Finding a suitable freight forwarder for your retail business requires some research. It is important to understand that within the industry there will be a range of freight forwarding companies in Australia looking for your business. There may be some who have less experience or offer fewer services than others and they will not be able to provide you with some level of confidence and certainty.
With freight forwarding, it will depend to some extent on the market where you are operating as well as the work you will be requiring them to do. There are freight forwarding companies in Australia that have developed their operations with investment in technology and systems so that they are able to provide assistance with supply and demand services. This includes helping to achieve supply chain efficiencies, as well as inventory management, warehousing and personalised shipping services.
How freight forwarding work
The nature of freight forwarding is that industry contacts are usually forged through experience. A freight forwarding company will be looking to form relationships with transport providers who are able to demonstrate that they are reliable and affordable. This is something that takes time and experience.
Freight forwarding companies in Australia will usually act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers. They will be dealing with all of the administrative aspects of logistics. An important element of their role is cultivating close professional relationships with carriers and officials at key locations. By establishing a network, they are able to smooth the way for your shipment and negotiate deals that will save time and money. They will provide practical and relevant advice, as well as offering valuable information on approaches for dealing with financial arrangements, regulations, document requirements, and local issues that might impact on your shipment.
Freight forwarders are able to offer transparency, accountability, and flexibility with a strong focus on customer service. The relationships they develop with overseas contacts are often the basis for their success. Service, reliability, speed, affordability, and efficiency are top priorities for a quality freight forwarder.
Freight forwarders offer an individualised service
Modern freight forwarders are able to offer more than just basic services. Professional organisations have invested in technology and are able to provide additional management and organisational support services. This helps businesses gain greater control over their supply chain. Large third-party logistics organisations (3PLs) are too large to offer the level of individual service you will receive from a quality freight forwarder. Freight forwarders should be able to track a shipment and quickly identify if a problem occurs as well as how to resolve it. An experienced freight forwarder has the resources to deal with rerouted shipments or delays.
Freight forwarders are able to use their network of contacts, and their business experience, to negotiate good terms with carriers. They may be able to offer assistance with inventory management, warehousing, and storage facilities as well as local transportation arrangements. Forwarders can offer you simplicity in an industry where there is complexity, volatility, and many variations. A business of any size is able to benefit from using a reliable freight forwarder. They are problem solvers who offer cost-effective solutions and supply chain efficiencies.
Freight forwarders use in-house customs agents
Dealing with cross-border movements can be complex. Understanding customs requirements in one location can be difficult to stay on top of. Having to deal with the regulations, paperwork, and payments required in multiple countries will be very difficult. Using a freight forwarder with in-house customs agents has the potential to make a substantial difference.
If you are looking for a freight forwarder, you need to be clear about your requirements. It is best to be clear about what services are needed before looking for a suitable forwarder. Also, if you are able to determine the mode of transport and the volume that you will be shipping, then you will have a clear starting point in your discussion.
Find out what countries the freight forwarder has experience dealing with. You may currently need to import a shipping container from Vietnam using ocean freight, but is it possible you may need to air freight from China in the future? If they have a broad background and have demonstrated their capability in different markets, you can be more confident in their ability to manage your shipment well.
Regulations for different commodities
Another aspect of this are the types of cargoes that they have been dealing with. There is a wide range of commodities that need to be handled in different ways and the regulations associated with those will vary. If they have demonstrated their knowledge in the same market, then that is a substantial benefit to you. They should be able to provide an example of a similar shipment they have handled to show that they understand your needs and what will be required by shippers and Government authorities.
They should be a member of industry associations. These industry bodies play an important role in ensuring that members have up to date information and also provide a framework for monitoring some aspects of the industry. By committing to these industry bodies and their practices, the freight forwarder has demonstrated their willingness to look to maintain suitable standards.
They should be able to provide you with an individualised service that includes a suitable point of contact in their organisation. There should also be access to information to keep you updated on the progress of your shipment. Having a contact who is willing to respond to you is important and clear communication should be a priority for the freight forwarder.
If you have a specific country you are going to be dealing with, then it would be beneficial if they had an established network or contact in that country. If they have been doing business with freight operations, there they should be able to provide you with some information to confirm their expertise.
It might also be worth confirming that they have multiple industry shipping contacts. It should be that they have international contacts across all modes of transport to ensure they are able to identify the best solution for the best price.
There is also the need to be aware of insurance requirements. The freight forwarder should be able to provide you with suitable information about insurance as well as relevant contacts to ensure that you have the cover you need.
For leaders in International Freight Forwarding talk to Stockwells. We provide inventory management and storage solutions. We are able to help optimise supply chain management. We have extensive experience in our business with an expert team of staff. If you are looking for a company that is willing to go further to give you what you need then Stockwells is a freight forwarding company you should be talking to.
Contact us today
Contact our friendly and professional advisors by calling 1300 786 468 and they will be able to tell you more about how we are able to provide you with an individualised package of services to meet your individualised package of services to meet your requirements.