There could be various reasons that you might want to ship internationally. Whether it be sending gifts to your loved ones abroad, importing stock of goods for your start-up, export your products worldwide, or numerous other reasons. Regardless of what might be the reason, it is quite essential to opt for the appropriate mode of transportation. That’s where the forwarding agent comes in picture. Before we begin explaining its different ways, it is necessary to know that the forwarding agent does not physically transfer the goods. They are the intermediary party between the client and the carrier. Their main goal is to relieve you of the administrative challenges and hassles of logistics. Global forwarders also serve as reliable consultants regarding the matters of banks, legal terms and regulations or documentation related FAQs.
They make sure that you have prompt delivery and the right cost. Before pledging to one mode of transportation, thorough research in price versus time will go a long way in growing the output of your business. Thereby proving to be a milestone in its success.
Let’s take a look at the best means for shipping goods:
Undoubtedly the most efficient way to transport goods worldwide, and on time is by air. It is the best option for time-sensitive shipments. The other significant advantages are inexpensive warehousing and lower insurance. Since air crafts have natural routes and better custom facilities, they avoid unnecessary delays, for instance, in obtaining clearance. Many modern shipping agents also provide a web-based tracking system, so you never have to worry about waiting for your package blindly. They also offer tailored services to your business needs. For an air freight forwarder to be successful, they must cultivate and possess excellent relationships with major airlines. It benefits them in various aspects, thereby helping the consumers directly.
Sea freight is one of the cheapest modes of transporting goods, with major international exports done using this method. When you are considering moving large shipments with time constraints, not a priority, then sea transport proves to be an economical option. Although shipment times can vary from days to months, if you can plan accordingly with improved inventory management, this can be a reliable source of transportation. However, cargo delays are much common in this method as the weather has a direct impact on goods delivered by sea.
Products to transported containerized, which is a popular shipping technique. These containers help in the transition between different vehicles in the intermodal chain of transport. It is the slowest process in comparison to others. Therefore, having a shipping agent that can take care of all the intermediate steps from keeping you updated on the whereabouts, sorting out your deliveries, and much more, can keep you away from all the hassle.
Land freight through trucks plays a vital role in deliveries. May it be bad weather when tides are high and the ocean is not as friendly anymore, land transportation can save major distributions going to halt. Though more expensive then sea freight, land freight can get the job done with its pragmatic, safe, and flexible nature of the operation. In 2015 only, truck-based on-road transport accounted for around two-thirds of US domestic transport. Therefore, road transportation is the most common of all modes of transportation, with built-in and sound infrastructure. It’s known for its cost-effectiveness, scheduled delivery, and flexible service.
However, there is a constraint of weight and size as to what you can transport via trucks. There are two major options in road shipping, namely LTL (Less than Truckload) and FTL (Full Truckload). In FTL, you have the advantage of having only your shipment in the entire carriage, from the moment of pickup to the destination. It translates to saving time in comparison to FTL, where various other companies’ shipments will accompany your shipment. It not only increases time rather the risk of damaging by handling.
Research is the key to choosing the most appropriate model of transportation, whether this is your first attempt, or you are already a veteran in this area. Not one method fits all, and there are services for people especially tailored for their businesses. Therefore, take time for this process, enquire about your service provider regarding different possibilities and then select the optimum method. Every means has its pros and cons, and once you have adhered to all the variables like budget, the value of your goods, schedule, geographic constraints, etc., you will be at par in choosing the most reliable service.