing to pay a freight forwarder is crucial. Freight Forwarder fees and costs can fluctuate based on many factors.
- Know What to Expect
Understanding the freight forwarder processes is important. Performing research beforehand will help clear up any fog.
- Ask The Right Questions
When you narrow down the companies to be your freight forwarder, it is important to ask them all of the right questions.
- Read Reviews
Finally, make sure the freight forwarder has real, user-rated feedback to review. Reviews can tell you a lot about a company from a customer’s perspective.
How Much Does a Freight Forwarder Cost?
A freight forwarder charges a flat fee for their services (a handling fee). In addition, they handle the payment for document processing, carrier costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. All charges should be included in your freight quote, so make sure your freight forwarder itemizes your invoice.
What to Expect from a Freight Forwarder
Freight forwarders handle the shipment of freight across several carriers and modes of transport. A freight forwarder will arrange carriage—from origin to destination—contracting with carriers that will handle the freight as well as processing any necessary paperwork. Typically, freight forwarders are hired to handle international freight shipments.
When you first contact a freight forwarding company, they should provide a quote for international shipping, including carrier charges, duties, insurance, and their forwarding fee. A freight forwarder should explain timelines, transfers, and transportation options. Versed in import, export, and customs laws, freight forwarders can advise you on the specific regulations regarding your shipment.
Once you hire a freight forwarder, they will arrange for space with carriers, verify insurance coverage, complete documentation, and help with packaging.
Things to ask before hiring a freight forwarder:
- Is my freight traveling by ocean? If so, is my freight forwarder authorized by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to transport freight by ocean? (Note: US ocean freight forwarders must be registered with the FMC)
- Is my freight traveling by air? If so, is my freight forwarder authorized by the International Air Transport Association? (Note: While this is not legally required of air freight forwarders, it does indicate the company operates with high standards.)
- Does my freight forwarder have a good reputation with freight carriers as well as previous customers?
- Does my freight forwarder have a large network of carriers, both domestic and international?
- How do they stay in touch with carriers (online, by phone, etc.)?
- Does my freight forwarder have the resources and services that I require?
- Does my freight forwarder provide ample cargo insurance as well as “errors and omissions insurance”?
- Is my freight forwarder professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful?
Not only does uShip provide discounted freight quotes, but we also offer other great benefits, such as:
- Customer Support: uShip’s knowledgeable LTL customer support team is available via phone or email. If you need to file a damage claim or dispute a rebill, we can help.
- Invoice Audits: All invoices are checked for accuracy to ensure you are getting the best price possible. We will proactively credit the difference of any overpayment to your uShip account.
- Bring Your Own Rates: If you have your own rates with LTL carriers, you can load them directly into your uShip portal, allowing you to compare quotes all in one place.
- Customer Specific Pricing: We can negotiate pricing with carriers based on your individual volume.
- Referral Program: You will receive shipping credit when you refer a friend.
- Insurance Options: Did you know LTL carriers do not have full liability insurance? It’s always best to cover your freight with a uShip cargo insurance policy.
From competitive prices to great customer service, it’s clear why so many small businesses prefer obtaining LTL freight quotes from uShip. If you have any questions about shipping LTL freight on uShip, please contact us. We have an experienced freight team available to answer all of your questions.