International transportation can be a complex mode of serious shipping or it can be a simple way of moving the cargo from point A to point B. In the end, transportation is to bring your product from one end to the other in the most cost efficient way and in a timely manner. Most companies prefer to deal with logistic companies who can offer combinations of shipping methods and assign a freight forwarder for international shipments.
Every industry has different expectations from a freight forwarder. Based on industry needs the expectations of a freight forwarder might change. For some corporations it is simply to bring the cargo from point A to point B with a competitive rate but for some it is more than a simple forwarding operation. They might expect you to provide additional value-added supply chain services if the need arises.
As an importer you will have an advantage assigning a freight forwarder for your international shipments. Some of the advantages of working with a forwarder are:
- An importer can consult with a knowledgeable operation staff that can inform them on their shipments and quotes for different services.
- If the importer needs to have the goods inspected for quality control, the logistic company’s partner can arrange this in the country you are exporting from.
- The importer doesn’t need to worry about following their shipments since your logistics company will notify you once your shipment has shipped and arrives.
- A logistic provider can lock you in a shipping cost that you can rely upon for an accurate landed cost. This usually lasts for up to a year so if prices go up, you will still be paying the same cost. If prices go down you can take advantage of using spot rates and pay the lower cost.
- The importer can be advised of transit schedules and vessel sailings or flights with the complete rate. Once the importer has evaluated this information and factors in the method that best meets their need (most cost efficient or speediest) they can advised the forwarder in writing on how they wish their merchandise shipped.
- Logistic provider can handle your global business with multiple carrier contracts.Your forwarder can always find an alternate option since they have more than one carrier contract. The advantages of relying on multiple contracts will help you to obtain the best numbers on freight cost and as well as shipping your product on a timely manner.
- Logistic companies you work with will have a good global network from every destination you are shipping from.A good network of overseas agents ensures a smooth information flow which helps you to know where your product is and help you to get your product in a timely manner.