Many new importers aren’t sure who Freight Forwarders are or what they do and whether if it's important to have one.
To put this in the simplest manner, forwarder is the connection between you and the carrier, broker, trucker, and all other parties involved in your shipment. (Visit Basic Terms page for details on each party).
There are many Freight Forwarders aka NVOCC (Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier) company out there, it is to find an experienced company.
How to Choose a Freight Forwarding Agent?
There are tens of thousands of active Freight Forwarding companies in the United States.
1) Are they licensed and bonded? Be sure freight forwarder provides you with their NVOCC FMC license number if requested. Most Forwarders will have this information on their Arrival Notice.
2) Are they familiar with the product that you plan to ship? If you’re planning to ship a vehicle, you want to be sure your Forwarder has the knowledge required to handle vehicle shipping, including loading, special documentation, etc…
3) How easily are they reachable? Do they answer their phones right away? Or do you have to listen to automated voice system for 5 minutes before pressing zero (0) only to be transferred to the receptionist?
4) Do they have the support network within the areas you plan to ship from and to? Some companies specialize in global shipping, some cross-state and some interstate. Find a Forwarder who has the knowledge of your locations and how you plan to ship.
5) Are they reputable?
Search for online reviews and testimonials from other customers. It will give you a good sense on their dependability!
Contact us if you would like a referral.