Tag Archives: freight forwarder caribbean

freight forwarder traits

Top 6 Qualities To Look For In A Freight Forwarder

Decisions can shape your now and future. There are many options when it comes to freight forwarding companies especially now that shipping fuels global supply chains. Needless to say, there isn’t a shortage of freight forwarders for your local and international shipping needs.

You can’t just settle with anything available on the racks – you have to decide and partner up with a freight forwarder that matches your shipping goals.

So, it’s vital now more than ever to be able to pick the best freight forwarder that can take your business or personal shipping needs to the next level. With how e-commerce is soaring, your business largely depends on this.

You can’t deter success with the wrong choice of freight forwarders. There are qualities or traits that you would need to watch out for when looking for the perfect freight forwarder to get your business moving like clockwork.

High Level of Organization

You cannot afford lapses or inconsistencies in the logistics management and shipping process. Look for a freight forwarder that is highly dedicated and organized in day-to-day operations and documentation.

Following standard operating protocols is important to keep freight or shipping processes streamlined and liquid.

Having an organized freight forwarder to back you up will help you eliminate unnecessary costs for wrong deliveries or delays and other errors in processing which can take up so much of your time and resources.

Experienced and Reliable Freight and Logistics Solutions

Professional freight forwarders are highly accredited, professional, and experienced in the field. This means you are dealing with experts with superior industry knowledge and skills to handle freight or shipping for your business.

You won’t have to deal with guesswork because freight specialists can get everything rolled out for you. You have to set the bar higher for freight and get the most of their services to manage warehousing, customs, insurance, and delivery.

Streamlined Handling, Storage, Packaging, and Shipping Process

It has to be a total package! Look for a freight forwarding company that can provide your business top-notch logistics solutions. Your freight forwarder should match your shipping needs and requirements.

When shopping around for a freight forwarder, be mindful of the little details and ask specifically about the range of services they offer clients. Freight forwarding services would cover the following:

  • Inventory Management
  • Packing and Storage
  • Freight Consolidation
  • Documentation (Import and Export)
  • Real-time Tracking of Transportation or Shipping
  • Negotiations in line with Freight Charges
  • Customs Clearance
  • Setting Up Booking for Cargo Space

A good freight forwarder would look specifically into your budget and requirement before booking you with the appropriate freight shipping mode – inland freight/trucking, air freight, or sea freight.

It is very important that a freight forwarder knows how to manage different types of products or goods for shipping and ensure that these are safely stored and packaged to avoid losses or damages.

Look For Competitive Rates

Do not always jump into the cheapest offer around – because you might always get what you pay for.  There are a number of freight forwarding companies that you can get at cheaper rates but could have hidden fees.

Don’t get too excited when you are offered low rates because you might actually be risking the quality and reliability of your shipments in the effort to save a couple of bucks. It might not be worth it after all.

The best way to create that win-win arrangement is to look for a freight forwarder that has reasonable rates in combination with excellent freight and logistics services.

You have to get a good balance of both and also ask around for bonuses or discounts that you can take advantage of when dealing with a freight forwarder.

Dynamic and Personalized Customer Service

Communication is a critical component of getting a partnership started with a freight forwarder. Are they able to respond effectively to the little details or tough questions you might have?

Having a personalized customer service speak volumes of how a freight forwarder values their customers. This is one of the important considerations to focus on when trying to decide on the right freight forwarder for you.

Extensive Network

A strong and reliable network is very important for freight forwarders. Having an extensive and robust network helps provide a seamless and affordable shipping experience for you and your buyers.

Freight forwarders that have a vast and solid network help with your international shipping needs because they can provide you the best rates, flexibility, speed, and transparency of services with the right technology in place.

The best freight forwarder should be equipped with the right people, system, and technology to keep a smooth transportation or shipping flow of goods to suit your local and international delivery needs.

You have to partner up with a freight company that is a forward-thinker and values people or customer experience on top of everything else.

