The world is a big place.
… And there are millions of people out there committed to bringing us closer together. WE happen to be apart of that group. As international freight forwarders, it is our main duty to move cargo across borders.
On paper, that’s what we’re here for – but it’s not exactly the reason why importers and exporters turn to us when it comes time to deal with international cargo transport. After all, there are PLENTY of options out there, many of which, are quite huge – I’m talking about the huge freight conglomerates you see everywhere.
Then there are the guys like us – family owned and operated, and we have no intention of changing (why would we after more than 30 years?). If you’re wondering why, allow me to walk you through a little comparison.
Where we are the same:
Shippers should know that pricing for all forwarders is commissionable by the carriers. For instance, forwarders everywhere carry an air freight license: IATA (International administration transportation agency) as well as an ocean license: FMC (federal maritime commission), which both keep us nice and regulated.
Shippers using an NVOCC (non-vessel common carrier) business where an NVOCC accesses contract rates from the carriers. International shipping companies would need to purchase a bond, which gives the forwarder / NVOCC means to buy wholesale space from the carriers. A tariff is in place & rates published.
Where we differ:
Shippers using a conglomerate for their freight forwarding will likely be exposed to the wonders of extreme compartmentalization – where no single person can help you with challenges spanning multiple issues. With such a big contraption and so much separation between duties, you’ll have to deal with some of their bureaucratic processes, voice mails, slow communications, & lots of number pushing before you get any live support.
In order to support their enormity, many things are installed to streamline their processes, which can make any kind of customization really cumbersome, or even non-existent without having to work with a third party.
Smaller international freight forwarders mostly work word of mouth, and our bond is our reputation. This makes us QUITE nimble. We aim to please & spend time understanding what you are shipping, where you are shipping it & what the best options are – not just plugging you into a machine.
(Keep in mind, being a “smaller” company doesn’t mean we only work with smaller clients. Not even close.)
This is a vital aspect of any smaller freight forwarders to distinguish & differentiate themselves from the pack. It is an added value for shippers & more of you from larger or smaller trading & manufacturing rely on us for many layers of support outside of the typical offerings of a conglomerate. Sure, they always seem cheaper in that initial quote, but they’re also putting a lot more responsibility on YOUR plate, which a big reason why you’re probably ready to make a change, no?
We cleaned up a mess just the other day from one of our friendly giants. Read about it HERE.
Here’s a challenge for those of you still using the giant conglomerates for your shipping – If you look back at 2016 and add up all of the delays, errors, damages, and hours sweating over aggrevations that you didn’t feel like should be landing on you… what would that look like from a costs perspective?
And what about services that they didn’t or couldn’t handle for you at the time you needed it? What about the costs associated with crating and packing, loading and unloading? What about the time YOU had to spend making sure it didn’t all fall apart?
Interested in learning more? Get a free rate quote today, and we’ll find you the right path for your shipments: