Questions To Ask A Freight Forwarder
- Is the freight forwarder licensed or approved by the appropriate entities?
- In the United States, ocean freight forwarders must be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission to handle ocean cargo.
- Although not legally required, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) registers freight forwarders to deal with international air cargo shipments.
- Freight forwarders must meet the IATA criteria regarding financial and credit standing, physical facilities, professional qualifications, and ethical practice.
- Is the freight forwarder big enough to handle your business when the forwarder is away from the office?
- Consider whether there is sufficient staff to answer questions or handle shipping instructions for your product at all times.
- Is the freight forwarder financially sound?
- Commercial banks and trade references can help answer this question.
- Can the freight forwarder handle whatever product you want to ship, whether you want to ship it by air or sea?
- The shipping needs of your product should be clearly spelled out in writing.
- The freight forwarder should be an import broker to handle customs for you, in case you need to import something or have goods returned from overseas.
- Does the freight forwarder have a good network of agents overseas in your target market?
- A good network of overseas agents ensures a smooth path for your product with a minimum of delay.
- This is vital for perishable products or ones that need special handling.
- It can ruin your productís reputation overseas.
© 2004 John Michael Pierobon