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1 – Understanding your requirements

You need to know exactly what you need before you even begin to look for a forwarder.

A competent freight forwarder will be asking the following questions to help decide which mode of transport it should go, however if you’ve already decided on a particular mode, you should advise them in the first instance.

  • The products you sell (e.g. perishables or non-perishables)
  • Supplier production lead times
  • Product availability
  • Customer lead times
  • Source of supply (e.g. UK or abroad)
  • Customs and Excise rules (e.g. duty or quarantine)
  • Volume of the cargo (in Cubic Metres)

2 – Areas of experience / expertise

When choosing a forwarder, its also useful to know whether they specialise or have had previous experience shipping the commodity you are trying to ship, as this will save a lot of time communicating with them as they will know exactly what needs to be done for that particular consignment.

There is a lot of difference between shipping fresh fish or drilling equipment, if the forwarder has shipped that commodity before, they will be able to advise what documentary requirements are needed and advise timescales and costs.

Some forwarders may only deal with a certain mode of transport also, so its important to check that in the first instance also.

3 – Cost

Cost is always a consideration for anything, and I would suggest to compare rates with other companies but sometimes it is worth paying a little bit more if the agent specialises in a certain area or can get your freight from A to B smoothly without any issues.

Large companies may be able to offer cheaper rates but it may be difficult to speak to the right person or you’d need to be holding on to be put through to the right department etc. Smaller companies on the other hand, will usually have the time to assist you directly as their staff will usually deal with all aspects of the shipment, and therefore may be able to help you more effectively.

4 – Communication

Don’t you just hate it when you send an enquiry email and not get a response or it takes a long time for them to respond? Many people often rate responsiveness as one of the main deciding factors of the agent they choose. If you want to be able to get hold of the agent straight away, its worth checking how quickly they respond by sending a few test enquiry emails to them.

Here at TG Logistics Ltd, we are a small family company who will be able to respond to communications in minutes, so if you are looking for an agent who is responsive and friendly, please feel free to contact us!

 

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