Freight forwarding companies ship your goods to manufacturers across the globe. Learn about the benefits and selecting a freight forwarding company.
With the majority of businesses taking place over digital stores, it is important to have a reliable way of shipping products to customers. If you want to reach a larger audience, you need to ship your products across the United States. As your business grows, you may even look into shipping internationally. Digital marketplaces allow you to reach a wide audience, which is great for sales, but it creates many logistical issues for shipping. An important part of the shipping chain is a freight forwarding company.
A freight forwarding company takes your products and brings them to a distribution hub, which then distributes your goods to your customer. Effectively, a freight forwarder acts as a shipping middleman. While it may seem unnecessary, they play an essential role in shipping. Distributers are responsible for moving your products to customers, but they will not pick up your products for you. Without a freight forwarder, your inventory would remain stuck in storage until you find another way to move it.
Benefits of Hiring a Freight Forwarding Company
There are many benefits to hiring a freight forwarding company. Not only do they transport your goods, but the company also takes care of the entire shipping process. This is especially important if you are doing business overseas, as there are many importing and exporting regulations. The freight company is experienced in all the rules, addressing the logistics for you. At most, you are required to fill out paperwork, with the company handling everything else. This includes insuring your shipments and clearing customs.
The company is also responsible for inventory management and storage while your products are on the move. They will also provide tracking information for your shipment. Another benefit of working with a freight forwarding company is networking. Forwarding companies work with a number of other businesses throughout the world. You may be able to learn about new contacts, such as finding a less expensive manufacturer to make your products.
When to Hire a Freight Forwarding Company
While most businesses end up hiring a freight forwarding company, they are not always required. If your shipment weighs under 440 pounds you may be able to use a courier service instead. This is quicker and less expensive than hiring a forwarding company. Companies like FedEx, UPS and DHL provide courier services. The exact weight requirements may vary based on location. If you work through an online retailer, such as Amazon, your retailer may have a list of recommended forwarding companies to choose from, as well as examples of when you need to hire a forwarder.
Tips for Working with a Freight Forwarding Company
Freight forwarders make shipping a breeze, but it is important to have realistic expectations about what a forwarding company can do for your business. Booking shipments is a complicated process, and forwarding companies work with a number of clients. You cannot be their only priority. Do not try and rush your shipping orders. Always give the company enough time to reasonably plan your shipment. If you have to book something last minute, do not expect the company to expediate your order, even if you are a repeat customer.
Most forwarding companies try to use a consistent schedule. Whenever possible, try to line up your shipping schedule with the company. If your shipping needs are expected to change, such as having to ship out a significantly larger inventory, let the company know sooner rather than later. Not only does this ensure a smoother process, but it creates a positive relationship with the forwarding company. This may lead to future benefits, such as discounts or increased priority on your shipments.
Costs of Hiring a Freight Forwarding Company
Calculating the cost of hiring a freight forwarding company is tricky. There are many different fees to consider. Some companies charge a storage fee, as well as a general subscription or membership cost. There is also a cost to consolidate and repackage your inventory. Depending on the items you are shipping, you may also have to pay a special handling fee. The weight of your shipment can also change the price. Consistently shipping the same items will give you a better idea of the costs.
There are many reasons to choose Stackry as your freight forwarding company. The company is located in New Hampshire, a tax-free state. Because clients are given a New Hampshire address to use, they also benefit from this exemption. Stackry offers a variety of services, including repackaging, consolidation and hazmat processing. All of the costs are upfront, with no subscription or membership fees. Consolidating packages cost $2 per package, and repacking is $5. Storage is free for the first 45 days. Afterwards, there is a fee of .08 cents for every pound. The rest of the costs are determined by the size and weight of your packages. The Stackry website has a convenient shipping calculator to figure out how much your shipment will cost.
Amazon Global Logistics
As one of the largest online marketplaces, it is no surprise Amazon has their own freight forwarding service. If you sell on Amazon, using their Global Logistics forwarding makes the most sense. You must create your own logistics profile before you can get a quote. Amazon has multiple shipping options, allowing you to ship your products all around the globe. Shipping by air costs more, but is the quickest option. Shipping by ocean is less expensive, but takes longer. The exact time varies depending on where you are shipping, but in most cases air shipping completes in a week, while ocean shipping is closer to a month. There is an option for expediated ocean shipping, cutting the time down to 15 to 22 days on average. Amazon is upfront with fees, but you must get a custom quote for each shipment.
Freightos is one of the fastest forwarding companies because they only ship by air. Shipping requests are processed quickly, with most shipments going out within five days of being placed. The extra speed comes with higher rates than other forwarding companies, costing between $2.50 to $5.00 for every two pounds. Freightos is known for their superior customer service, providing constant progress reports for your shipments. They provide multiple guides for how to calculate the weight of volume and your shipment, and even offer advice for how you can reduce shipping costs.