In terms of logistics and transport, freight forwarders are at the frontlines, as they ship about two billion metric tons of cargo each year. They play a crucial role in the supply chain, and it is not an exaggeration to say that a breakdown in the process can send economies spiraling downwards.
Forwarding companies offer Air Freight Services, which poses several advantages for the logistics manager. For instance, your cargo is safer, and it arrives at the destination faster. The fee is also competitive due to lower insurance costs.
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According to data, the global market for air freight services has a compound annual growth rate of 3.14 percent from 2020 to 2023. By the end of the forecast period, the industry would be valued at nearly $49 billion. Among the factors that contribute to the steady rise include the expanding food and beverage sector and the growing export market.
Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of hiring Air Freight Services:
- Experience and expertise. Would you be comfortable entrusting your precious cargo to a freight forwarding company with only a few months of experience under its belt? The industry is very complicated, and there are a lot of moving parts. If you are shipping overseas, for example, they would be dealing with local rules and regulations, on top of the international travel protocols agreed upon by participating countries. Your cargo might be put on hold if the forwarding company violates some of these rules.
- Capacity to handle big shipments. What it means essentially is storage. When handling big shipments, the forwarding company must have a warehouse to store the goods temporarily while they are being loaded. Loading can take several hours or even days, depending on the cargo. A forwarding company that does not possess the capacity to air-freight your goods at the shortest time possible will mean delays in the delivery. You can ask for the daily or weekly shipment volume data to determine the handling capacity.
- Custom clearance services. Not all forwarding companies offer this type of service, but it will significantly make your life easier. The one-stop solution will allow your cargo to enter and exit airports without any hitch or delay. But it is not really a make-or-break deal if the company does not have one.
- Technological innovations. The logistics company must invest technological advances for enhanced customer experience. At the very least, you must be able to track the movement of cargo from the point of exit to the destination. You will also be automatically contacted once your shipment has arrived on time, or when your shipment is expected to arrive in case of delays. Choose a company that will provide you with an all-in-one platform to track your cargo, schedule flights, communicate with the forwarder, and other tasks.
Lastly, you should have a wide array of options for Air Freight Services. The forwarding company can package a solution for you based on your budget. There are a number of ways they can cut the cost, including customizing the handling requirements, for example. Also, the company should provide you with real-time quotations, especially when there are adjustments in rates. Unfortunately, even if the logistics firm wants to keep the fees low, they are also under the mercy of outside forces, such as increasing custom duties on the country of destination, for instance.