Zip logistics has an intuitive and intelligent system in place to provide you smart and innovative freight forwarding solutions that will help you to quickly pivot your business so you get to be on top of every client’s list.

freight forwarding

Decoding The Inefficiencies In The Freight Forwarding Industry – What’s Slowing You Down?

The global supply chain is always in control. Its efficiency is ultimately evaluated when it comes to meeting customer expectations. In a realistic sense, it’s not just about being at par with the standards but more of beating the status quo.

The Balancing Act – Profit and Meeting Customer Expectations

Maintaining a steady gait between costs and that of customer service is not an easy feat especially when there is a tough competition in the market when it comes to offering free shipping and also same-day deliveries.  

Yes, a large population of consumers today demands speedy delivery plus free shipping which could get you frantically out of business without the right strategy in place. It seems that they don’t add up in the math of profit.

Basically, there could be a trade-off in the effort to meet commitment times or speedy delivery while keeping the costs at a bare minimum. So, the logical option right here is to look internally for reducing operational costs.

It’s easy to see that there is an ongoing battle for efficiency in the freight forwarding industry. It’s a competitive arena that works really to the advantage of both freight forwarders and clients.

It’s all about getting to a certain barometer of efficiency level that fulfills the expectations and needs of your target clientele. You never run out of business (especially with the health and economic turmoil going on).

How Do We Diagnose Inefficiencies in Freight?

These inefficiencies in supply chains are driven mainly by market trends. This is what basically shapes the logistics and transport sector since time immemorial. Changes or any disruptions at the spur of the moment can be scary and exciting at the same time.

However, it is wise to note that any change or deviations in the industry revitalize the freight forwarding system in a multitude of ways.

For instance, going digital or embracing how digitalization can transform your company can practically automate everything – increase profit, improve products and services, as well as enhance customer interaction and engagement.

Conducting an Internal Assessment or Diagnosis

Well, looking inward or introspection is a good start. This is what we refer to as doing an internal diagnosis in order to determine and evaluate the laxity or inefficiency in a system. Looking into inefficiency in your network will allow you to diagnose operational defects in shipping

The common problem with a hefty shipping system or process is that there is a wide margin of error – largely pointing to human errors. This is inevitable with people working in your network of course.

So, you would have to check on your process and all the steps – from customer service, packaging, labeling, handling, and transport. You would have to make sure that you are working on a seamless interface.

Somehow, you would have to admit that these errors are in your system. You should create and solidify a standardized process that allows a company to minimize human errors – which is a constant variable in any organization.

Embrace Technology and Automation

You could be all cozy with the traditional processes in freight and intimidated by new technologies but opening up to new methods can benefit your freight forwarding business. By doing so, you are able to improve on the quality and efficiency of services, costs, and provide optimized cargo flow and real-time transport information for your customers when and where they need it.

This, therefore, enhances your reliability score with your clients. Having up-to-date information ready will trigger a paradigm shift in the way you move packages or cargos.

Digitization is definitely the way to move up the corporate ladder especially when you are pitted with the goliaths in the industry. The good news is that digitization has leveled the playing field for all players. It’s everybody’s ball game for sure.

Automating your logistics and freight system adds more to your arsenal of tools that can improve your scalability and maximize efficiency in operations. In this way, you decrease errors and also improve overall customer satisfaction.

Looking Into Scheduling Problems

As with everything else, time and timing is the key to freight success. This also goes with any industry. Even though disruptions (such as delays in flights or schedule problems) are a constant thing in the market and could actually cause losses in profit – there is a way to minimize the inventory lapses and costs while also improving reliability in terms of scheduling.

Many customers are looking for a freight forwarder that honors commitment when it comes to meeting schedules. Improving the reliability and speed of your flow times could be a tall order but this is doable with us right here at Zip Logistics. We maximize all resources so we can make deliveries happen right on schedule with very minimal to zero lapses.

Get Those Resources and Solutions Working for You

There is a heightened call now more than ever for solutions that can remedy the pressing problems of freight and logistics.

