Managing a relationship with your freight forwarder is critical whether you're just starting to ship your products, switching transportation partners, or searching for methods to optimize your present operations. Establishing practices for a strong relationship with your freight forwarder is imperative. Lower prices, faster travel times, and less miscommunication are all benefits of a well-managed freight forwarder relationship. A sloppy relationship with your transportation supplier, on the other hand, is a definite method to raise the chance of pricing changes, late containers, and missed details.
Here are eight tried-and-true methods to help you maintain a good working strong relationship with your freight forwarders:
Establish your roles from the beginning
When expectations are expressed and met, every collaboration succeeds. Before bringing a shipping agent on board, you must convey your particular requirements and clearly outline the scope of operations. It's also crucial that the company understands your organization's laws and regulations, as well as the industry's basic criteria. You should also give the new forwarder access to all essential documentation, even if they are from a previous freight forwarder so that they can best serve you.
Avoid last-minute bookings
You should make every effort to avoid last-minute shipping. If you can't avoid it, you should always expect problems, such as shipping delays, a shortage of room, higher prices, and so on. Even the most seasoned freight forwarders have difficulty obtaining space on ships months in advance, let alone at the last minute. This isn't to argue that last-minute shipments are never problematic. However, difficulties are almost certain to develop, realistically speaking.
Manage your documentation
Despite all of the exciting new developments in logistics automation and artificial intelligence, the success or failure of cargo is still determined by documentation. For a variety of reasons, local and international customs and regulations mandate the filing of paperwork. Create a procedure for obtaining and sending documentation to your freight forwarder. Documents are prone to be forgotten, misplaced, or misconstrued if there is no defined protocol in place. Consult your freight forwarder and find out how they propose you handle your paperwork.
Plan for the unexpected
Unfortunately, the shipping process isn't always smooth sailing and things can go wrong. While the freight forwarding firm isn't always to blame, you should rely on them for information on the problem and how they're dealing with it.
Agree on the procedure your freight forwarding business will use if there are any issues with your shipments. In what manner will you be counseled? What steps will they take to deal with it? How effective is their freight forwarding ERP software? You may be confident that your freight forwarder will handle a situation to your satisfaction if you determine ahead of time how you expect them to respond. These tips will help to improve the relationship with your freight forwarder.
Communication is key
Communication is the most important factor in maintaining an effective and productive work relationship with your freight forwarder. The key to establishing and maintaining a good, productive, and honest working relationship is outlining expectations, setting roles, and sharing information about past, current, and future initiatives between both parties.
Pay freight forwarders on time
A healthy credit connection is essential for successful cooperation with a freight forwarder. Delinquent payments are the leading cause of trouble for exporting companies. These corporations delay payments or fail to pay on time, causing complications for the freight forwarder, who is now unable to pay their own vendors and creditors.
Freight forwarders don't want to risk not being able to pay their vendors or other customers, thus if an export customer fails to pay on time, the contract will be terminated.
Strive for consistency
It's critical to be open and honest with your freight forwarder, so let them know if you need regular cargo. This is related to planning, and when you communicate and create time frames in this manner, the freight forwarder will be able to provide you with competitive estimates.
Focus on the long-term
Working with a freight forwarder should be treated as a legitimate business transaction. Trying to find the cheapest providers on a per-shipment basis will rapidly put you in a bind. The ideal way to collaborate with a freight forwarder is to choose one and treat them like a member of your logistics team, rather than an outsourced, per-project service. As previously stated, these connections can reduce your overall shipping costs owing to volume discounts and increase transit times as your freight forwarder becomes more familiar with your preferences and shipment requirements.
The above-mentioned tips will definitely help you maintain a good relationship with your freight forwarder.
It's safe to assume that trust and communication are essential for getting the most out of dealing with a freight forwarder. The best method to guarantee that your working relationship with your freight forwarder maintains your business moving well into the future is to take the proper measures at the start of a relationship to set up parameters and expectations, and then try to maintain an open, transparent, and dynamic rapport.