10 tips for choosing the best freight forwarder

You're looking for a freight forwarding company in France to organise or handle flows, but how you decide which one is the best? Here are 10 tips to help you find the perfect freight partner: the one who'll offer you top class service and reliability on a long term basis.

You know it: a great shipping company means incredible added value for your supply chain and the long term profitability of your business, but how can you find the best freight forwarder in France to suit you? Here are 10 tips to help you when you contact a potential freight forwarder.

  1. Do they have specific experience in your sector? A shipping company that’s skilled in your field will supply client references for shipping similar to your own. It’s a great way of seeing how experienced they are, an essential piece of information.
  2. Are they affiliated to a network? Integrated networks may seem more reassuring at first glance, but in reality, these have more restrictions and limits than independent agent’s networks. An independent freight forwarder is free to capitalise on competition and find you the best service provider to each destination. Using independent networks, they can count on partners throughout the world, who, like the freight forwarder you entrust, have perfect knowledge of their geographical area and its particularities. These networks reference and audit specialists in each sector with the required certification to provide quality service in the medical, automobile, aeronautical, industrial and e-commerce logistics sectors to name but a few.
  3. Can they diversify transport methods? A freight forwarder who handles multi-modal shipping will always be able to offer you the best option in line with your constraints costs/delays.
  4. Can they consolidate? If a company doesn’t have sufficient volume of goods to fill a container, it’s always worth benefitting from consolidation, which of course means lower shipping costs.
  5. What accreditations and certifications do they hold? They should, of course, be a member of IATA and FIATA and Registered Customs Representative. It’s also worth asking if they are an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO-Full, AEO-C or AEO-S). AEO-Full certification guarantees a high level of quality, conformity and reliability. This trusted European Custom’s label is acknowledged internationally, an advantage when it comes to speeding up or simplifying certain procedures.
  6. What kind of insurance do they have? What guarantees do they offer?
  7. What other services can they offer? Storing? Packing? Distributing to multiple addresses?
  8. What sort of monitoring do they offer? How do they keep you informed when your items are shipped? Do they offer an online tracking system for your merchandise? Are they expecting you to track the transport yourself or will they be checking so they can let you know if something looks off?
  9. How long have their staff been working for the company? Experience is a great way of judging their reputation for peace of mind.
  10. Can they respond quickly and precisely to your request, with detailed costing and shipment times for the services you require? Ask for a quote so you can see for yourself.

Then, once you’ve selected the best freight forwarder in France for you, think about challenging them every year to show why they should be your partner!

To ensure both independence and quality, work with an independent freight forwarder with AEO certification and a wide-reaching network.

Would you like to set us the challenge of becoming your freight forwarder? Contact us!

Loïc Cattelle, Mathez Freight Forwarding
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