Finding a suitable freight forwarder for your retail business requires some research. It is important to understand that within the industry there will be a range of freight forwarding companies in Australia looking for your business. There may be some who have less experience or offer fewer services than others and they will not be able to provide you with some level of confidence and certainty in regards to your supply chain management.
With freight forwarding, it will depend to some extent on the market where you are operating as well as the work you will be requiring them to do. There are freight forwarding companies in Australia that have developed their operations with investment in technology and systems so that they are able to provide assistance with supply and demand services. This includes helping to achieve supply chain efficiencies, as well as inventory management, warehousing and personalised shipping services.
How freight forwarding works
The nature of freight forwarding is that industry contacts are usually forged through experience. A freight forwarder will be looking to form relationships with transport providers who are able to demonstrate that they are reliable and affordable, both air freight and ocean shipping. At Stockwells, these relationships have been formed and maintained for almost 50 years providing the highest quality of service.
Freight forwarders in Australia will usually act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers. They will be dealing with all the administrative aspects of logistics. An important element of their role is cultivating close professional relationships with carriers and officials at key locations. The relationships they develop with overseas contacts are often the basis for their success. By establishing a network within the industry and using their experience they are able to negotiate deals with carriers that will save time and money.
Find out what countries the freight forwarder has experience dealing with. It is important that your freight forwarder has a broad background and have demonstrated their capability in different markets so that you can be confident in their ability to manage your shipment well, as well as providing practical and relevant advice, offering valuable information on approaches for dealing with financial arrangements, regulations, document requirements, and local issues that might impact on your shipment.
Freight forwarders in 2019 are able to offer more than just basic services. Professional organisations have invested in technology and are able to provide additional management and organisational support services, including:
- Shipment Tracking
- Problem identification and resolution
- Delay management
- Local transportation arrangements
- Assistance with inventory management and warehousing
Forwarders can offer you simplicity in an industry where there is complexity, volatility, and many variations and there is a commitment to providing the highest levels of customer service. Outstanding communication, efficiency, affordability and reliability are all top priorities for a quality freight forwarder.
Large third-party logistics organisations (3PLs) can’t offer the level of individual service you will receive from a quality family owned freight forwarder such as Stockwell’s.
In-house customs agents
Dealing with cross-border movements can be complex. Understanding customs requirements in multiple locations can be difficult to stay on top of due to the regulations, paperwork, and payments involved in international transport. Using a freight forwarder with in-house customs agents has the potential to make a substantial difference to your efficiency and provides you with peace-of-mind.
Regulations for different commodities
Another aspect of this are the types of cargoes that they have been dealing with. There is a wide range of commodities that need to be handled in different ways and the regulations associated with those will vary. If they have demonstrated their knowledge in the same market, then that is a substantial benefit to you. They should be able to provide an example of a similar shipment they have handled to show that they understand your needs and what will be required by shippers and Government authorities.
They should be a member of industry associations. These industry bodies play an important role in ensuring that members have up to date information and also provide a framework for monitoring some aspects of the industry. By committing to these industry bodies and their practices, the freight forwarder has demonstrated their willingness to look to maintain suitable standards.
A quality freight forwarder will offer individualised service that includes a suitable point of contact in their organisation. There should also be access to information to keep you updated on the progress of your shipment. Having a contact who is willing to respond to you is important and clear communication should be a priority for the freight forwarder. At Stockwell’s we have established communication networks with contacts in multiple countries across the globe, including multiple industry shipping contacts.
There is also the need to be aware of insurance requirements. The freight forwarder should be able to provide you with suitable information about insurance as well as relevant contacts to ensure that you have the cover you need.
For leaders in International Freight Forwarding talk to Stockwells. We provide inventory management and storage solutions. We are able to help optimise supply chain management. We have extensive experience in our business with an expert team of staff. If you are looking for a company that is willing to go further to give you what you need then Stockwells is a freight forwarding company you should be talking to.