Changing your freight forwarder can feel like a hassle, especially if you’ve built up a relationship with your current forwarder over a number of years. However, a partnership that isn’t working as it should can have an enormous negative effect on your business. Here are five signs that it’s time to jump ship and find a new freight forwarder.
#1 Your business (or theirs) has changed
Companies change over time, and hopefully, your business will grow and expand. This could lead to increased service needs that your freight forwarder can no longer easily meet. When you first partner with a freight forwarder you need to consider your growth plans and ensure their services match up – otherwise you might find yourself having to make the switch further down the line.
Similarly, freight forwarding businesses can also change, with larger –sometimes global – firms acquiring smaller, local companies. In that case, you might find that the personal, friendly service you valued is lost and choose to take your business elsewhere.
#2 Customer service and communication is poor
You want the agents at your freight forwarding partner to be knowledgeable, helpful, efficient and friendly. Poor customer service – or communication problems due to dealing with customer service agents overseas – can make the process feel like a chore.
You should also expect to receive regular communication from your account manager. Having to deal with a different person every time you call won’t lead to a productive working relationship with your freight forwarder. It could also be a sign of high staff turnover, which should always be a cause for concern.
#3 Not embracing new technology
Technology is always moving forward, which is usually a good thing for businesses and should be embraced. It’s now expected that freight forwarders offer easy online communications, electronic PODs and billing, and real-time tracking of goods. If yours doesn’t then you’re missing out on useful tools that will save time, hassle and could positively affect your bottom line.
#4 Uncompetitive rates
It’s good business practice to shop around periodically to ensure that your freight forwarder is still offering value for money. Shipping and logistics is a rapidly changing market, with new technology, consolidated companies, and financial and economic factors all influencing the going rate for services. If you feel that you’re paying over the odds, then you shouldn’t hesitate to request a competitive bid for your business.
#5 Repeated service failures
Shipping can be a complicated process that’s affected by many variables including the weather, issues at customs, strikes, transportation problems and more – so it’s inevitable that things can occasionally go wrong. However, if your forwarder is failing to deliver its promised service time after time, this will harm your business and is a clear sign that you need to make a change.
Choose John Good Logistics for your freight forwarding services, and we will ensure that the switching process is as plain sailing as possible.