Did you know that freight forwarding was a $180 billion global market in 2021? Come 2030; experts project it to grow further and reach a staggering worth of $251.1 billion.
The increase in international trade and e-commerce are chief factors driving that growth. Thus, if you plan to start a business in any of those sectors, you may need to hire a freight forwarding company.
Below are the top considerations to help you choose the best freight forwarder, so read on.
Satisfactory Safety Ratings
According to Freight Logix, freight carriers must have a satisfactory FMCSA rating. After all, such ratings are indicative of a company’s driving safety.
The FMCSA has websites providing easy access to valuable company safety-related information. You can search for such data using a freight company’s name, USDOT number, or Motor Carrier (MC) Number.
A free option called the “Company Snapshot” gives you a company’s safety record. Take advantage of this to search each of your prospective shipping solution providers. Cross out those that work with carriers who’ve had too many crash incidents from your list.
Experience in Your Specific Industry
Depending on your industry, you may have laws to comply with if you ship products of specific nature.
A perfect example is if your business must transport products classified as hazardous. These include alcohol, lithium batteries, paints, and essential oils, to name a few. The U.S. Department of Transportation has a complete list of hazmat products you can check out.
If you fit the bill, choose a freight forwarder specializing in hazmat transport. With their expertise, they can help ensure the safe movement of your products from point A to point B.
Multiple Transportation Options
Do you only need to transport products interstate? If so, you may be okay with a freight company offering only trucking shipping options.
However, if you must send goods abroad, choose a company with rail, air, and ocean options. They can also assist you with the best route planning and educate you on import taxes and duties.
Real-Time Tracking of Shipments
The best freight forwarding company provides real-time tracking of shipments via GPS technology. This is especially crucial nowadays, with cargo theft on the rise. From 2021 to 2022, such crimes increased by 20%, resulting in losses totaling $223 million.
So, please choose a freight forwarder offering real-time track and trace. That way, you know where your shipments are and can be on high alert if they seem to be stuck somewhere.
Adequate and Up-to-Date Insurance
Freight forwarders must have all levels of valid insurance on file with the FMCSA. Without it, they can’t register, much less maintain their “Active” and legal status.
The FMCSA allows you to check a forwarder’s license information online. Use this to ensure the company complies with insurance laws. If you see its name labeled “Inactive,” please take that as a sign to bring your business elsewhere.
As a final tip, check if the forwarder you wish to work with offers claims filing assistance. If they do, you can rest assured that they will help you file a claim if your cargo gets damaged or lost while in shipment.
Work With the Best Freight Forwarding Company
When choosing a freight forwarding company, ensure you prioritize high safety ratings. Likewise, partner up with one specializing in your industry, especially hazmat. Lastly, don’t forget to consider transportation options, tracking, and insurance.
So long as you keep those factors in mind, you’re more likely to choose the best forwarder for your business.
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