Common Mistakes When Dealing with A Freight Forwarder: International Edition

As a business, you may be considering the prospects of taking your product/service overseas. There are many more factors to consider when going international rather than remaining domestic. A good strategy when considering the options is to partner with a reputable 3PL or freight forwarder. However, there are some things to consider when entering such a partnership. This article will focus on common mistakes forwarders see from businesses looking to go international. If you missed it check out our previous article on the Five Major Mistakes of LTL Shipping.

International Freight Forwarder

Quote Requests Without Accurate Dimensions/Weights

One of the most common mistakes, quote requests with inaccurate or incomplete data can result in misquotes and confusion. This can have a detrimental effect on the costs of shipping products and result in supply chain inefficiencies. The old saying “bad in, bad out” is very applicable here. Bad data and information will most likely result in bad pricing quotes for customers. This can have a negative effect on all parties involved in the shipping process, including the shipper, the forwarder, and the end customer. Collaborating with a 3PL such as LTX can help a company better understand the quote process and capture the information required for accurate quoting.

Late On Providing Shipping Documents

It is very important that the proper documents are ready and in-hand when the freight is ready to be picked up. Failure to do so can result in the loss of valuable time. In the transportation industry, time is indeed money, and any wasted will have a detrimental impact on deadline fulfillment which can have negative repercussions for the bottom-line. Partnering with a knowledgeable 3PL such as LTX can help reduce the risk of late document preparation.

Unrealistic Expectations

Many companies are incredibly eager to begin international expansion. However, it is important to temper this eagerness with realistic expectations. For example, importing/exporting product without a relationship with a customs broker can result in a slower overall process, which increases supply chain inefficiencies. Another unrealistic expectation is assuming freight containers are loaded within a day of booking. For example, many forwarders are confronted with customer expectations that an ocean container will be loaded within 24 hours of requesting a booking. Many customers will move forward with this assumption in mind, resulting in misquotes on order fulfillment times to end-consumers. Again, collaborating with a good 3PL is an excellent way of obtaining realistic estimates of fulfillment and shipping times.

Not Providing Advance Notice on Shipping Needs/Patterns

A final major mistake when dealing with a freight forwarder is not providing clear information on specific needs or shipping patterns. If you are expecting to ship regularly, it is important that you provide your forwarder with as much information as possible on your specific needs or patterns. Information such as monthly shipping schedules and product descriptions can make a forwarders job much easier. In return, customers can expect faster fulfillment times and greater overall supply chain efficiency. Pairing with a 3PL such as LTX can provide customers with a liaison and negotiator with freight forwarders, which can result in better rates and terms for your business. This has the added benefit of allowing you to focus on your core business activities and free up resources that would otherwise be preoccupied with non-value adding activities.

If any of these common mistakes seem familiar to you, then you need to give us a call. Our team of experts has over 100 years of combined experience in the freight industry. We specialize in finding our customers the best terms and deals available. If you would like to take the next step and revolutionize your supply chain than please, contact us below today!

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