Expanding to International markets is your next logical step in small business growth. You need to do your due diligence in preparing your business to take on the challenges overseas. You also need to work with service providers to manage everything, which includes getting your products to the target market in a timely manner.
Shipping is indeed crucial; in fact, it is one of the most challenging aspects in running a business. You need to get the right products at the right location and time directly impacts your business’ reputation and bottom line.
To help you ship your products better, you need to partner with a freight forwarder. When considering one, you typically look at the diversity of their services. There are more to consider when choosing a vendor: Is the company trusted? Is the company taking a good care of their clients?
To help you out, here is how to choose a freight forwarding company that is right for your business:
Identify your shipping needs
Obviously, you should know what you need before you choose any shipping companies. Know the volume of your shipments and your budgets, and prepare a specific plan, which contain your requests and expectations. This can help your potential vendor to offer you with a more detailed proposal.
Learn more about your potential shipping partner
When presenting a proposal, a freight forwarder typically shares about their expertise in freight service: How important it is, what it will do for your business, and more.
As a potential customer, you should also ask questions: What are their rates? Can they provide the same level of service for any kinds of shipment (e.g. regular shipping, emergency shipping, etc.)? Do they offer any guarantees?
You should also browse the company website: Can you find helpful resources? This is important as reputable and trusted freight companies should offer more than shipping services. Tips on getting the most of your shipping, guide on how to run your business better, advice on choosing the right freight services, etc. – valuable information is always helpful for clients and potential clients; it’s also a good sign of trust when you share your advice, accessible by anyone.
3. How to choose the right one?
While large export companies have their well-built reputation, smaller companies are known to offer a more personalized service. With that being said, please consider to partner with a reliable small shipping company for better service.
As always, you should ask for testimonials, get recommendations and speak with their existing customers to know in depth about the freight company. You should also look for case studies which can offer you insights on how other businesses do it.
Here is a good presentation which can help you choose the best freight forwarder for your small business:
Lastly, I would like to remind you that you should be aware of service level agreement (SLA,) which will determine how the services are provided on various circumstances, such as emergency delivery, routine freight forwarding, and so on. With that being said, always opt for signing service level agreement (SLA) – ink everything down and make it official.