One should find that compatibility factor that lays out advanced models in terms of transportation, scheduling, and logistics wherein all resources and processes are well-coordinated in all levels.

Do take note that problems mainly circle on fleet and route or transportation management. It is important to implement advanced and real-world applications or solutions that can work as a gem for your business right away.

Complications are minimized with the right modeling of someone or an agency with the right angle or perspective of the matter.

How Improving Efficiency and Embracing Innovation Can Put You Ahead!

Innovation isn’t just a buzz word – it’s a game-changer in the industry. It is what modern supply chains are made of today. Improving your efficiency actually increases flexibility and customization in your freight forwarding business.

This impacts everyone – supply chains, economies, and your customers. It has become a smarter and more efficient system for everyone who has dipped into digitization. This is what digital logistics is all about.

You get to benefit from the following:

  • Enhanced control and decision-making
  • Efficient dynamics and collaboration
  • Improved responsiveness
  • Real-time access to data
  • Revitalized customer satisfaction and experience

Amid the pandemic, there is a great potential and huge shift in terms of profit and economic value along the way. Decoding what exactly is slowing your business down and getting to work on those pain points is how you essentially get ahead of the curve.

Everything today is data-driven. Zip Logistics realizes that and took the dive immediately so as to optimize freight and implement new technologies or a digitized platform that can reduce costs for our clients, optimize delivery and efficiency, as well as get you to counteract pandemics, realize opportunities, and get your business gears in full throttle.

Key Challenges Faced By The Freight Forwarding and Logistics Industry Today

There’s bound to be a curveball somewhere when it comes to how Zip Logistics handles freight forwarding and logistics.

We become disruptive in the sense that we ease into a world that constantly takes on different forms. Just like any other industry, the freight forwarding industry has its share of challenges and trends that create that air of uncertainty to the economy.

Apart from the fact that the volatile nature of the global economy affects the freight forwarding and logistics industry, there are other internal and external challenges and processes that impact both small- and large-scale freight forwarding companies.

Supply Chain, Trade, and Technology Wars

One factor is how much influence the e-commerce sector has today. Technology has made people communicate and even do business in the quickest, convenient and innovative ways.

Every business would require shipping or delivery of raw materials, products, and goods in different places. There is a raging war of machines or technology that clearly depicts how logistics can clearly win you more leads and sales or could contribute to your loss in the supply chain wars.

Freight forwarding and logistics are now facing a market or audience that is fundamentally shopping-crazed. Well, you couldn’t really blame customers because e-commerce has made shopping and business transactions a walk in the park.

Logistics helps take care of the laborious part like delivery or cargo shipping, so you can easily focus on optimizing your business or shop ‘til you drop; so-to-speak. And that is just a part of how freight forwarding and logistics work by the way.

Up Against More Competition

Freight forwarding companies are widely fragmented. It’s a dog-eat-dog kind of competitive arena because, in order to stand out, the freight forwarder must bring to the table the best prices and services when pitted with other companies.  

The international trade and supply chains are complex as it is. Now, freight forwarders must be equipped both in data and physical technology to cope with upcoming trends and disruptions in the industry.

Even Amazon and Alibaba have joined the freight forwarding arena by having their own distribution systems. This could pose both a threat and an opportunity for many freight forwarders to step it up and add more value to their client processes.

Disintermediation

Freight forwarders are basically intermediaries in between supply systems or the freight carriers and shippers. Disintermediation works on getting the middlemen out of the picture.

However, freight forwarding companies have become very proactive using digital and cloud-based technologies to enhance data management and automate their processes which include online booking, online reporting tools, freight quotations, as well as track-and-trace capabilities. This facilitates speedy communication and also enhances flexibility and transparency in transactions.

These attempts to getting rid of the middlemen or freight forwarders have only made these companies more agile and competitive than ever. This has raised the bar for everyone that benefits the entire trade industry.

Even small startups can now have the entire world as a target market for a minimal cost because of freight forwarding services that offer a more personalized and customer-centric approach.

