You are running an import business and bringing containers from the other side of the world. The places you only see on business trips, for a few days, a week or two at most. In today’s world it is almost impossible to survive with local sources. With cultural differences, political and economical situation of the country of origin and communication barriers might become obstacles when importing.
In today’s world everyone must make a difference in their industry in order to survive and prosper in the long term. With this much existing competition, importing goods alone might be a challenge itself which may overshadow the core of your business. Luckily there are service companies that will help you overcome these potential challenges of importing. In this blog, some of my colleagues have already written about the advantages of working with a freight forwarder and choosing between hundreds of companies. Being in a very competitive environment, freight forwarders are now going beyond just moving your goods from point A to point B.
In this article, I will give you some points on how you can maximize the benefits of using a freight forwarder. You might be using a freight forwarder for a long time but with these steps you can easily increase the advantages at no additional cost. If you have this opportunity why not take it?
1. Supplier visits:
This will increase the relationship between your supplier and the freight forwarder locally. Understanding the needs of one another will increase the efficiency and delivery of the goods. Your supplier will list what they expect from the forwarder locally, what types of services they will need and in return the local freight forwarder will explain what the supplier needs to do to load out the goods on time, what types of cut offs they must meet. They can act as your advocate in the origin country and discuss the issues or the concerns that you might have discussed with the suppliers one more time. This might save you from frequent trips overseas.
2. Production updates:
Although they will have no power to push the suppliers for production, freight forwarders can act as a liaison office between the suppliers and the importers. As an importer, the more information you provide to freight forwarder better it is for them to understand the importance and the urgency of the goods. They can contact the suppliers periodically asking the status of the goods and in return you will get reports. If the supplier is not responsive to your emails or requests fast enough asking your forwarders help will definitely have some impact on the process. Purchase order management, and follow up by your forwarder can take the workload from your shoulders.
3. Market information:
With constant change, is it hard to keep track of what’s going on in the markets that you are importing from? You read, do internet searches but still there is no match as the local, fresh and fast market information that the freight forwarders can provide. Having coverage in origin countries, your forwarder should be able to provide you with local market information whenever you need. Information flow from all over the world, your forwarder can be an easy point of access to the information and details that you might miss.
There are many more items I could list however above are the 3 of the most critical ones in my opinion. If you ask your freight forwarder about any of these above questions, and get a negative response you should know that these are (some of) the types of services you could and should get from the industry. To accomplish this, building s strong relationship and trusting your service provider is very important.