Logistics providers & Freight Forwarders should be counted on as a source of advice and innovation that can help customers identify and solve logistics problems to their competitiveness.
However, it is only when customers apply professional management skills to the areas of logistics and the management of outsourced logistics services that the talents and ability of the logistics sector can be meaningfully developed and utilized.
Discussions with logistics executives reveal a gap between the desire to work collaboratively with Logistics Service Providers (LSP) and how to go about it.
To drive change and improvement in the overall business relationship, freight forwarders and shippers must work toward a common language, set of goals and objectives, and establishing a meaningful exchange of information relating to planning, management, execution transportation and performance measurement of the logistics services.
Always request for quotes well in advance of when you expect to ship your cargo. Because freight forwarders and shipping lines require time to process your request (and quite often enough, a very prolonged period of time), it’s best that you call for a quote well in advance in order to ensure that you have a variety of options and aren’t forced to settle with a limited number of choices. Best practice would be to request a quote at the very least 2 weeks prior to the desired time of shipping.
On top of the pre-carriage; main transportation and post-carriage, the freight forwarders provide a list of added-values:
- Warehousing and refrigerated storage
- Customs documentation and brokerage (In some countries, clearing customs can be a demanding task and freight forwarders will appoint local customs brokers whose job it is to overcome bureaucratic hurdles.)
- Logistics contract as a 4PL
- Transport Insurance forms
- Export packing and professional packing
- Bill of Lading (often a House Bill of Lading issued by the forwarder)
- Letters of Credit (i.e. if the recipient is paying by this method, the bank’s requirements of the documentation can be very onerous)