Let’s get our heads out of the clouds first…
Whenever we discuss the differences in the role of a 3PL and 4PL firm, a question is overlooked most of the time – Whether the common freight forwarder? They help in shipping the goods successfully across the border, clearing the custom of course – this is all most people know regarding the role of freight forwarders in the industry.
3PL and 4PL firms are always freight forwarders, but the vice versa isn’t always true – says Mr. Scott, the director of the GSCI at the university of Tennessee. Not all shippers find it challenging to extend their supply chain beyond their country border and enter the global market. However, globalization has been so over-exaggerated that hiring a freight forwarder isn’t always the answer to efficient distribution.
Not All Shippers have the Same Needs
While some big businesses and enterprises need a powerful logistic solution provider like Fedex and UPS, many other shippers in the country need only a basic freight forwarding service. However, this doesn’t stop the forwarders from promising more than they can deliver.
“Looking 30 years back, it’s relatively common to see a small trucker claiming itself a freight forwarder. Then, if they start offering warehousing, they would call themselves a 3PL. If they succeed in this as well, they would start offering consulting service and claim themselves as a 4PL”. – Says Scott
How to choose the right freight forwarder
Selection of a freight forwarding company makes a big difference in exports and supply chain management. Thus, it is essential to choose the right firm to work with. Instead of focusing on the country they are entering, the shipper should emphasize on the port they are entering. Sometimes small freight forwarding firms near the port have better relationships with the custom officers than the big players.
In addition to the port your freight is destined to, there are many other factors that should be taken into account while determining a freight forwarder for your business; the type of the products to be shipped, the planned route for the shipment, cost, delivery time and quality of service are to name a few.
The freight forwarder you partner with must be bonded, licensed and financially stable. You must also ensure whether they have enough staff and facilities to handle your requirements. The company must allow you to track the shipment online.
The ideal way to locate your right freight forwarder is create a checklist of things you want to consider, including your requirements and factors as discussed above, before you begin your search. Once you’re ready with your checklist, resort to the internet.
Your best forwarding partner is just a click away. So, what are you waiting for? Begin your hunt Right Now!