As usual in this blog, we are delighted to inform you properly about the meaning of each term concerning the importing matter. For that reason, today we´ll speak to you about the concept of logistic agent (“forwarder”) and the benefits you can obtain when hiring a really good one.
Simply, he is an import agent in charge of organizing the transportation of your merchandise. He also advises you on import costs, including freight charges, paperwork, special documentation and merchandise management.
In general, if you are starting out in this giant import universe, you probably haven´t the slightest idea where to hire a logistic agent. Sure, you can pay for learning the hard way by hiring anyone who offers you a good prize. That is why today we will give you some tips on how know to differentiate a good logistic agent or freight forwarder from one of the heap.
Let´s say we have our cargo ready or rather we have an approximate date on when it is. At that moment, we ask our logistic agent to keep us informed on:
The days of waiting given to us by the shipping company after the load container arrives at the port of destination. Generally, many people don´t take this into account. For us it should be the first thing to be evaluated. Notice that, if there is a problem and your container remains long time in port of customs or port of destination, you will have to pay for returning the container too late.
A good logistic agent should always be able to offer you assistance at the moment of dispatch and customs formalities. By this, we mean his being responsible for paying, on our behalf, the duties and taxes. Just in case we had to pay a customs house inspection, he will be our representative at the moment the inconvenient cannot be solved immediately.
Another of the benefits a good forwarder can supply you with, is the paperwork concerning the international transportation of our merchandise. He will take care of supervising our cargo´s container´s condition at any moment, and have us informed about.
Likewise, our forwarder will be in charge of organizing and paying the different services required in the port of origin as well as at the destination.
It´s also the duty of our forwarder to get us a service provided with all the necessary conditions for our products to arrive their final destination in optimal conditions. That is to say, if we are importing items that require refrigeration, our forwarder will be in charge of getting an optimal transport system for it.
Hire the insurance company. In case of buying a cargo insurance (something we recommend), your forwarder will be responsible for making the request
Give quick answers to our calls. If there is something despairing it is to get in touch with the forwarder and wait a whole day for his giving us an answer.
You must remember that these are just tips for you to discard many offers from forwarders the day you start importing. But, above all, you must understand that your logistic agent or forwarder will be one of your best friends at the moment that you start this business.