OptimalShip's Helpful Shipping Tips

What to Look for (and Avoid) in a Freight Forwarder

Posted by K. Sterrett on May 30, 2019 10:42:00 AM

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. 

Country Agents

Does the freight forwarder have connections in the country you're exporting/importing from?

Correct Services

Not all freight forwarders offer the same services. Does this one have everything you're looking for?

Good References

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

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.

What Should You Look For and Avoid in a Freight Forwarder_
What has been your experience with finding a freight forwarder? Do you have any other useful tips? Leave your best tips in the comments below. 
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Topics: Export Basics, International Shipping, Freight Forwarder