Freight forwarding services can be used by both businesses and individuals to safely and securely move their goods and belongings from one locale to another. Unfortunately, some of these businesses are not as scrupulous as others, and potential customers should be cautious when selecting the freight forwarder that is right for them.
If you are looking for help with how your business handles its maritime shipping management in Texas, here are several factors that you should consider prior to hiring a freight forwarding firm:
- Identifying registration: There are a number of governmental and industry bodies that regulate how the shipping industry operates. Any reputable U.S.-based freight forwarder should be able to provide you with their Maritime Administration NVOCC number. International firms should be associated with a reputable industry group such as AMSA, FIDI or RIM.
- Types of cargo loading: Each company will offer a slightly different level and type of cargo loading service. Freight forwarders offering warehouse loading, for instance, will come to your site and load all of your goods, without any transportation taking place on your end. Other options may be less convenient, but also less costly.
- Container sizes: The size, type and capacity of your containers may help you determine which company you use for your maritime shipping management in Texas. For instance, some firms may choose to not ship refrigerated containers containing perishable items, and others may only deal in larger orders.
- Tracking tools: Thanks to technological advances, tracking tools are now ubiquitous. Any reputable firm should be able to offer you the option to track your cargo in real time. Some companies may opt to send you frequent email updates regarding the status of your shipment, while others may simply provide you with a number that you can use to view the location of your cargo online.
- The bottom line: The final, overall price of shipping your goods should of course factor into how you choose to move forward with a freight forwarder. The company offering the lowest rate may not truly be the least expensive, however. If your cargo is lost and the firm doesn’t carry insurance, it may result in a mistake far costlier than opting for a more reputable service provider.
- Insurance: Nearly every shipping company will offer you insurance. It’s extremely important that you ask lots and lots of questions about their policy and how it is carried out in case of lost cargo. Losing a load of goods can be detrimental for any business, and it is extremely important to know that your interests will be provided for regardless of what happens to your shipment.
- Price flexibility: It never hurts to ask for a discount. Some freight forwarders may offer smaller businesses a special rate, or they may provide discounted services to members of certain professional associations. Be sure to ask about any flexible pricing that you may be eligible to receive.
Aztec Marine Agencies, Inc. brings more than 53 years of combined industry experience to the world of freight forwarding and maritime logistics. To learn more about how we can help your business approach maritime shipping management in Texas, reach out to one of our knowledgeable professionals today.
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