If you\’re planning to ship goods from China to the United States by sea, you\’ve probably noticed how complicated it can be: dealing with customs, arranging schedules, and managing shipments from the producer to the Chinese port, then from the Chinese port to the US port, and finally to the Amazon warehouse. A freight forwarder with Amazon FBA experience will assist you with all of the logistics.
What is a freight forwarder?
A freight forwarder is an individual or business that coordinates the transport of goods from one place to another. They act as a middleman between the company that owns the inventory and the shippers, removing the burden of complicated negotiations and paperwork from the entrepreneur or business executive, particularly when shipping
What does a freight forwarder do?
A freight forwarder allows businesses to import or export goods with less hassle, and they charge a fee for their services. Freight forwarders provide a variety of services to their customers.
- Passing through customs
- Storing shipments as they wait to be picked up by the next shipper (for example, storing something after it arrives at a port until FedEx brings it to the Amazon warehouse)
- Packing inventory if necessary
- Purchasing the necessary insurance
They could also provide extra services that e-commerce businesses need.
Why should you use a freight forwarder?
Here are four good reasons why you need the help of a freight forwarder:
- A freight forwarder can handle all of the logistics for you, saving you time and effort. Booking the most cost-effective cargo space, scheduling freight charges, arranging storage and warehousing, managing insurance, and monitoring the shipment are all examples of this.
- Freight forwarders usually ship under their own bills of lading or air waybills (also known as a house bill of lading or house air waybill), and their agents or associates at the destination handle document distribution, deconsolidation, and freight collection.
- Keep in mind that a freight forwarder does not carry the goods themselves, but rather serves as a middleman between the shipper and various transference services such as ocean shipping on merchant ships, trucking, and more air freight shipping, as well as transporting goods by rail.
- A freight forwarding company\’s interactions with transporters have resulted in close partnerships, allowing for better pricing and communication. A freight forwarder may also develop the best solution to deliver efficiently, cost-effectively, and reliably if multiple services are needed, such as air freight, rail, and trucking.
Benefits of a freight forwarder
Freight forwarding firms have a lower average cost per unit because they ship large amounts of goods. As a result, they are an excellent choice for a small business that does not have big shipments and cannot afford to pay high freight costs.
Since you\’ve chosen a professional organization, you can be assured that your shipment is in good hands, and the lower prices can be an added bonus. Many people trust these businesses to distribute their products all over the world, demonstrating that they are efficient in doing so.
You can be assured that your goods will arrive on time if you hire a skilled freight forwarder. Before you choose a forwarder, you must conduct research. While choosing a dependable company may come at a higher cost, the services delivered would be of higher quality, and they are more likely to ensure the safe and timely delivery of your goods.
Freight forwarding companies are highly effective at what they do because they have years of experience working in this sector. They have all of the resources and expertise necessary to deal with the various problems that occur during the distribution process in the most efficient way possible. Although mistakes can occur from time to time when dealing with a professional versus a novice, they are extremely rare when working with a professional because these organizations will most likely find the fastest route to produce the product on time.
In this service, experience is extremely important. Freight forwarders are normally able to handle all of the legal paperwork associated with all types of foreign deliveries. When it comes to cross-border deliveries, you can\’t afford to have incomplete paperwork because it could result in lengthy delays if your goods are confiscated by customs and banks put funds transfers on hold due to missing documentation.
A situation like this could be catastrophic for your company, as the delay is likely to irritate your customers and result in losses. This is why you should not entrust the shipping of your goods to a novice, but rather employ seasoned freight forwarders. They will do all of the paperwork for you to ensure a smooth transaction.
- Safeguard your business
No business wants to risk a lawsuit, a consumer complaint, or a significant loss. While no freight company can give you a 100 percent guarantee, by entrusting the shipment to a professional, you can reduce the likelihood of any issues happening during the shipment.
You probably already have plenty to think about as a business owner. As a result, instead of staying up late at night thinking about whether your shipment has gotten lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the United States, it\’s better if you concentrate on the important aspects of your company.
- Guaranteed arrival time
This is a follow-up to the previous point. The freight company will give you a guaranteed arrival time for your shipment at a specific spot. All routes are prepared, and alternative solutions are addressed in the event of an emergency, so there is no confusion on their end and your products arrive on time.
How to choose an Amazon freight forwarder?
So, how can you choose a reputable freight forwarder and ensure that your business is working with a legitimate and reliable partner? Here are the top seven tips to help you choose a freight forwarder and ensure you\’re making the right decision:
- Be Clear What Your Storage and Shipping Needs Are
The first step in finding the right forwarding service for your company is to figure out what you need. Determine the utilities you want, the modes of transportation, and the average amount of shipments you\’ll need. This basic information is critical for both your selection and the forwarder\’s ability to assess whether or not they can complete the job.
- See If the Forwarder Meets Your Requirements
It\’s time to do your research after you\’ve clarified the specifics of your forwarding requirements internally. You must thoroughly investigate a few viable forwarding services, ensuring that they provide the services you need at the required quality. It\’s important to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions, business jargon, and legal structure.
- Assess the Forwarder’s Experience and Credentials
When you\’ve found a good forwarding service that meets your basic needs, double-check that it can deliver on its promises. Has it succeeded for you with your particular cargo? Do you have confidence in it to treat your products properly and avoid problems? It would be able to deal with unexpected difficulties such as strikes and shutdowns, rerouting freight, or customs issues if it had enough experience. You want to make sure it knows what it\’s doing, so requesting references is a smart idea.
- Check If Your Partner Is Properly Bonded
Your freight forwarder must be financially secure in addition to having practical experience. You definitely don\’t want to be stuck with delayed or even canceled transportation as a result of the company\’s financial difficulties. As a result, it\’s a good idea to double-check that your forwarder is properly bonded. To obtain their operational authority, forwarders must obtain a freight broker bond. Only after a thorough examination of the financial situation is the bond released. It also ensures that you can be compensated if they get into trouble.
- Inquire about the Forwarder’s Network
Even if the company handling your cargo is excellent, it may not be able to provide the services you need if it is not well-connected with other forwarders and transportation companies. If you\’re exporting, make sure the forwarder you select has a large network of agents and partners both in the United States and abroad. Examine their carrier contracts; the more varied and various they are, the more secure their operations are.
- Make Sure Your Forwarder Is a Member of Professional Organizations
Skilled networks will also include reputable freight forwarders. Inquire whether they are a member of a trade group, a freight forwarding circle, or another network before you start using their services. Membership of such organizations usually necessitates the demonstration of professionalism, credibility, performance, and financial stability. Naturally, you want your preferred forwarder to have access to everything.
- Test the Quality of the Customer Service
Last but not least, make certain that your freight forwarding company understands how to interact effectively with its clients. You can assess its customer service level well before you begin using its services. These symptoms are concerning if you have to talk with many people to answer a single question or if you have to wait a long time on the phone. Don\’t settle for a subpar option when it comes to customer service, particularly if there is a problem with your shipments.
Marshall Linux Logistics
Marshall Linux Logistics aims to meet all of your Amazon FBA Freight Forwarding needs, ensuring that your packages arrive on time and in good condition at your fulfillment center. We appreciate the need for a cost-effective and capable forwarder, and our dependable team puts its contacts and years of experience to work for you to achieve your FBA goals!
The response to the question \”How do I choose a good freight forwarder?\” does not have to be difficult.
If you find yourself with a list of two or three providers that all provide the service and price you need, consider joining an Amazon Seller Facebook community or forum where you can learn from other people\’s experiences with various freight forwarders.