Hey! So, you’re a new business and your considering using a freight forwarder to handle your logistic? Let’s find out how a freight forwarder can be beneficial to a new or small business.
What is a freight forwarder?
Firstly, you may ask what a freight forwarder is. A freight forwarder is an agent, or solutions specialist, as we like to call it, that assists in shipping goods on behalf of the seller or buyer. They utilise their expertise to arrange your goods to be exported and imported from start to finish. Some freight forwarders also assist with customs clearance, warehousing stock, and door to door delivery. No matter if it’s globally or locally, freight forwarders can get your goods wherever they need to go.
And what do they do?
Many freight forwarders offer support to businesses looking for assistance with their logistics and warehousing needs. By offering freight services such as, sea, air, and land, freight forwarders, like TGL, are able to move your goods anywhere around the globe. Freight forwarders also match your business needs with the appropriate freight option which is the most time and cost-effective to you. Specifically, with international shipping, all items must clear customs before entering the country for sale. Freight forwarders can assist in customs clearance by ensuring the correct documents and information is available to the customs officers for easy clearance of goods.
Some freight forwarders also offer assistance with warehousing as they can ship your business’ goods to the warehouse and then distribute them to your customers for you. This is called Third Party Logistics (3PL) warehousing.
How can a freight forwarder help you?
Now here comes the juicy stuff, how can they help you? Being a new business owner can be extremely difficult as you begin to navigate the world of business. Whilst your putting on multiple different hats such as marketing, logistics, finance, and HR, let us take the logistics hat off your head.
Release logistics related stress
Using a freight forwarder means you can alleviate the stress that surrounds importing and exporting your goods, especially if you’re an international buyer or seller. Using a freight forwarder to assist in your logistics tasks will allow you to rely on their expertise to ensure your goods will arrive on the agreed time with assistance on customs clearance, document generation, and facilitation between shipping partners.
One solutions specialist to help
With many freight forwarders, you are passed through multiple service support staff which, can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and mistakes. At TGL, we focus on our customers and their shipping needs. One way we drive this is by allocating one solutions specialist, or THINKERS as we like to call them, to each client. They are your one-point contact and specialist that assists you in every aspect of the exporting or importing process. From assisting with shipping enquiries, quoting, customer questions to anticipating delays, facilitating with partners, and preparing documents for customs clearance. Our THINKERS are your one-stop-shop for all things logistics and can assist in all areas of shipping, customs clearance, and warehousing. Gone are the days of being cross handled by 10 contacts and not knowing who to call for what.
Hands on knowledge
With being a new business, it can be difficult to navigate the logistics world. By using a freight forwarder to assist in your logistics needs, this can allow you to tap into years of experience and a bucket full of knowledge that you can learn from. At TGL our THINKERS collectively have 34 years of experience in freight forwarding. By harnessing this knowledge, TGL will be able to anticipate delays, compare different options for shipping, documentation requirements, negotiate an appropriate price all whilst relaying this information to you in an understandable way. Using a freight forwarder can allow you to have access to hands-on knowledge and give you the security to know that your goods are in the safest hands when making their way to you.
There are also specialist freight forwarders. For example, if you are looking to ship your goods via air freight, there are freight forwarders that specialise in this service and can assist with your shipment. These specialised businesses are selective, but the majority of freight forwarders have experience in every freight transport method (sea, air, and land), as well as customs clearance.
An established freight forwarder will have a developed network of suppliers that they partner with for importing and exporting. Much more than a simple google search for the best shipping supplier in Sydney, a freight forwarder will have strong relationships with shipping partners all over the globe that can assist in shipping your goods from A to B. When using a freight forwarder and tapping into their network, you can feel secure knowing that your goods are traveling with tried and tested reliable partners. With this network also comes competitive prices and strong quotes. As a freight forwarder has developed a relationship with their network of suppliers, you know that you will be receiving an appropriate price for your shipment, but you also have the added support of the logistics specialist if pricing negotiation is required.
As the world of technology and the internet continues to develop, the rise of E-commerce and online only businesses has grown drastically. Whether you are starting your own online business or working for an online business, a freight forwarder can be a handy addition that can assist in multiple areas of business. Freight forwarders can assist in with an e-commerce business by:
- Shipping support: Like all traditional businesses, freight forwarders can assist in importing and exporting goods domestically and internationally. By harnessing the power of a freight forwarder, you are tapping into expert knowledge, a developed supplier network, and documentation and customs clearance assistance. This can be a beneficial factor as the shipping of goods does not occur just once. The continuous shipping of new products and the restock of past products is a major task for all businesses, so gaining the support of a freight forwarder can make this task a whole lot easier. This allows businesses to focus on the core of their business without becoming bogged down in logistics stress. They will stay up to date with their logistics movements through constant communication and tracking but the weight of their tasks will be placed on the freight forwarders’ shoulders.
- 3PL Warehousing: As all E-commerce businesses are run online and rarely have a physical location to shop or store their products, it can be hard to source an area that meets the needs or growth of the company. This is where 3PL Warehousing or Third-Party Logistics Warehousing comes into play and why it can be a major asset to any E-commerce business. For businesses that need to ship and hold products in various locations at once, warehousing is a clever way to outsource the storage and distribution of your products. At TGL, our 3PL Warehousing service allows our THINKERS to ship any goods to our warehouse, store them securely and pick and pack them for distribution. Investing in a freight forwarder that offers 3PL Warehousing can save many E-commerce businesses time, resources, and mistakes whilst, allowing them to clear their home packing centre, aka the dining table. This can allow you to focus more on the core of your business whilst still being ‘in the know’ with your inventory and shipping.
So, that was a lot! You now know the basics of freight forwarding and how it can help you. We encourage you to continue to learn about sea, air, land, customs clearance, 3PL warehousing and follow industry news to grow your knowledge of logistics and freight forwarding.