Trading has always been one of the main directions for interrelations between people, enterprises, and countries. Moreover, nowadays, the cargo shipping industry is on the rise since people tend to buy lots of things on Internet stores, such as Amazon, AliExpress, OZON, etc. How are such parcels delivered? International logistics routes are chosen for order delivery. Thus, it is impossible to imagine international trading without proper logistics.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of cargo ship companies offering their services for parcel delivery. They offer different terms of cooperation and have various routes and means of cargo transportation. So, here, a reasonable question arises: how does one select the right logistics provider to enjoy quick and secure delivery? Let’s consider the issue in detail. Below, you’ll find 8 crucial parameters to pay attention to in order to avoid unscrupulous service providers.
Table of Contents
8 Tips on How to Pick a Reliable Logistics Company for Cargo Transportation
1. Determine tasks
Before choosing a cargo shipping company, you should determine what tasks it will solve. The main task of this stage is to find a middle ground between the number of transport companies and your budget. In other words, collect an adequate pool of carriers and not spend too much money.
Form a strategy by answering three basic questions:
- what types of transportation you will use;
- how many cargo shipping companies you are willing to work with (note that you need to find a fallback for each carrier in the case of an unforeseen situation);
- what is the logistics budget.
These settings may change over time. Depending on the set of tasks, it will become clear whether you should turn to a generalist shipment company or look for a service provider that specializes in a certain niche: for example, a contractor for the transport of small volumes of goods with strict adherence to temperature control or companies working with groupage cargo.
It is worth noting that the best shipping companies come in two categories: carriers and forwarders.
Carriers are the actual executors of the order, which use their own resources. Most often, they offer customers lower prices, but such companies are engaged in narrow-profile types of delivery. If the company is very small, it is most likely that it cannot provide a high level of service.
Forwarders are big shipping companies that hire carriers as subcontractors. This option is usually more expensive but a flexible and promising one. Choosing a freight forwarder Amazon FBA is suitable for small companies that do not have enough experience in cargo transportation.
Based on these points, decide on what type of a cargo ship company you need. Pay attention to both large carriers and small firms.
2. The availability of technical capacities for transportation
Here, you should consider what means of delivery are provided and how many vehicles are at their disposal. These can be a park of trucks, loading equipment (tractors, cranes, etc.), trailers, trawls, protective materials, cargo securing tools, and other devices.
If a shipping company has not yet managed to acquire some type of freight transport, it does not matter. The main thing is that this company has a reliable, proven contractor that is capable of leasing the required equipment. In the event of such a situation, study all the available information about the partner to make sure of his trustworthiness.
3. Experience in the transportation industry
How long does the company carry out activities for the delivery of goods? As a rule, a good shipping company manages to get acquainted with all subtleties of the sphere and gain a certain reputation in the first 2-3 years of activity, so the company that has worked on the market for more than 3 years will have the highest quality service.
4. A price policy
The price list of the shipping company plays an important role. No, we are not telling that if the cost of services is low, such a company should be dismissed immediately. Low prices do not mean that the carrier provides low-quality service. It may mean that an enterprise simply does not have the necessary experience and technical equipment.
On the contrary, the price should be within the limits of other competing firms, and maybe even a little higher. The main thing is that the price is reasonable and transparent. Thus, you can hope for high-quality performance of cargo shipping services.
5. A loyalty program and other discounts
This criterion is not about looking for a low price for services. Yet, you can check whether a contractor offers a discount system for regular customers. This question will signal a service provider about your intention to cooperate with the firm for a long time. A responsible shipping services company will definitely catch this moment and will do its best to make your cooperation effective so that you will turn to its services in the future.
6. Obsolescence and quality of the materials and vehicles used
Also, focus your attention on the technologies and equipment that the carrier organization uses when providing services. Make sure that packaging materials used by the contractor have not become obsolete for a long time. So, for example, when transporting plastic windows over long distances, good shipping companies install a special pyramid-shaped on the vehicle. No use of folded cardboard boxes between structures is allowed.
The appearance of workers involved in loading and transporting goods should be moderately neat. Untidiness can only speak of the same attitude towards work, which does not guarantee due attention to the goods being delivered.
7. Calculation of the final estimate
Find out in advance how soon the carrier will be able to calculate the cost of reliable shipping services for the already obvious amount of work performed. If the service provider says that the full estimate of the work will be ready only after the cargo shipping service is provided, then this means that the firm is incompetent in matters of transportation. Top shipping companies with big experience know the cost of all their work in advance.
8. Cargo insurance
Well, the last but not least thing you should know is cargo insurance. Reliable shipping companies always provide insurance for delivered parcels.
How and Where to Look for Contractors?
Sometimes representatives of supplier companies seek a suitable carrier on the recommendation of colleagues or at various events dedicated to logistics, such as seminars, conferences, forums, exhibitions, and so on. However, the most common way is to announce a tender.
Tender is the main way to choose cargo ship companies USA. It allows you to understand what position each contractor occupies on the market, compare companies in terms of services, and reduce the transportation tariffs originally offered by suppliers. By size, tenders can be classified as follows:
- tender for a complex project: for example, a plant under construction. As part of the project, it is planned to transport oversized products. The best shipping company knows all the inputs within the project.
- tender for a certain volume of regular transportation. In this case, the company may not know any input (for example, the direction of transportation), its task is to select a transport company that can provide services at a favorable rate in a certain period (for example, a year);
- mini-tender for one-time transportation.
In addition, the tender may be open or closed. All shipping companies that have responded to the proposal participate in an open tender. For a closed tender, the customer selects participants himself.
How to prepare for the Tender?
First of all, draw up a contract listing all the conditions that will apply to the supplier. When discussing the terms of the contract, rely on the baseline – a set of data on previously completed transportation for a certain period. Among the most needed data:
- types of vehicles;
- shipping dates;
- the number of shipments;
- transport volume (for example, in pallets);
Then make a scorecard taking into account the above-mentioned parameters. It is useful to compare tender cargo companies and ultimately determine the winner.
Sticking to this guide, you’ll manage to select a trusted contractor and enjoy logistics services. In other articles, you can read how to start a cargo shipping company and other related topics.