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Top Tips for Working with an Online Freight Forwarder

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Whether you’re launching a new e-commerce store or you’re hoping to expand into new markets and geographies, your Online freight forwarder is likely to be an important partner for your business.

Related Post: Factors to Consider When Looking for a Reliable International Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders ensure you can safely, quickly, and cost-effectively import and export goods around the world, keeping your business running smoothly. Online freight forwarders are partners that not only provide access to logistics support but also help optimize your supply chain. Studies show that companies in the top quartile for supply chain digitization have 11% higher earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), and 20% lower operating costs.

The question is, how do you make sure you’re working with your online freight forwarder correctly? Here are our top tips for success.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Online Freight Forwarder

It’s easy to assume that all freight forwarders and logistics partners work in a similar way. However, the reality is that there are many different types of freight forwarders in the modern market. Some focus specifically on the e-commerce businesses and deliver specialist solutions to small and mid-sized companies. Others concentrate on larger brands.

When selecting the right freight forwarder for your needs, make sure you choose a company with experience serving organizations similar to your own. It’s also worth considering factors such as:

  • Available services: Different forwarders can offer a variety of unique services. If you want to make your supply chain as efficient as possible, consider looking for a vendor that offers door-to-door services, so you don’t have to work with multiple companies.
  • Pricing: While it might be tempting to choose the freight forwarder with the cheapest rates, it’s better to think about the total ROI you can get from the service. Paying less for a service initially could mean you miss out on valuable forms of supply chain support.
  • Flexibility: A quality freight forwarder should be able to flex and adapt with your business. Look for a company that can accommodate last minute changes in your shipping schedule, and offers access to flexible payment methods.
  • Technology: The best online freight forwarders will offer access to digital tools where you can quickly assess shipping quotes, book deliveries, and track products. Look for a company with a reliable and straightforward platform.

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Tip 2: Set Expectations Early

As with any partnership in the business world, the success of your relationship with your freight forwarder will often depend on your ability to set expectations. Choosing a freight forwarder committed to consistent communication and great customer service will help.

Ask your forwarder how they’re going to help you optimize your supply chain and what specialist services they can offer to support your business. Outline any help and guidance you might need along the way, and request onboarding support and training if you’re worried about learning to navigate the platform your provider offers.

If you have specific requirements and needs, make sure you outline them with your freight forwarder in advance. Be clear about what you can handle on your end and what you’re going to need extra assistance with to make the most out of the service.

Set Expectations Early Online Freight Forwarder

Step 3: Take Responsibility for your Part of the Process

An excellent online freight forwarder can provide access to a large range of tools and services that help you make the most of your supply chain. However, it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking advantage of the resources available.

Take the time to explore the platform your online freight forwarder offers. Set up accounts for each of your crucial employees and experiment with the features available. Walk through the process of setting up bookings and assessing different pricing quotes.

When you start shipping products with your freight forwarder, keep a close eye on the tools available for tracking your deliveries. This will help you to ensure you stay one step ahead of any potential delays or disturbances in the shipping process. It also means you can keep your customers up to date about any issues in your logistics process.

Step 4: Maintain Transparent Communications

A great relationship with your freight forwarder relies on consistent communication and collaboration. While many of the online companies available today will help you automate various processes and reduce the amount of time you spend on the phone, it’s still a good idea to keep in touch.

Reach out to the customer support team if you have any questions or concerns or if you want to learn more about how a specific service works. Pay attention to how transparent your online freight forwarder is about their services and pricing structure.

The best forwarder will always be fully transparent about costs, so you don’t have to worry about any unexpected expenses cropping up at a later stage. Some vendors will even offer access to extra financial support, such as flexible pricing options and funding if you’re encountering issues with cash flow that could stop your business from growing.

Also Read: Modern Business Technology: How Small And Micro Contractors Can Use Technology For Growth

Step 5: Take Advantage of Extra Services

Finally, if you discover that the basic services and support offered by your online freight forwarder is helping your company grow, consider taking advantage of extra services. Some companies can provide a range of value-added services that can help your business grow faster. Reach out to your partner and ask them about the additional solutions they may be able to provide to accelerate your growth and pave the way to new opportunities.

Make the Most of your Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder can be a powerful resource for any growing ecommerce or digital business. However, it’s important to ensure you’re making the most of the partnership you establish. Look at your relationship with your freight forwarder as a collaborative investment for growth.

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