Working with a freight forwarder who is a member of a forwarding network can bring your business unparalleled benefits when it comes to shipping goods internationally.
There are over 200 freight forwarding networks moving cargo around the world and they’ve become an inherent part of the global logistics industry.
Although, they are integral when it comes to moving products from country to country, many businesses are unaware of what they do.
What is a forwarding network?
Forwarding networks are established groups of freight forwarders who work with each other to enhance the quality of freight, logistics and customs brokerage services.
These networks are designed to allow smaller freight forwarders to compete in the global marketplace, where large-scale freight forwarders tend to dominate the global shipping market.
Freight forwarding networks work closely with a range of businesses including carriers, customs brokers, warehouses and freight forwarders to ensure that small-to-medium size forwarders remain strong and economical in a highly dynamic and fast-paced marketplace.
Freight forwarders who are members of these networks have fostered strong connections with these businesses and are able to source from a wide range of them. This allows freight forwarders to secure the best value for their importing and exporting clients.
Freight forwarders who join a forwarding network typically undergo a screening to ensure that they are economically viable and uphold strong professional standards.
3 Benefits of working with Forwarding Network
If you’re an importer or exporter doing a business with a freight forwarder who is a member of a forwarding network, then you’re reaping the benefits of the best forwarders and logistics services providers in the industry.
A network offers some key benefits for importers or exporters:
By engaging a networked freight forwarder, you’re not stuck to one services provider or partner.
You’ll have a range of providers to choose from all around the world and can use which one suits you best depending on your shipment.
A networked freight forwarder will be able to secure the most appropriate deal for you. For example:
- If you’re shipping via air freight, a networked forwarder will be able to source the most appropriate air carrier for your shipment;
- If you’re shipping via ocean freight, they can source the most appropriate ocean carrier (and advise on the best type of shipment); and
- If you are engaging in a coastal shipping transaction, they can also source the most appropriate sea carriers and rail service providers for you too.
Here at ICE, we’re a member of the Combined Logistics Network, who boast strong connections with 227 air freight partners, 242 sea freight partners, 112 dangerous goods partners and 67 courier & express partners. These partners extend throughout Asia, Europe, America, Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East.
In the freight industry, one size does not fit all. Tapping into the benefits of a network will get you the benefit of flexibility allowing your forwarder to pick a partner that suits your needs. You’re able to:
- partner with a freight forwarder in your local country;
- choose a logistics partner that best aligns with your business objectives;
- pick a provider located close to your suppliers; and
- choose a warehousing facility located conveniently to your business.
You may be working with a partner that isn’t meeting your needs. That’s okay – you’ve got a whole network to choose from. If you’ve started working with a warehouse operator who’s always missing deadlines or a carrier whose routes are always delayed, they’re probably costing you money, not meeting your suppliers’ or customers’ expectations, and making you lose business.
But if you’re forwarder is part of a network, they can explore the network to find a much more suitable partner that meets your precise requirements.
2. Competitive pricing
Working with a forwarding network means your freight forwarder is able to source the most competitive logistics service providers to provide the most cost-effective services for an importer or exporter.
With multiple partners in different countries, many forwarders are able to benchmark the pricing they receive to ensure you receive the best costs for your shipping.
If you’re working with a multinational freight forwarder who relies on their own exclusive network, that means you have one pricing option to work with. They’ve been doing business with the same people for years. If there’s somebody down the road who can offer a better deal at a more competitive price, chances are they won’t go for it.
But if you work with a forwarder who is a member of a network, you’ll unlock access to complete global coverage. These networks focus on building relationships that allow full international integration, so if you find a better partner halfway around the world, your network will most likely be able to service it.
3. Professionalism and reliability
By engaging a networked forwarder, you can attain that peace of mind knowing that you’re relying on partners that will meet your deadlines, specifications, and expectations.
High-quality forwarding networks will thoroughly vet their members to make sure they deliver services of the highest standard. This includes looking closely at a freight forwarders’ economic strength, their reputation, creditworthiness and their business capacity and volume. Combined Logistics Network, for example, specify very clearly that:
“every member must work with trusted and reliable forwarders and will undergo due diligence to screen the company’s financial stability, market reputation, sales strength and length in operation. All members are likewise subjected to a standard Code of Ethics and Guidelines of the network which must be followed and adhered to at all times. Members who have been reported and proven to be unethical in line of the business will be subjected to probation.”
In turn, freight forwarders will seek to only provide the best logistics services providers whether they be brokers, carriers, or warehouse operators. They are extremely careful with the providers they do business with, and will apply rigorous criteria.
For more information, you can read our article on finding the best international suppliers and partners.
Using a forwarding networking locally
Here in Australia, ICE is a highly networked freight forwarder with an extensive partnership of logistics service providers around the world.
If you’re eager to choose a partner that will put your business at the heart of their operation, look no further than ICE and our strong global network.