Increase in Forwarding Costs

The international trading currency would be usually in the US dollar which is very volatile. This affects both freight forwarding costs as well as market prices which impacts customers the most.

Rising oil prices in the international market also directly influence freight forwarding costs which hits freight forwarders the most.

In addition, service charges or fees also vary from point to point which is also carried over by freight forwarders. Transport infrastructures too are not always ideal which could result in increased maintenance costs.

The Main Challenge – Price Tag Vs. User Experience

Many people or businesses see freight forwarders as mainly the “delivery company” which puts more emphasis on the price tag rather on the quality of services. This is referred to as commoditization.

So, this makes it harder or challenging for freight forwarders to win based on user experience when shipping companies would win by price.

The main challenge of many freight forwarders today is clearly how to put the spotlight on “user experience” and personalized services especially in a market that is always on the lookout for cheaper and quicker deliveries.

Providing integrated, value-added, data-driven, technology-backed, and customized services with cheap pricing allow Zip Logistics to remain competitive in this game.

Freight Forwarder 101 – In A Nutshell

Many people find the term “freight forwarder” or “freight forwarding” ambiguous or daunting. But, if you are a business or an individual that frequently moves cargo or ship goods then you have to befriend the business jargon.

For many businesses, the process of importing and exporting goods is a crucial part of daily operations. It fuels everything in the supply and demand chain.

What Exactly is a Freight Forwarder?

It’s a very wordy concept. You might be making a lot of intelligent guesses like a freight forwarder being an import or export partner, shipping company, or a distribution agency.

Well, these could describe the functions of a freight forwarder but it has an entirely different category.

All the ruthless routine paperwork, processes, and regulations could be very overwhelming and intimidating for an entrepreneur or business person. The good news is that you need not be so entangled with the chaos of logistics.

This is what Zip Logistics is for.  We make it easy and simple for YOU.

A Freight Forwarder is basically a company that provides a full range of services which include handling and storage, preparation of shipping documents, tracking, booking, warehousing, negotiating freight costs, managing or filing of insurance, and freight consolidation; among others.

The freight forwarder does not really move or ship your freight. It basically acts as a middle agent or intermediary between the client or shipper and different transportation services such as for air freight, inland or ground freight, ocean freight; and the like.

A freight forwarder works with a network of established carriers. We form strong partnerships and collaborations with ocean freighters, air freighters, trucking or ground liners. We negotiate on behalf of our clients to get the best prices and choose one that has the best offers in terms of costs, accuracy, security, speed, and reliability.

At Zip Logistics, we handle and cover the burden of logistics for you. We are the logistics expert or partner that simplifies the rigorous shipping process and ease the workload for you.

Why You Need a Freight Forwarder

While it’s not really a requirement to have a freight forwarder on board, it’s absolutely necessary to have one.

Not being biased here but if you do take your business seriously, you should always consider a freight forwarder. 

First off, the importing and exporting process can be very tedious as it has a lot of paperwork or documentation needed plus regulations to follow which differ from one country to another.  You may want to multitask and refuse to delegate this one BUT playing the jack-of-all-trades here could backfire.

Rooting for You!

At Zip Logistics, we are the expert and know it all – from getting competitive pricing to sourcing the fastest route or hooking you up with a reliable freight shipping mode. We have it figured out from top to bottom.

We go through the entire legwork or process so you don’t have to move a needle. We coordinate domestic and international shipping of goods or products using different modes or carriers that suit your shipping or cargo needs. We provide you the most reliable, speedy, and economical route available.

We take the migraine and the pressure off your back so you can focus on running your empire – while we take care of the dirty work. Why do it alone when you can leverage a logistics partner that will move your business forward.

We have that success blueprint ready for you here at Zip Logistics.

Ready to partner up with Zip Logistics?

Get in touch with us TODAY!

What You Need To Know About HAZMAT Freight Shipping

Proper classification of shipment is very important for individual shippers and business owners alike.

People would often ship or move things around without knowing whether their shipment would involve hazardous materials.

