Choosing a freight forwarder to get your possessions from your old home to your new home is serious business. It can be tough to trust movers to pack up your items and move them just across town -- trusting a company to ship your items thousands of miles and have everything arrive in good condition is even more daunting. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't hire a freight forwarder, but you should know how to determine whether or not the service that you're working with is reliable and trustworthy. These steps can help you ensure that you're choosing a reputable freight forwarder to handle this important part of your move.
Before you start asking questions about the details of your move, it's important to ask questions about the freight forwarding service. The answers should help you determine the reliability of the company that you're working with.
How long has your freight forwarding company been in business? There's nothing necessarily wrong with a start-up company, but a freight forwarder who has been in business for a long time is probably doing something right. Plus, they're more likely to have a verifiable reputation. Don't hesitate to ask for references, and find out if they're a member of any professional freight forwarding associations.
You should also ask what types of shipments they normally handle, which countries they deal with, and what is the company's percentage of on-time deliveries. And don't be afraid to ask for proof of their financial stability. The last thing that you want is to make your payment to the company, only to have your shipment delayed because the freight forwarder couldn't pay the carrier. This could seriously delay your shipment.
Insurance and Guarantees
Even the best freight forwarder services aren't immune to the occasional shipping mishap. It happens. But you want to make sure that you're protected if it happens to you. Find out if the forwarder offers insurance, and ask them to walk you through the steps to file a claim, so you'll know what to expect if an accident occurs.
You should also find out what kind of guarantees your freight forwarding service offers. Can they assure you that your documentation will be correct and that your items will clear customs without a problem? What shipping companies do they work with, and can they guarantee that you'll get the most competitive pricing?
Clear communication is essential when working with a freight forwarder service. You should be able to check in on the status of your shipment at any time. Your freight forwarder should also be willing to alert you when there are changes in your shipping status. And naturally, you should be notified right away when your items have arrived safely, or if there is a problem or delay.
Ask your freight forwarder about their communication policies. What options do they offer -- can you choose to receive alerts by text message, for example? How quickly do they typically communicate changes or problems? How can you check on the status of your shipment? A reputable freight forwarder will make communication clear and easy all the way through the shipping process, from pick-up to delivery.
There is no reason to accept anything less than an experienced, professional freight forwarder who will ensure an easy and successful move for your family. Contact us to get started with planning your move.