Introduction to Freight Forwarders Canada
If you run a small business, freight forwarding may not be the first thing on your mind.
Trust us, we get it. You’re busy managing your business – from management to shipping – and that can be a lot to handle!
But if you have goods that need to get from one place to another and you don't want to invest in a fleet of trucks or planes yourself, it's time to consider hiring someone else to handle your transportation needs. Freight forwarding companies are experts at transporting goods through various modes of transportation: air, sea or land. They can provide shipping services as well as customs clearance at either end of the journey.
Let’s get into the reasons your small business needs to work with a Canada freight forwarder and some tips for making it a positive experience for your whole team, and your customers.
Let’s get into it.
Reasons to Use Freight Forwarders Canada for Small Business
There are many reasons to use a freight forwarder in Canada. Freight forwarders have the experience and connections necessary to save you time, money and energy. They can help you find the best route for your shipment and advise on how to save on shipping costs. In addition, they will be able to suggest the best carriers and shipping methods that will fit your needs.
Consult the table below for a summary of reasons to use freight forwarders in Canada for your small business.
Reasons to Use Freight Forwarders in Canada
Why It Matters
Help you avoid costly mistakes
Making mistakes can cost you big time. You can rack up costs from fees to delays to damages if you don’t know the ins and outs of freight shipping and cross-border shipping. Freight forwarders give you an inside scoop and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Allows you to save money on shipping costs
Freight forwarders have an array of connections that can make for more efficient routes and better prices.
Offers guaranteed delivery times and service levels
The best freight forwarders are established businesses with standard operating procedures and regular schedules. Consistent deliveries can mean happier customers and more orders for you.
Provide other value-added services such as customs clearance
Having a freight forwarder in Canada can allow you access to services like customs brokerage, 3PL, and more. This can make for more seamless delivery experiences for you and your customers.
6 Tips for Small Businesses Using Freight Forwarders Canada
Working for a small business can be exciting and challenging. One of the biggest challenges is logistics, as many small businesses have limited resources and manpower. Finding a freight forwarder and having them handle all your international shipping needs is one way to ensure that your shipments are handled professionally and efficiently. But how do you find the right freight forwarder? And what are the steps involved in using one? Here are 6 tips to help you choose and work with a freight forwarder.
Shop Around for the Best Rates
Finding the best freight forwarder rates is all about shopping around. You need to ask lots of questions and do some research. If you do this, you'll find a freight forwarder who offers the best rates for their services and other benefits like free shipping and additional services like customs clearance and insurance.
Tips to consider when shopping for freight forwarders for your small business:
- Ask for quotes from several freight forwarders. Get at least three quotes before making your decision. Like any other business transaction, it's wise to shop around before committing to one supplier or service provider.
- Check out their websites and services to see what each company offers in terms of pricing and service levels.
- Compare apples with apples (or rather rates with rates). Ensure that the freight forwarder is quoting the same type of container load (FCL), several boxes and packages going into a 20-foot container, etcetera so that all comparisons are fair-minded between companies competing for your business!
Check Out Everything They Offer
When you're shipping with a freight forwarder, it's essential to look at what they offer. Many freight companies will have different services, and the one you choose should be able to help you complete all your goals. If they can't offer the service you need or only offer one type of service, then it might not be suitable for them.
Additional services you may find necessary to your small business when working with freight forwarders in Canada include the following:
Additional Services from Freight Forwarders Canada
What It Is
3PL and Logistics Services
As part of logistics and supply chain management, third-party logistics refers to the outsourcing of distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment tasks to third parties.
Trucking transportation companies use trucks to transport goods domestically and internationally.
Customs Brokerage Services
A customs broker facilitates the shipment and delivery of goods across international borders for companies or individuals.
If there is something that your company needs but their company doesn't provide it, then it might be better for someone else to do the work instead because they're not going to give up on getting everything done as quickly as possible which can cause delays in shipping times due to how busy everyone else is working around each other's schedules being different from another person's schedule who may also work during these same hours too!
Go with Proven Experience in Your Industry
If you're going to trust your cargo to a freight forwarder, we both know that they need to be experienced in your industry and know how to handle the types of cargo you’re sending. Consider their experience with other companies in your industry and how long they've been around. If the freight forwarder has worked for multiple companies across many industries, this is a good sign that their services will be reliable.