Hazardous materials or HAZMAT could cost an arm and leg or more expensive compared to non-HAZMAT or regular goods.

This is reasonable though considering that hazardous material would need proper storage or packaging as this can pose a great amount of risk to other shipments in a vessel or a truck.

Department of Tourism Role on HAZMAT Classification

HAZMAT has been carefully specified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to include certain toxic substances or chemicals in gas, liquid, or solid forms.

This could also be a combination of all three forms in a product. This would commonly include chemicals, nuclear waste materials, fuels, and other radiological substances.

These hazardous chemicals are actually found in most household products that are regularly used at home or for commercial purposes. In fact, these hazardous materials are routinely transported on a daily basis.

HAZMAT spills or careless packaging could wreak havoc and cause injury, health problems, damage of property, environmental hazards, or even death.

The Department of Transportation is the primary regulating body when it comes to the classification and handling of HAZMAT. 

As people could be dealing with gray areas in determining whether one is a HAZMAT or not, DOT has outlined particularly what constitutes HAZMAT for the precise segmentation of shipments.

Different HAZMAT Classes

Outlined below are the 9 HAZMAT classes which are divided into different categories according to the Code of Federal Regulations. This determines the class and type of material for shipment.

In essence, the shipment would belong to a higher freight class depending on how dangerous the substance or material is. If freight would need specialized handling or extra precaution then extra fees will be applied.

Class 1 – Explosives

These are materials that are designed to explode or shatter.

Divisions:

1)      Mass Explosion Hazard

2)      Projection Hazard

3)      Explosives with Fire Hazard

4)      Explosives without Significant Blast Hazard

5)      Insensitive Explosives

6)      Extremely Insensitive Explosives

Class 2 – Gases

These are substances in a gas form that can easily fill any space it occupies.

Divisions:

1)      Flammable Gases

2)      Non-Flammable Gases

3)      Poison Gases

4)      Corrosive Gases

Class 3 – Flammable Liquids

These are liquid substances that are combustible or ignitable.

Divisions:

1)      Flammable Below 18°C

2)      Flammable Between 18°C and 23°C

3)      Flammable Between 23°C and 61°C

Class 4 – Flammable Solids

This includes solid materials or substances that are combustible or burnable and also those substances that pose danger when wet.

Divisions:

1)      Flammable Solids

2)      Spontaneously Combustible Material

3)      Materials that are Dangerous when Wet

Class 5 – Organic Peroxides and Oxidizers

This includes materials or substances that are reactive with oxygen.

Divisions:

1)      Oxidizers

2)      Organic Peroxides

Class 6 – Poisons and Etiologic Materials

This comprises of substances or materials that are deemed toxic or poisonous and also pose infection to anyone who comes in close contact with it.

1)      Poisonous Materials

2)      Etiologic Materials

Class 7 – Radioactive Materials

This category includes materials that in combination or alone can be radioactive or cause potential damage to anyone who comes in contact with these substances.

Class 8 – Corrosives

This consists basically of materials or substances that are caustic or abrasive to the skin or other material that it comes in contact with.

Class 9 – Miscellaneous Substances

This includes materials that do not belong to classes 1 to 8 but are still considered hazardous for transport.

With the above classification levels, you would now be able to determine whether a material is hazardous or not.

However, for new materials, the creator or researcher is the person responsible for identifying and determining whether the material or substances pose potential hazards. 

In the event that the researcher won’t be able to identify the hazards of new material, then DOT would be able to intervene with the identification procedure.

Reportable Quantities or Small Quantities

HAZMAT can be segregated as either falling under “reportable quantities” or “small quantities”. 

A HAZMAT is labeled as “reportable” if it has a large or considerable amount of HAZMAT that can cause potential harm to anyone or other cargo.

With that in mind, it is then very crucial to be able to properly tag and identify these substances and report them accurately.

For “small quantities”, you could have an exception or eligible for deductions in fees if the material or substances to be shipped is labeled as a HAZMAT but does not pose any actual or real threat.

