There are thousands of freight forwarders around the world, but how should you choose your freight company?
The decision to use the services of smaller freight forwarders has several benefits. Freight and shipping are multi billion pound industries in the UK. It is not unusual for large logistics giants to post revenues in the billions. Independent freight forwarders will have lower overheads and expenditure. The bigger companies generally only operate at fixed prices and with fixed supply channels, whereas smaller companies have the freedom to use a wider variety of suppliers, and can often do the same job at a lower rate without compromising quality of service.
An independent freight forwarding company will offer a more personal and bespoke service. We have all suffered the feeling of being “just a number” while dealing with large companies. Many small to medium sized freight companies will be dealing with a smaller client base, and will often recognise their clients by the sound of their voice on the telephone. Many independent freight forwarders are specialists in a particular niche, and this expertise and knowledge can be of great importance when dealing with customs paperwork and foreign shipping formalities.
Despite conceptions, there are no worldwide freight companies that operate solely with their own trucks, ships and planes. Some forwarders might have sole agency agreements, but most will sub-contract services at some point within the shipment. Many large freight forwarders have bulk throughput discounts with certain carriers, which limits their choice of carrier and can limit the transit times and price. Even today, many European countries are still very regionalised. A smaller freight forwarder may be able to save costs by using locally based hauliers, rather than having to use a large automated depot and hub system where shipments can get damaged and go missing relatively easily.
How can you guarantee the professionalism of a freight company?
Many UK freight companies are members of BIFA (British International Freight Association). This means that they:
* Incorporate the BIFA standard trading conditions into international freight contracts
* Maintain a freight liability insurance policy
* Demonstrate competence and understanding of the international freight industry
* Abide by the BIFA Code of Conduct
For more information please see this publication – http://www.bifa.org/_attachments/Resources/1470_S4.pdf
By using a smaller freight company you could be ensuring that you are given a more personal service, with more choice and often at a better freight price. Barrington Freight are an independently owned freight forwarders based in Essex. We have been trading since 2006 and are full members of the British International Freight Association.
For personal friendly service and shipping advice call our Managing Director Matt Everard today.