This guide is aimed at independent freight companies who are looking for a French partner to manager their import or export freight services. If you are a business looking for tips to help you find a freight forwarder, take a look at our article “10 tips for choosing the best freight forwarder in France“.
Top 7 criteria for a good freight forwarder in France
Here are 7 things to check when looking for your perfect French freight forwarding partner:
- Purchase power. A freight forwarder buys and sells. If your partner makes a bad purchase, you won’t be able to sell and you risk losing your client. Find out about their workflow, certifications, IATA ranking and any accolades that your potential partner has been given by other companies.
- Reactive customer services, to provide clear information about your merchandise in a timely manner. You should feel reassured from the other side of the world and have effective contact with someone who says, “OK, we’ll take care of it.” A freight forwarder who offers great customer services is a partner who’s doing their job well.
- Consistency. A reliable partner offers consistent services and rates. With regular workflow, an honest partner will ensure you benefit from the best rates. They follow the market and demonstrate fair-play when it comes to your relationship. A transparent freight forwarder will ensure that the whole chain benefits in a positive way. If the customer is happy, the relationship will continue.
- Workforce stability is also a good sign of quality, an employee who sticks with an employer long-term is a great source of market expertise. What’s more, satisfied employees offer better customer service.
- Reciprocity. When you entrust your shipping to a true partner, they will also attempt to do the same in return in your country. Why? For optimised finances and a stable workflow, or to establish a beneficial relationship for further work. A win-win relationship.
- Financial stability, because you don’t want to pay a freight forwarder only to find your merchandise stuck in a port because they haven’t paid the transporter’s invoice.
Size is of the utmost importance for a good freight company.
The size of the freight company is of the utmost importance. A certain size ensures bargaining capacity, purchasing power, stability and the ability to reciprocate. It’s obvious that a sole-trader who works with multiple partners won’t be able to repay you in kind.
Smaller companies will also struggle to deliver consistent quality services if staff are absent for any reason. With companies of a certain size, you can be sure there are systems in place to ensure your shipping is well-managed during holiday periods.
Lastly, a good-sized partner will also be in possession of everything they need to carry out their work effectively, starting with the right certification: Registered Customs Broker, IATA certification (air), FIATA (sea), AEO-Full (simplified customs and safety-security).
Aim for quality, for stress-free long-distance monitoring
A quality French partner means a streamlined workflow. Every link in the chain is well-oiled: staff are available, competence is ensured, certification is in place and all of this saves you time.
Your French partner’s local agencies also have their role to play: agents spread out in strategical logistical locations in the country will find solutions quickly. For example, a “dangerous” package has been refused because the sender’s label in incomplete: our onsite agent acts immediately, informs the client, changes the label if required and in less than 2 hours the package is ready to send-on again.
The perfect freight forwarder in France is the one who brings you solutions and makes your life easier.