Manageability and organization are incredibly important for businesses which need a sense of control over their supply chain and can recover quickly in the event of a loss. Many third party logistics companies may be too bulky to offer the transparency and personal touch that international shippers need. If a shipment is lost it could take multiple departments, phone calls, and repeated questions to get the answers you need. On the other hand, freight forwarders utilize their nimble networks to quickly trace the problem directly to its source, enacting immediate solutions.
Freight forwarders offer unique versatility which can come in handy for meeting tight deadlines or when dealing with unforeseen obstacles. A seasoned forwarder has the resources to handle unfortunate circumstances like rerouted shipments or delays at sea. Imagine you're shipping goods to Panama from China, Europe, and the United States, and one of your shipments is diverted to another port due to stormy seas. How prepared are you to react and handle that smoothly? To a freight forwarder, situations like this are just another day at the office.
Freight forwarders are able to negotiate lower terms with carriers due to the high volume of containers. But it's also important to consider long-term financial benefits from superior customer service, knowledgeable advice, and a forwarders incentive to grow your business. At first glance, something like storing goods at an additional warehouse may seem unreasonable if you can transport them longer distances for less money. But what if utilizing the extra distribution centre gave you more control over your cargo by putting you in an ideal position to offer faster shipping, thus making you more competitive with consumers?
In our natural quest for reliability, we often insist on contracts and binding documentation that guarantees a certain level or quantity of service. But the shipping industry is full of moving parts (both literally and figuratively) and it could actually hurt your business to stay tied to one carrier for a year or more. Freight forwarders give you a lot more freedom to do what is best for your business, and the awareness that you could switch firms at any time drives them to keep you constantly satisfied.
By the same token, forwarders can offer you simplicity in an industry that does have so much variety and volatility. Rather than deal with all these “moving parts” yourself, hiring an experienced firm takes many of the aggravating administrative decisions out of your hands. While you'll still have full control over your shipments, you won't have to bother with the time-consuming task of vetting carriers, comparing prices, and negotiating services. You'll have one vendor, one point of contact, and unlimited flexibility.