The emergence of coronavirus brought unprecedented obstacles for the market worldwide that posed disastrous consequences to international trade. Coronavirus negatively affected global maritime commerce, and lockdowns in Europe restricted business transactions in the world. As we see relaxation in these restrictions, companies have observed a sudden reawakening of global trade. But firms are still careful about which shipping corporations are trustworthy in 2021. Business organizations seek different factors to judge the dependability of various freight forwarders. So, we’ve compiled some suggestions to follow when you’re contemplating doing business with a shipping company.
- Access to International Waters
Clients such as you expect shipping companies to have international coverage to different continents. That’s why you must select freight forwarders who offer transport solutions via air, land, and ocean routes. The right choice of a shipping provider depends on the location of your target customers. Delivering and distributing your products in foreign countries can easily elevate the shipping costs. So, choose a company that offers a variety of transportation options.
- Asset-Based or Brokerage
Inquire whether the carriers are asset-based or non-asset-based. A third-party logistics corporation – or a brokerage – outsource the means of transport. On the other hand, an asset-based firm owns vehicles, equipment, and storage spaces. Both categories have distinct advantages over each other, though. Brokerage carriers offer improved flexibility and a personalized experience. Conversely, asset-based companies have reduced communication lapses and better service commitments.
- Gather Testimonials
Visit your shipping provider’s official website and check for testimonials or case studies. It ensures clients that they’re working with an experienced corporation. Read online reviews the company has received to ascertain whether they’re reliable or not. Speak with firms these shippers have previously worked with to analyze their customs brokerage and freight forwarding expertise. Moreover, don’t forget to browse their social media profiles to read candid feedback.
- Is the Price Right?
Let’s address the elephant in the room now. The pricing matters a lot because customers won’t purchase from you if the shipping costs are out of the roof. That’s why pricing comes as an essential factor while you choose a reliable corporation for international shipping. But beware of carriers offering rates cheaper beyond belief.
- Safety and Reliability
A trustworthy provider guarantees better safety measures to protect your goods from accidental loss or damage. Don’t compromise with safety even if a shipping company offers you lower rates. Choose a company that is known for fewer accidents and mishaps. Working with a law-abiding firm improves your supply chain perception among customers. A freight forwarder’s safety ratings do matter! So, ask around for carriers that have a reputation in terms of product protection.
- Real-Time Tracking
Shippers have now incorporated modern technology into their services. They allow clients to track products in real-time to ensure proper delivery. You can either get a tracking ID or receive email updates about the location of the product. Inquire whether the company includes extra charges for tracking facilities or not. Tracking details also help you answer customers’ queries and keep their curiosity satisfied. Clients prefer working only with providers equipped with e-commerce gadgets.
Choose a shipping company with access to secure holding facilities for even long-term storage. There’s no knowing if the product arrives at the location earlier than expected. The shipments may vary according to size, so warehousing must accommodate all types of products. Air-conditioned storage spaces provide the necessary protection to sensitive items. A reliable shipping provider promises you storage days ahead of distribution after the product’s arrival.
- Container Size Options
A shipping company can offer you different options when it comes to the size of containers. Check out various units and designs before you make your final decision. Dry containers are the most used ones. They often come in sizes of 10-40 ft, optimal for items that can withstand extreme weather conditions. But fruits and vegetables require refrigerated ISO containers. In contrast, tank containers are useful transportation bodies when you’re shipping liquids.
- Verify Licensing
Clients assume that every shipping company has completed the legal requirements to work in this capacity. That’s a mistake! Don’t forget to verify a certain provider’s licensing and registration. If you’re hiring a brokerage carrier, make sure they provide you an NVOCC number. For domestic shipping, companies must register in states where they operate.
- Cargo Insurance
Finally, don’t work with a shipping company that doesn’t provide cargo insurance. Insurance safeguards your product from damages and ensures timely deliveries. Loss or damage to goods can be devastating for a brand’s business and reputation. Reliable companies offer WA/FPA coverage and protect the shipment from any unanticipated liability. You won’t wish to work with shippers who got their insurance policy canceled due to non-payment of dues.
The process of finding the most decent shipping solutions can be overwhelming and time-consuming. But you can’t risk dissatisfying your precious consumers. Shopify found that 50% of customers abandoned carts because the shipping prices were higher than expected. Moreover, parcels getting lost or arriving late also contribute to consumer dissatisfaction. That’s why you must filter out the best shipping corporation for your business. Your company needs freight forwarders who are dependable and provide economical services.