Does your business need a freight forwarding services company to import and/or export goods? Looking for a quality freight forwarder who will help you find the best shipping company or logistics services in Singapore is easy if you remember these ten characteristics of a good freight broker.
1. Freight Forwarder has a Broker License
If the freight forwarding company assigns a freight broker to assist you, make sure to check if he/she has a license. This is important not just in local freight, but most especially in international freight, where the broker is required to be well-versed and authorized in carrying out your negotiations and transactions for you. During the duration of the shipment, the freight broker will be acting as your liaison when negotiating with the carriers, shipping company or logistics company, customs, and other parties. In Singapore, the importer, exporter, freight forwarder company, freight broker, common carrier, shipping agent, air cargo agent, and other related professions should have a license to operate.
2. Can Negotiate for Different or Multiple Modes
Regardless of the destination of the cargo, your freight forwarding in Singapore must include different carrier services options such as trucking or land freight, air freight, and ocean or sea freight. If the freight forwarder also has connections with warehousing companies, then it’s a good sign that the company has connections with various logistics services and shipping company. The freight forwarder should also offer additional transportation options besides air freight and sea freight to get your cargo to its destination as soon as possible with the following options: rail, van, flatbeds, reefers, and logistics management.
3. Efficient Logistics Services Selection
If they can offer you multiple carrier modes other than land freight, sea freight, and air freight, you should also examine how they go about their carrier selection process. They should be thorough when verifying information such as safety, coverage, and insurance when selecting the best logistics company responsible for the transportation of cargo.
They should also have a contract with the selected shipping company as a guarantee of their quality service.
4. Effective Management and Communication
Good customer service should always be a priority when looking for partners in business, especially when you must trust them to deliver your goods on time and in good condition. The best freight forwarder in Singapore should be more than willing to answer your questions and help you find the best logistics services for local freight and international freight. If they pay attention to your needs as a client, then they are also more likely to exhibit the same dedication and attention to detail when it comes to freight forwarding.
5. Good Credit Background
It’s important to make sure that the freight forwarding company is financially stable, because you don’t want to end up shouldering the burden of payments or delay of cargo transportation because the freight forwarder was not able to pay the carrier. Any delays can cause you additional charges such as detention and demurrage, and that’s on top of being late for the promised delivery to the consignee.
6. Freight Forwarder Has a Lot of Experience
If the freight forwarding services company has been in business in Singapore for years, it’s a good indication that they already encountered most of the challenges in the transportation of cargo. Starting a freight forwarder business is notoriously difficult, especially when it comes to international freight because there are a lot of issues involved such as the rerouting of cargo, shutdown of ports, warehousing problems, and many more. Look for a company that has been around for years, because they have more experience with a lot of problems involved in both local freight and international freight.
7. Freight Broker Carries Cargo Insurance
Choose a freight forwarder that includes cargo insurance in their contract, which is different from the cargo insurance between the freight forwarder and the shipping company. This will ensure that both the freight broker and the carrier will shoulder the liability if something unfortunate happens during the transportation of the cargo. Look for the claims procedure on the contract and the amount covered by the insurance. Don’t forget to also look for the omissions and errors insurance, which is different from the insurance coverage that only includes the loss or damage of cargo.
8. Freight Forwarder Has a Network of Partners and Agents
Not only should the freight broker assigned to you by the freight forwarder have a license, but he/she should also have a lot of connections from various logistics services companies, some of the leading shipping company, and trucking services. Pick a freight forwarding company here in Singapore like www.freightmaster.sg that has connections to different parts of the world. Their partners will not only allow for a smooth and easy transportation of goods, but they logistics company will also have other options that can benefit you.
9. Freight Forwarder Guarantees Carrier Compliance
The carriers or the logistics company that will be responsible for the actual transportation of goods should also have compliance and license to operate. You can ask for the information from your freight broker and their process of qualifying and selecting their carriers. Stay away from double brokering freight forwarders in Singapore as much as possible, because you might end up with a questionable carrier.
10. Good Reviews and Reputation
Lastly, don’t forget to read the reviews of previous and existing clients of the freight forwarder. Their feedback will help you narrow down your list of possible freight forwarders in Singapore, especially if you have special requests and they offer services for the same type of cargo you intend to import or export.