Do I Need a Freight Forwarder for my eCommerce Store?
As eCommerce evolves, so does the need for reliable shipping solutions. Customers today demand quick, affordable, and efficient shipping of items they purchase online. Whether it’s through Amazon.com or a Shopify platform, serving the customer’s needs for shipping services can make or break an eCommerce business. Due to this fact, many eCommerce leaders have reached out to Freight Forwarding or 3PL providers to assist with their shipping solutions – especially for products coming from China and other foreign countries.
While many eCommerce shipping programs are automated, there are a few instances when using a freight forwarding company is a smart idea. Noted below are a few ways that a freight forwarder can help your eCommerce business grow.
A Professional Freight Forwarder Helps You Focus on Operations
Most eCommerce companies are designed to operate lean and mean. Whether they are owner/operated, or have multiple employees, it’s important for the growth of an eCommerce company to focus on offering the best prices on quality items their customers demand. This is where using a freight forwarding company to handle your logistics and shipping requirements. An expert and experienced freight forwarding company understand the rules, regulations, and hurdles associated with shipping items via air, ground or sea. They already have processes and procedures in place to ensure your growing eCommerce company receives and ships out products to customers, without skipping a beat.
They Make Sure Your Company is Compliant with International Shipping Regulations
Shipping internationally can be a challenge for many eCommerce companies. Whether you’re receiving your products from international ports of origin, or shipping to customers overseas, there are multiple rules and regulations that must be followed. Failure to follow these rules can result in expensive fines or delays in shipping – which costs your company lost business.
Some of the important regulations and rules that 3PL’s or freight forwarders can assist include:
- Following the Harmonized Tariff Schedule: The HTS is a regulation that ensures all goods are classified correctly, so the correct duties are applied by international customs.
- Filing the paperwork with the appropriate agencies: For US ocean imports, filing Importer Security Filings and paperwork to other agencies like the EPA, DOT, and FDA are required for several commodities.
- Correctly verifying the bond funding for international supply chain compliance.
Freight Forwarding Companies Help You Choose the Best Shipping Methods
A smart eCommerce company understands the value of saving money on shipping. However, balancing savings with customer service can be a very delicate process. This is where a freight forwarding company can assist you to determine what shipping methods are best suited for your business. Whether you’re looking to ship in volume, or overnight, the experience and diversity in shipping that freight forwarding companies possess give you valuable assets for determining the best shipping methods.
Provide Tools for Shipping Tracking and Management
A growing customer demand in eCommerce is having the ability to track their shipments from point of origin and throughout the shipping process. Whether your eCommerce company drop-ships from suppliers, or from a warehouse, a freight forwarding company is armed with advanced CRM’s and other fright shipping tools that allow you to communicate with your customers through multiple platforms. If your customer wants email notification or SMS messages, a freight forwarder has the ability and experience to assist.
The size and scope of your eCommerce company will often dictate whether a freight forwarding company can help. However, if you constantly ship products internationally, or receive products from international providers – or in large quantities, contacting a professional freight forwarder to ask about their capacity and services might be a smart idea.