Common verticals for freight forwarders Canada to have experience in include:
- Medical supplies
- Food and beverage
- Household products
- Packaging and printing
- Giftware and novelties
- Automotive supplies
- Pet supplies
- Clothing and textiles
- Fitness equipment
It's also important for small businesses to consider whether or not a freight forwarder has experience handling their type of cargo. For example, if your business exports furniture from Canada and ships it via container, then look for a company that specializes in shipping containers specifically (rather than one that just does general ocean freight). If there aren't any local options available, consider using an international freight forwarder – many offer door-to-door service at competitive rates!
Find a Freight Forwarder Who Partners with Other Companies
If you’re in the market for a freight forwarder, it’s important to find one that partners with other companies. Why? Because they don’t just know how to get your stuff from point A to point B -- they know the fastest route, as well as how to get your cargo through customs and ensure that all your paperwork is filed correctly (before it’s submitted).
For example, let's say you're shipping cargo from Houston, Texas to Vancouver, Canada and need someone who can help handle all the stops along the way, with red tape and additional logistical steps.
Cargo that travels from Houston to Vancouver will need to be handled by freight forwarders and could include:
- Departure from Vancouver
- Border crossing from Canada to the US
- Transportation in the US
- Arrival in Houston
- Preparations for local delivery
- Local truck delivery
- Offloading to the customer
The bottom line: Partnering with an established, well-connected freight forwarding company means less work on your part AND ensuring that even if your provider can't cover the route themselves, they have a partner that does.
Pick a Freight Forwarder Who Focuses on Long-Term Relationships
Let’s face it.
Long-term relationships are the best kind of relationships.
They’re stable and comfortable, and you can always depend on the other party.
This is true of working with freight forwarders especially: long-term relationships can be beneficial to both parties.
Think about this from the perspective of freight forwarders Canada and their customers:
- Freight Forwarders Canada: For freight forwarding companies in Canada, having an ongoing, successful relationship means continuous profit and continued business success. Poor interaction between company and customer can lead to a loss of business and a painful hit to the bottom line.
- Customers of Freight Forwarders Canada: When a customer wants to use the same freight forwarder on an ongoing basis, it’s beneficial for the customer because it saves time, and they know that their goods will be handled well by a familiar company whose employees are trained experts who understand precisely how to pack, handle, and ship your specific cargo.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that helps keep everyone in the business and makes sure that customers are satisfied.
Choose Freight Forwarder Who is Active in the Community
While a freight forwarder's main job is to facilitate the movement of your goods, their other job is to make you feel like you're part of something bigger than just a simple transaction. That's why seeking out a freight forwarder who is active in the community can be such an asset to your business.
You want someone involved with charity work, industry events and community events. In a perfect world, they should also be involved in industry organizations and community organizations. When it comes down to it, there are many different ways for them to give back; these are just some examples!
Moto is a company that believes in giving back to our community and being actively involved. Every year, we assist our community with emergency project work to help them when they are in need of it.
Freight forwarding is a viable solution to shipping products internationally, as long as you know what to look for when hiring a company to serve your needs.
You also need to know some answers to commonly asked questions so you can make the right choice.
Can a Freight Forwarder Broker Freight?
A freight forwarder is not a carrier. Don't get confused by the title. The two are completely different. A freight forwarder is a company that arranges the transportation of goods, while a carrier is a company that actually transports the goods.
But can a freight forwarder be a carrier, too? The short answer is yes!
A freight forwarder can be both an arranger and transporter of goods, which can make for a convenient all-in-one package. At Moto, we proudly offer both transportation and forwarding services, and can even handle customs clearance, too.
Can a Freight Forwarder Be a Carrier?
You may be wondering, what is the difference between a freight forwarder and a carrier? Both are companies that arrange the transportation of goods from one place to another. However, this is where the similarities end.
Here’s the key difference between freight forwarders and carriers:
- A carrier is an entity responsible for transporting goods from one place to another. In other words, it's what you would call a trucking company - a business that moves freight by land or sea using trucks, ships or railroads.
- Freight forwarders are not responsible for moving your goods; they simply coordinate them getting transported by other carriers on your behalf. This makes them an intermediary between shippers (customers) and transportation providers (carriers).
There are many freight forwarders in Canada to choose from, but how do you know which one is right for you? The answer lies in knowing what you need, what kind of service they provide, and how long they have been in business
Considering these factors will help narrow down your options so that when it comes time to make a decision about who will handle your shipments, there will be no doubt about who is best suited for the job – Moto.