The complexity of shipping programs means that there are an increasing number of companies that depend on the freight forwarding industry. It is beneficial to use freight forwarders in certain circumstances. They can have a positive effect on your business model through their experience and links within the shipping industry. One of the most effective tactics is to combine different forwarders into a network that is dynamic and can respond quickly to changes in market conditions.
If you are thinking of expanding your shipping business, you should consider freight forwarders as they will help you navigate the complex logistics network. By using a variety of high-quality freight forwarders, you will reduce delays at customs offices and your inland transportation network will benefit from a smoother transition of cargo from port to land services.
For a new or small business, it can be a daunting task to hire a freight forwarder for the first time. This article takes you through the basic process. It also addresses some of the pitfalls to avoid when setting up your supply chain. There are five critical steps you can consider in your quest for shipping effectiveness.
Also read our article Importing pet accessories from China to the EU
FIRST: Find a good freight forwarder and get a quote
Do not accept proposals from service providers that have not been tested or have been tested and found to be deficient in some respects. Once you’ve selected a vendor, request a quote to determine if this is a fair deal for your business. Look for a team that has a good track record and offers a wide range of services. Customer service must be excellent. Ideally, the carrier should know your specifications and budget.
Discuss your goals and objectives in detail as you decide if that carrier has what it takes to deliver what you need. When they provide you with a quote, study it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. For example, ask about additional services like warehousing, packing, and consolidation.
SECOND: Start the merchandise transport process
Whether you are an importer or an exporter, each route contains specific rules that you must follow. Some freight may require you to be both an importer and an exporter at different points throughout the supply chain.
Start by taking your merchandise to a processing warehouse. This can be an attire from the house or one that you have hired from elsewhere. Some carriers may offer a custom packaging service. Your proximity to the warehouse will determine the amount of time invested and could take anywhere from days to weeks. However, it is rare that you reach the 30-day point before this stage is completed. If this stage takes more than 30 days, you have to ask yourself if you are getting good value for your money in your supply chain.
THIRD: Dispatch of merchandise for import or export
The next stage is to go through customs procedures and excise duties. The cargo must be dispatched for import or export. The carrier will check the cargo to make sure the inventory lists are accurate. They will be especially concerned about damages so that later claims are not made against you. The carrier can handle customs clearance on your behalf.
There will be items that are prohibited (such as weapons) and these must be excluded from the cargo before it reaches the port premises. Whoever sends, receives or transports prohibited items may be subject to legal penalties. Some freight forwarders do not offer a customs clearance service, so you should ask when making the initial agreement about the level of service. For example, you can use the services of an external customs broker as an alternative.
The best freight forwarders can handle both export and import so you don’t have to worry about being involved in the process. The country of origin must clear the cargo before it leaves the territory, while the country of destination must clear it before it continues its journey by land. A good freight forwarder will handle all these processes according to the rules of the jurisdiction. Make sure your team cooperates and provides all the necessary documents for the authorization to take place.
FOURTH: The arrival and handling processes
When the cargo arrives at the destination port, there are certain procedures that will be started. This is what is known as arrival and handling in the industry. All pending documents must be completed. You must settle all the carrier’s bills and make arrangements to deal with the robberies. Your freight forwarder is involved in this process. It makes sense for you to examine the contract to understand what kind of support you can expect throughout the entire process.
FIFTH: Organize ground transportation
The final stage is the organization of land transportation that will take the cargo to its rightful owners. You must have safe and sufficient vehicles to carry all the cargo from the terminal or port to the distribution warehouse. Most companies tend to use truckers. It is important to ask your carrier to confirm that they will provide this service. If they don’t, you can make alternative arrangements so that the cargo doesn’t stop at the port.
Make sure you know all the procedures and all the partners in the freight forwarding process. Hire the best companies that have a good reputation and are willing to go the extra mile to meet your needs. Read the fine print and participate in any case in case there are gaps that need to be filled. Above all, have a good plan and solve problems as soon as possible. In this way, the transport of goods will be simplified.