Global freight forwarders have no control over delays in shipping. These delays may happen due to poor weather, breakdown, transport delays or other unforeseen route deviations. Shipping delays are particularly frustrating, but it’s important to keep in mind, those delays are ultimately out of the hands of global freight forwarders. Global freight forwarders only arrange for shipment of cargo when a client requires it and the only way to get a hold of them is to contact them.
Global freight forwarders arrange ocean freight and air freight for their clients. Ocean freight is the most cost-effective means of transporting merchandise between two points and it also provides fast service as it has the fastest access to the market. Air freight is used to bring products closer to the customer and it can be used for single or multiple shipments depending on the type of product involved. Most international shippers require an ocean freight broker, who is either an employee or a contractor, with years of experience in handling all types of shippers. The best providers usually hire onboard seamen, freight divers, specialized carriers and qualified freight brokers to ensure smooth and timely delivery of goods.
A good freight forwarder should be able to make detailed estimates based on the details provided by the client. Good global freight forwarders also provide budget estimates based on the details given by the client. Clients should also ask about the number of times they have had to deal with similar problems in the past. This will help them evaluate the performance of a particular provider and identify if they are a good fit for their needs. A good global freight forwarder should offer competitive quotes, flexible shipment options, personalized advice and excellent customer service.
Global freight forwarding companies are responsible for providing customs clearance services to both domestic and international clients. For some imported goods, such as electronic items, imported vehicles and parts, and certain foodstuffs, local customs clearance may be required. If that requirement is present, the global freight forwarders should arrange for customs clearance of the goods. Once that process is complete, the client can either ship the goods directly from the import facility or have the goods shipped from their facility or warehouse.
Global freight forwarders generally utilize two types of transportation networks to move goods: the inter-ocean and the world trade lane. The majority of global forwarders use the worldwide ocean traffic network to move shipments between the United States and Canada. The major benefit of using the worldwide ocean traffic network is that there are no special trade lanes required. It only takes a few hours from the departure point to the arrival point, and some smaller, less-developed countries may actually make the trip faster. However, since all shipments use the same ocean shipping routes, the prices do not vary much. These methods are also reasonably secure because they do not require physically moving the goods in and out of the country-which requires extra insurance coverage for the company-or having a carrier-assign a special agent to oversee the movement of your shipment.
Some other Global freight forwarders use the more-established air freight and/or road transport systems. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and depending on your ultimate destination and mode of transport, you may find that one method is more appropriate than the other. Air freight providers generally offer faster service, but their rates tend to be higher than those of the ocean cargo carriers. Road haulers can often make quick trips between Canada and the United States-but they may charge extra for the return trip.
When it comes to ecommerce, all of the above applies even more so. For instance, if your product is being shipped to customers via an ecommerce site, the company’s needs for efficient and highly reliable logistics are even greater than for a standard freight forwarder. Your company must have a system in place for collecting payments, for inventory management and for tracking all of its shipments. An ecommerce site will have an online payment processor, an inventory tracking system, a system for delivering orders to customers, and it will also need a warehousing provider.
Global freight forwarding company providers are especially valuable to ecommerce businesses that don’t have a physical presence in the country in which they are selling products. The providers will act as a middleman and act as a link between your company and the customer by handling all of the logistical details so that your customer can purchase items from your site without having to worry about where they will get their product. This frees up your company to concentrate on marketing your products, developing new products and expanding your clientele. Ecommerce logistics can be complicated and time-consuming-not to mention expensive-but it doesn’t have to be if you use a forwarder to move your shipments and ensure that they arrive at your customers’ places of business.