If you're looking for the best international shipping companies, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before making a decision.
A freight forwarder's marketing strategy -- or lack of one -- can say a lot about how they will be to work with. As you select your freight forwarder, keep these do's and don'ts in mind.
If a freight forwarder falls in the "Don't" category, be careful. You'd likely be much better off with a different freight forwarder. If a freight forwarder falls in the "Do" category, they are likely a good choice. Here are our Marketing Do's and Don'ts for how to choose a freight forwarder, followed by an infographic reference with this information.
Do's: What You Should Look for in a Freight Forwarder
It's easy to get into the freight forwarding business, but harder to do it right.
Does the freight forwarder have connections in the country you're exporting/importing from?
Not all freight forwarders offer the same services. Does this one have everything you're looking for?
How are the reviews across the web? Do you know anyone who uses this freight forwarder? More references are better.
Your freight forwarder should answer the phone, emails, and any correspondence in a really reasonable amount of time.
Don'ts: What You Should Avoid in a Freight Forwarder
No website is a no-go. Make sure your freight forwarder has a presence online.
No Phone Number
Some freight forwarders try to save money by not providing "live" customer service, or upcharging for it. The best do not.
Lack of Reviews
Are there just no reviews across the web? They could either be silenced by the company or too new to have any yet.
Does the freight forwarder have a consistent online presence, or do they come and go? Watch their website for up-to-date information, as well as their blog and social media accounts -- if they have them.
Unwilling to Help
Customer service isn't helpful when they don't know what they are doing or can't help you. They should go above and beyond to help you. Don't settle for less.
If you need more business, it’s likely that you’ve thought about offering free shipping to people who buy your merchandise, especially if you don’t have a storefront. It's become an increasingly demanded and popular option for customers. Amazon does it, Walmart does it, and even DollarTree offers it for shipments sent to your closest store.
Topics: Domestic Shipping
Shipping costs are determined by numerous complicated factors. We know you probably didn't want to hear that!
While some of the factors can be difficult to predict, with some proper guidance and research, shipping costs can be predicted within reason.
Topics: International Shipping
Are you confused by some of the lingo in international shipping? Abbreviations, acronyms, words that look different but mean the same thing…international shipping is tricky business, and the extensive vocabulary one must develop takes time and patience. Don’t worry, everyone must start somewhere, and we’re here to show you where.
Topics: International Shipping
All of these abbreviations can be downright confusing in the shipping world, especially when it comes to codes that define your products at the customs borders. Here, we talk a little about the most commonly confused codes and when they're used.
If your company is thinking about shipping internationally, you’re probably already shipping domestically. That makes sense; it’s much easier, in almost every country, to start shipping to places within your borders. The rules are consistent within a country and packages get to where they need to go without the hassle of customs and other delays.
One thing is for certain: when you’re shipping things across country borders, it can get expensive before you know it. Shipping internationally is a big unknown for a lot of people. Often, before they even ship anything, they wish to know a cost associated with their export so that they can properly plan for that charge.
Unfortunately, estimating the cost of shipping internationally is more difficult than it seems in the beginning. It isn’t as simple as knowing where the package is going, though that’s often a great place to start.
Exporting laws can be tricky, but must be followed in order to get your goods where you want them to go. We've made an infographic to help. Here are 5 steps to follow in order to comply with export laws.