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Looking To Change Freight Forwarders?


As a shipper, it’s critical to your freight, your reputation, and your bottom line to know when it is time to switch carriers. Let’s face it, changing freight forwarders can be a real nightmare.


It may be that long-standing relationships were formed years ago, you already know all of their key personnel, who to call for favors, and how to reach someone in management on a Sunday at 11:00 pm when that big shipment you desperately need didn’t show up overseas when it was supposed to. That’s hard to give up. That's why more often than not, there are a few issues that appear without notice and before you realise what’s happening, your supply chain has ground to a halt.


It might be time to pull the trigger and make a switch. Here are a few tell-tale signs that you can check for those possible red flags that are often neglected or unnoticed:


Customer Service:

- Skimping on providing a quality relationship with you means you won’t be able to communicate your needs with the freight service. Don’t accept brusqueness from your contacts with a freight company. Business’ representatives need to treat you as a valuable partner, not as a means of making money. A freight forwarder’s attitude toward you is essential. You should never accept poor customer service from any company your business works with. This sign may be subtle, but it is a red flag that changing your freight forwarder should be your next move.


Ever Changing Business:

- Business grow. Needs evolve. If you have recently expanded your market or product offerings, you may have outgrown the capabilities of your local forwarder. Not all forwarders are alike. Some specialize in air only. Some are exclusively domestic. Others are primarily truck brokers. Make sure that you have partnered with a full-service logistics company that provides a complete range of services that matches your company’s growth plans.


Technology:

- Today’s shipping requires the integration of technology throughout the process. The world of business information systems has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and like most industries. With the aid of technology, your goods are less likely to get lost, and you will always know when they reach their destinations. Don’t keep using outdated shipping methods or companies that implement them. Upgrade to a business that embraces the latest technology to give you the best service.


Communication:

- In addition to the use of current technology, clear and timely communication is something you should expect. If your current forwarder’s customer service department presents a language barrier or if they simply possess poor communication skills, you may want to consider your options. Delivering a high quality logistics services is all about attention to detail and effective communication.


In a business world where open communication is an expectation, you deserve to be able to reach your vendors during working hours. Contacting your freight forwarder can be critical when you need to make changes or ask about the arrangements the company has made. If you cannot reach your contact at the company, something is severely wrong.


Shipment Visibility:

- Today, tracking transparency should be standard with all shipments. Sadly. some forwarders do not provide real-time updates on the location and shipping phase of your cargo. When your business depends on that shipment, that’s not a risk that you should have to take – especially given the readily available technology.


Insurance Coverage:

- No one can predict storms and other unexpected phenomena. If you work with a freight forwarder who cannot or will not provide insurance, you need to switch now. You cannot afford to continue shipping uninsured goods. The risk of accidental loss of damage remains too high. Part of a freight forwarding company’s responsibilities involve making all the arrangements for your shipping, including insurance. Without insurance, it becomes a matter of time until you suffer a severe financial hit from lost or damaged cargo. Switch to a forwarder who will offer coverage along with its other services.


Recurring Problems:

- Sure, every forwarder is bound to have a problem with a shipment occasionally. There are simply too many variables beyond control: weather, customs holds, strikes, etc. This may seem like re-stating the obvious. However, If your forwarder arranges with shippers that regularly lose shipments, arrive late or have other problems, you need to switch to a new company. Freight forwarders should learn from their mistakes and take steps to prevent them from happening again. Failure to do so results in constant failures and mishaps in your orders.


Rates:

- Those rates that were great three years ago, may no longer be competitive in a rapidly changing market. As your business changes, your freight company will, too. If the rates the company charges you increase beyond what you can pay, start shopping around for a new freight forwarder. Compare prices and services from a variety of vendors before deciding when switching freight forwarders. Sometimes, the best company may not cost the least. The best forwarder for your business will offer the services you need, though, to make your shipping painless.


High Turnover:

- Regardless of the reason, you want a stable partner with long-term employees who know and care about your company and its unique service requirements. High employee turnover is never a good sign. it shows a company that does not function as it should. A company culture that does not incur loyalty in its workers by treating them well may not care for its customers, either. You could find your company getting poor service from a company with high turnover due to a negligent corporate culture.


When you’ve been doing business with a company for a long time, it may not seem like it will be easy to change, however, you rely on imported and exported materials to run your business. You need shipping and logistics dependability to keep your customers happy. It’s essential to recognise the signs that you may need to find for a new freight forwarder to handle this significant part of your business before problems become insurmountable.



If you'd like to chat to one of our sales team about making the move to a reliable, transparent, and ethical freight forwarding service, Image International Freight just may be the right fit for your business. Please call us today to set up a meeting to discuss your current needs, +61 2 9773 1378.

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