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5 Things To Look Out For While Seeking A Freight Forwarder In China

Looking for a local freight forwarder in China? The first and most important thing to do is to cut out middle men or international freight forward companies and contacting a freight forwarding company based within China. You will end up saving huge sums of money in doing so, as there will be no extra commissions to be paid. The next thing you need to ensure is that the transport system you put in place is watertight. Here is a quick guide to choosing the forwarder who will ‘handle’ your goods with care.

‘Figure’ it out

The first step to seeing your cargo safely reaches home lies in getting the numbers right. Sit down with your calculator and take note of the amount, volume and weight of the consignment. This is the key to finding out whether your cargo requires less than container load (LCL—less than 10 cbm volume) or full container load (FCL – more than 20 cbm in volume).

Path of movement

Now that you know what you need, chalk out a path of movement. What is the port nearest to the source of your goods? What is the port closest to your factory or office? These nitty-gritties are crucial in determining the route that your cargo will take. You also need to check if the freight forwarder can arrange for air shipping of your urgent consignments.

Picking the perfect one

Next step – pick a reliable freight forwarder in China. You have the option of dialing up an international freight forwarder, but local firms are likely to give you the same service at cheap shipping cost. Thanks to the Internet, this is easier than you think. Keeping a few things in mind will make the shortlisting process easier –

1.     Make sure the forwarder is registered in China and certified with the ISO, to ensure that it is not breaking any government rules and stepping on anyone’s toes.

2.   Pick a freight forwarder who deals in the cargo that you want to get shipped, as they are more likely to have specialised expertise on handling the goods. Some experience always helps.

3.     Confirm that the freight forwarder has a well-established network within China – Such work often runs on trust and mutual goodwill between different parties who form part of the transport chain, so it helps to pick a firm that has good repute and is known to deliver goods unharmed and intact, and on time. You have to be able to put all your trust on the party that will be in charge of expensive goods that belong to you – stuff that you have already paid for.

Money matters

Once you have narrowed in on your favorites, contact them and ask for quotes. Evaluate the offers that you receive. Check that the quote includes all possible costs that are to be met on the way – packaging, palletising, labelling, even insurance if you want some. Part of the reason why businesses hire freight forwarders is cost control, so ensure you know the entire payable amount upfront. While negotiating, be certain that there is no room for ambiguity.

Do the paper work

The next step is to determine which forwarder is likely to ready and process all the necessary documents with professionalism and thoroughness, to make sure their integrity is unimpeachable. You will also have to sign a power of attorney giving them the right to handle your goods in your absence. This done, you can sit back and wait for the cargo to roll in.