How to Know When it’s Time to Change Your Freight Forwarder
Unless your current provider is offering rates way outside of what is fair and competitive, then price should never be a primary reason for changing your freight forwarder.
Let’s face it, it’s always easier to stay with an existing freight forwarder than to bring in a new partner.
Even when your current forwarding company is no longer able to meet your needs, it’s still difficult to make the necessary changes because you’ve got more important things to focus on, right? Not if you want your business to succeed and continue to grow.
But how do you know that it’s time to start shopping around?
Below are three signs that it may be time to change forwarders.
1. Internal Changes
-Your company has experienced growth and your current provider does not have the service capabilities that you now need.
The people that created these original relationships have gone and you now feel that your provider is a stranger and not a true partner with an intimate understanding of your current and future needs.
Or, the scope of your business has changed and maybe your current forwarder only offers over-the-road freight transport in the United States, but now you need air and ocean freight services because you are selling and shipping your products overseas.
If one or more of these changes have taken place, now is the time to start identifying any shortcomings. Once you have identified the issues, make a list of the major pain points that you can use in your initial discussion with the new forwarder.
Next, start looking for a partner that can meet and exceed your current needs and, most importantly, one who is prepared and committed to growing with you.
2. Incompatible Technology
-Times have changed. The days of pouring over stacks of spreadsheets to monitor your supply chain are gone.
Valuable information should never be more than a click away. If your current provider lacks the necessary tools, from an IT perspective, to assist in managing your day to day business it is definitely time to select a new forwarder that is more modernized.
At the same time, how can you quickly address an issue if all you have is an avatar from a website messaging service to turn to when you have a problem? An online freight service may not be right for your business model either.
If you find yourself having to explain your issue over and over because you get a different person on the phone every time you call, that ends up wasting not just your time but your customer’s time as well. It may be time to find a forwarder that can provide you with a dedicated team or even just a reliable point of contact.
3. Service Standards
-Customer service is more than just a polite voice on the other end of the phone.
Are you being blindsided by calls from clients regarding late or damaged deliveries? Are invoices often different than the quotes you receive?
Pretty much all forwarders can provide a logistics solution for moving a box from point A to point B., but what about on-time performance and proactive reporting? Are you receiving accurate updates in a timely manner? If you have very little communication from your freight forwarder despite ongoing problems it usually means that they don’t want to address existing issues or they simply don’t care.
Is the claims process quick and painless or are you having to fight your own provider for resolution? Does your forwarder express an eagerness to provide stellar service and is committed to constant improvement? If not, these are some major red flags that indicate you should be getting more from your forwarding company. If you are suffering from any of these provider shortcomings then it is time to get busy finding a new freight forwarder right away.
Many of you may be thinking “What about price?” Well, unless your current provider is offering rates way outside of what is fair and competitive, then price should never be a primary reason for changing freight forwarders.
Remember, your time is money too. If you are spending time away from your primary responsibilities chasing after updates, following up on claims, or resolving billing issues, are you really saving your companies resources?
The Bottom Line
What you should be looking for, in any provider, is value. Value is having a partner that can offer a competitive rate without sacrificing the highest level of quality, customer service, and modern age technology.
Value is honesty and integrity in all transactions. It is a provider that takes time to get to know you and the unique needs of your supply chain while offering the flexibility to accommodate changes in your organization.
But most of all, value is having a freight transportation provider that wants to help you and your company grow and succeed every single day.
Switching freight forwarders may seem like a hassle, but the right one should make the transition seamless and make you look like a star.
BGI Worldwide Logistics will help you get it right the first time.
Got questions? Call 800-987-4244, but check out what our clients say about us first!