Zip Logistics has expert and certified professionals onboard that are trained in the planning, packaging, handling, and shipping of HAZMAT.

You can’t just trust any freight forwarder for this. We have what it takes to safely move HAZMAT cargo of all hazard classes from the point of origin to its destination. Seriously, we got your back on this.

freight forwarding

Freight Forwarding For Your Business – Should You Go Digital?

Getting started with any business will normally give you the cold feet. It’s like breaking barriers or disrupting new systems, you would want to get it right and make a mark.

With any business, there are so many things that you would need to manage such as capital, inventory or stocks, investors, sales, retailers, shipping, and transportation. 

When it comes to freight or shipping, you would normally encounter having to pick one between freight forwarders and shipping lines.

Shipping vs. Freight Forwarding

Shipping lines mainly manage the handling and transportation of cargo on their ships from the point of origin to the point of destination.

Now, with a freight forwarder, it practically provides a multi-tiered range of services that vary from storage, warehousing, freight consolidation, tracking, cargo space booking, freight charges, cargo insurance, as well as export and shipping documentation.

So, which one provides you more add-on value for your money? 

Comparing the two, shipping lines just focuses on transportation while freight forwarders are able to take a tab and handle different cargo or shipping processes and concerns you might have.

It’s like an all-in-one-package for your cargo or shipping needs.

The Need for Upgrade – Staying Ahead of the Pack

Freight forwarding needs to upgrade and keep up with the fast pace of today’s modern processes. Systems and technologies easily get outdated. 

It would just take a few minutes for upgrades or advancements to happen. It’s an ever-expansive economy and you have to keep up with it – or eat dust.

Going into a digital upgrade is a must as many systems have been evolving rapidly. Every millisecond counts. 

It’s relatively easier and quicker to run your business when you can depend on a fully digitized freight forwarding company that has advanced systems to keep you ahead of the industry.

 Zip Logistics has the technology and the process to get you from zero to hero in your business. We move businesses forward – literally and figuratively. 

We don’t cut any corners with our services. For what it’s worth, we hate to be mediocre. We always aim to provide add-on value or to exceed client expectations.

Why Go Digital?

Although freight forwarding is complex, we simplify the process for our clients. We handle varied modes of freight – sea, ground, and air – so you get easy access to everything you need.

Check out the advantages of getting digital with Zip Logistics freight forwarding for your business.

Real-Time Tracking

Zip Logistics ensures that you are able to track your shipments in real-time.

We provide a seamless and integrated system that allows you to be in the loop of where your shipments are and also allow you to address any shipping problems right away.

Digitized Accounting System

Having an advanced accounting system is a plus factor for any business. In this way, you are able to keep track of pricing and financial trends.

More so, you also come up with precise and accurate predictions in line with sales and also for planning on future financial strategies.

Personalized Services

The beauty of having a digitized freight forwarding system is that you are given the freedom to customize. Businesses would vary in terms of processes.

With us, you get personalized and streamlined products and services that integrate with your unique business needs and challenges in terms of freight or shipping.

Innovative Cloud Solutions

The integration of innovative data storage or cloud technology has made freight forwarding a breeze.

It’s a cost-efficient way to store data and conduct operations because you reduce IT support and get an automated system running on clockwork.

Get Digitized with Zip Logistics!

There’s very little to zero downtime and minimal costs with a digital freight forwarding solution such as Zip Logistics.

We have designed a freight forwarding system that is so advanced that it has made us very confident that we can deliver claims and promises on point – or even over-deliver!

Zip Logistics has made a huge leap into creating a digitized freight forwarding process that allows you to keep up even with the major players of the industry and to bring a much better business process and services for your clients.

This is what going digital means for you. We help keep the profit rolling for your business. We help keep things fluid, seamless, and tangible. You will feel and experience what success means from day one.

We walk the talk! We are not an “all talk and no cider” type of business. There is no other way but UP with us on board. We deliver to our promise and commitment to clients – ALWAYS. This is Zip Logistics’ brand of reputation.