Hiring a Freight Forwarder in Canada? 4 Things to Consider
Choosing the right freight forwarder in Canada isn't always an easy task. Finding a company you're comfortable working with matters, as you want to ensure your Canadian freight forwarder will move your items quickly and safely.
What are you Moving?
Before you choose the right freight forwarder for your needs, it's best to know what you'll be moving. Not all freight forwarders in Canada will work with all goods. Some specialize in moving food products, while others may not move food products at all.
There are several things to consider when hiring a freight forwarder in Canada, but the items you plan to move comes first. Make sure you know what you will be moving and where it will be going before you start searching for the right freight forwarder for your needs.
Do you Need Other Services, Too?
Freight forwarders in Canada may offer multiple services in addition to moving goods from point A to point B. Take the time to figure out what you need and what you require before you start looking for the right freight forwarder for you.
At Cole International, we offer a full line of services including freight forwarding for you to choose from. Whether you need full logistics services or you just need to move goods from one place to another, we are here to help.
Along with the services offered, you should also understand how fast delivery will be when asset-based transportation is required, any type of special packaging requirements, and the amount of volume you will be shipping. All of these factors will help to determine the type of services you will need from your freight forwarder in Canada.
How will you be Shipping Your Goods?
The method of shipping may also become a factor in which freight forwarding company you hire in Canada. While most companies will ship by truck, air, railway, and ocean, some companies don't use all of these shipping methods. The size of the shipment may determine the method of shipping.
Along with the method of shipment, you want to make sure your goods will be fully protected. Find out what type of cargo insurance will be necessary and what type of protection your freight forwarder will offer you.
Freight Forwarders or Customs Broker?
On the surface, it can be pretty easy to mix up a freight forwarder in Canada with a customs broker in Canada. However, they are rather different.
If you plan to ship goods to and/or from the USA/Canada, you will likely want to form partnerships with a freight forwarder and a customs broker. In fact, these two partners often become your closest allies as an importer/exporter of goods.
A freight forwarder will handle the logistics of actually moving goods from point A to point B. They will arrange the physical transportation, warehousing, and the storing of goods.
Your customs broker will handle the bureaucratic side of things including document completion and ensuring your goods get into or out of a country. They will be in direct contact with many government agencies, such as the FDA, the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Customs Border and Protection, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Canada Border Service Agency.
When you choose Cole International for your freight forwarding needs, you'll get both a freight forwarder in Canada and a customs broker. We handle all the necessary services to ensure your goods are properly moved from one place to another without issue. Our team of professionals will take care of all the necessary documentation, along with arranging transport for your shipment.
7 Tips for Choosing the Right Freight Forwarder in Canada
Before you decide which freight forwarder in Canada to partner with, you want to make sure you consider all the necessary factors. Here are a few tips to help ensure you're choosing the best freight forwarding company for your specific needs.
New freight forwarding companies in Canada may not know how to navigate some of the obstacles encountered along the way. Experience matters and you want someone on your side with the ability to move your goods from point A to point B without issue. Whether you're using ground, sea, or air shipping methods, you need a freight forwarder with experience in the type of goods you're moving.
Some freight forwarding companies specialize in specific goods, while others have experience moving just about anything. Your Canadian freight forwarding company should have experience moving multi-dimensional loads, temperature-controlled goods, dangerous goods, and experience with emergency shipping.
It's also a good idea to choose a company with experience moving goods to and from the cities you plan to ship to and from.
An experienced freight forwarder in Canada, such as Cole International, will provide all the necessary services you need. They will be able to meet both your logistics and shipping requirements making the process of moving goods seamless.
Check the Services and Consider the Future
You may only need basic freight forwarding services today, but future shipments may require specialized services. Make sure to research the different services offered by your freight forwarder to better understand what they can and cannot do for you.
While any good freight forwarder in Canada should be able to link modes of transportation easily, not all will offer specialized shipping. Some may offer rather unique services, such as helicopter shipping or shipping very heavy objects. Consider the services they offer and whether you'll need these services in the future or even today.
Industry Certifications Need to be Checked
From the very important Partners in Protection (PIP) certification to registration with Transport Canada, a good freight forwarder will offer many industry certifications. Make sure you check the certifications before you decide which Canadian freight forwarding company you will use to ship your goods.
The PIP certification focuses on enhancing border security, securing the trade chain, and the elimination of contraband smuggling. This certification is very important and falls under the CBSA or Canadian Border Service Agency program. When a freight forwarder is PIP certified, they will maintain the highest security standards and they are considered to be a trusted trader.
A membership with The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association will ensure the team members of your freight forwarder have been fully trained on airfreight requirements.
Check the Capabilities
Are you planning to grow into a global business or do you already need global shipping services? When you examine the service contracts of freight forwarders in Canada, you will find out what they are capable of providing.
A freight forwarding company with multiple carrier contracts provides many benefits, especially during peak seasons. When timing and space become an issue, the right freight forwarder will already have service contracts in place to help solve these issues.
Choosing a Canadian freight forwarding company with the ability to manage your global business matters. If they have the capability to offer you multiple carrier options, you'll have a better chance of moving your cargo on time and to the right place without nearly the hassle.
Choose Great Customer Service
When you first speak with a freight forwarding company, you want to examine the type of customer service they provide. A poor interaction may be a sign you need to find a different freight forwarding company in Canada. Customer service matters and if they cannot provide good customer service with prompt replies to your requests, you may not be happy with the service they provide on an ongoing basis.
Companies with the ability to respond quickly to your questions and requests often provide better overall service. They should also provide a website filled with useful information and important forms making it convenient for you to find what you need.
Check the Shipping Methods and Volume Capabilities
Good freight forwarders will offer all the major shipping methods including International Ocean/Air. They should know how to navigate the many regulations for different types of goods and different shipping methods.
It's also important to know what type of volume your freight forwarder can handle. Today, you may only need to send a smaller shipment from Canada to the USA, but tomorrow you may need to ship a rather large amount of goods from Canada to France.
Make sure you know the shipping methods and volume capabilities of your freight forwarder before making your final choice. Consider what you may need as your company grows, as well.
Make Sure They Have Insurance
One final thing you want to do before you hire a freight forwarder for your needs is to check their insurance coverage. You want to make sure your freight will be covered during shipping, so check the insurance coverage offered by any freight forwarder you plan to hire.
When it's time to hire a freight forwarder in Canada, you want to take the time to choose the right company for the job. You're likely looking for someone you can partner with to move goods for you regularly, which means doing your research will make a difference in your decision.
Choosing Cole International for your freight forwarding needs will ensure you have a partner capable of moving your goods from point A to point B without issue. Not only do we provide freight forwarding services, but we also provide full customs broker service giving you a competitive advantage when you need to move goods from one country to another.
Learn more about our Freight Forwarding Services.
Freight Forwarding. It's what we do.
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