In today’s constantly evolving and competitive world, business leaders need to constantly search for new ways to improve their profitability and stay ahead of the curve. One of the best ways to ensure you can preserve a healthy cash flow and connect with customers worldwide as an ecommerce business owner,+ is to work with the right freight forwarding company.
Freight forwarders act as an intermediary between your company and your consumers, ensuring items can quickly and reliably reach buyers anywhere in the world. But with digital freight forwarding, companies don’t just get access to fantastic logistics and supply chain support; they can also leverage real-time tracking tools, instant quotes for shipments, and more. Digital freight forwarders combine their logistics expertise with online platforms to help businesses manage their international freight and shipping demands.
The question is, how do you choose the right partner for your business?
Choosing a Freight Forwarder: Key Factors to Consider
While traditional freight forwarding has always been around, digital freight forwarders are becoming popular resources in the modern world, particularly in the ecommerce and online retail landscape. These companies offer a number of unique advantages to business owners with various solutions for booking, tracking shipments, clearing customs, and even managing costs. However, not all digital freight forwarders are the same.
If you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your supply chain, it’s important to ensure you’re considering the right factors when narrowing down your partner options.
Here are the top factors you should assess when choosing a digital freight forwarder.
Experience and Expertise
It probably goes without saying, but when it comes to managing something as important as logistics, it’s crucial to ensure you’re working with a partner you can trust. The best digital freight forwarder shouldn’t just have experience with handling logistics.
They should also be able to show evidence that they’ve worked with companies in your industry. The best partners understand the unique needs of your brand and products. Plus, they should already have a strong presence in the countries you want to ship your goods to.
Look for a vendor with a comprehensive understanding of local markets and customs regulations to help avoid delays and additional customs fees. Check if they have a reliable network of connections (such as carriers and agents) to ensure timely results, and read reviews and testimonials.
The Services On Offer
One of the things that makes finding the right freight forwarder so complex is that different companies may offer different types of services. While virtually all of these companies will be able to work with you on “forwarding” your goods to specific locations, some go above and beyond the call of duty.
For instance, companies that offer door-to-door services prevent you from having to hire a different service to move your products from the destination port to a specific warehouse. A one-stop-shop freight forwarder ensures you don’t have to handle the most complex parts of the shipping process yourself. They ensure you have access to all of the support and guidance you need.
Some digital freight services can even offer extra solutions to business owners. For instance, you might be able to access flexible payment terms or financing options if you’re having trouble with cash flow.
The Technology on Offer
Digital freight forwarders set themselves apart from traditional freight forwarders with access to unique technology and tools for their customers. The whole purpose of choosing a “digital” solution is that you’ll have access to more resources to help you run your business.
The best vendors should offer access to a comprehensive, but easy-to-use platform, where you can track important details about shipments, search for quotes on delivery fees and more. A robust online platform will mean you can spend less time waiting for emails to arrive or communicating with companies over the phone to ensure your business stays up and running.
Where possible, it might be worth finding out whether you can get a demo of the platform for free before you start paying for anything. This will allow you to determine how straightforward the platform is when it comes to booking and finding quotes.
Let’s face it, every business owner wants to find effective ways of cutting supply chain costs. The right digital freight forwarder can help you search for the most affordable shipping rates.
While it might be tempting to choose the digital forwarder with the lowest subscription price or the lowest freight charges, it’s important to think holistically. Consider the total return on investment you’ll be able to get from each freight forwarder you consider working with.
Sometimes, paying less for a service could mean that you end up missing out on critical value-added services in the long term. Ideally, you’ll want a forwarder that offers competitive rates but also has a great reputation for delivering goods on time, without any damage or poorly managed shipments.
In today’s innovative world, the needs of companies and their customers are changing faster than ever. There’s a good chance that the support you need in the future from a freight forwarder might differ from the help you need today. Looking for a partner with an excellent level of flexibility can help to ensure your business can stay agile and adaptable.
Look for a company that’s willing to accommodate last-minute changes in your shipping schedule and offer alternative options when necessary.
Last, but not least, a quality digital freight forwarder should always offer an exceptional level of customer service. After all, your forwarder is going to be an important partner in your business operations. You need to be able to trust them to keep your best interests at heart.
Look for a company that has a reputation for going above and beyond for its clients. Ensure the customer service team is responsive and available to access 24/7 if you have any issues. The best vendors will be able to deliver a consistent level of personalized service when you need it most.
Choosing Your Ideal Digital Freight Forwarder
The right digital freight forwarder can make a huge difference to your business operations, cash flow, and your chances of success in a competitive world. Partnering with the right company can drastically help you serve your customers worldwide and access more opportunities for growth.
When sorting through your list of options, make sure you keep all of the above factors in mind.