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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.

A Smarter Freight Analytics – Combat COVID-19 Logistics Problem

There is a way to get ahead and be at the forefront of the freight forwarding and logistics industry amid the COVID-19 chaos. This pandemic isn’t just attacking the health and financial costs but more so, the logistics sector.

The sudden drops in the supply and demand of goods affect not just many businesses but a lot of individual consumers too worldwide. There clearly is a logistics problem that calls for a solid contingency plan for every business involved in the shipping and freight forwarding industry.

The call for a data-driven technology is more resonant especially at this chaotic time. There is a great need for increased visibility, rapid responsiveness, and strategic connection to roll out an intelligent and efficient way to move your cargo or goods internationally.

Yes, Zip Logistics is all out to provide a more digitally enabled, flexible, and agile freight services despite the global lockdowns and freight restrictions. The global supply chains may be in turmoil but there is no way to stop the connections and networks that move economies.

Smart freight analytics with the integration of cloud-based apps and machine learning or the Internet of Things (IoT) will help revolutionize and speed up the movements of in-demand goods across the world with the use of alternative routes or transit nodes.

Getting Around the Logistics Problems  Surrounding COVID-19 Pandemic

Tech-enabled freight is the way to go in this turbulent time. Tapping into alternative and independent organizations, truckers, and liners is an excellent way to get around the logistics problems.

There is a great demand for consumables at this time such as canned goods, bottled water, alcohol, baby wipes, tissue rolls, and the like. Now, the movement would seem to be directly from the manufactures to retailers using available transportation routes.

COVID-19 might have been a problem for freight and logistics at the onset because of its global impact and disruptive effect but the number of companies and consumers demanding of these basic items are just growing immensely especially in the next weeks and months. It’s clearly a good signal for freight forwarders, shippers, manufactures, retailers, and all businesses worldwide.

One example is the increasing demand and need for medical supplies (apart from the basic goods or commodities) such as ventilators, masks, testing kits, thermometers, surgical gowns, and gloves, as well as other medical equipment.

In this light, medical supply companies, hospitals, government agencies, and retailers or businesses would be in contact with freight forwarders and shipping companies to move these medical supplies right away.

Enabling Freight Analytics, Machine Learning, and IoT Applications

The expansion of IoT applications creates and provides value to our customers. Innovations in logistics improve warehouse capacity, asset maintenance, real-time tracking of shipments, as well as rapid and efficient delivery.  

With the enabling of analytics and connected devices, different industries and companies are able to fully enjoy flexibility and visibility in all business aspects – from management, finance, and day-to-day operations.

This advancement in freight would allow better user experience, optimized customer engagement, speedy movement of goods or products, and the ability to cope with transport and technical challenges in the logistics sector.

The goal here is always to know the pain points and problems of customers and to provide applications and solutions to these problems. Addressing these pain points puts your business into a strategic position.

Adding and creating value to customers and businesses is an intricate and symbiotic interconnection of data analytics, communication, marketing, transportation, logistics, and management of the movement of cargo or materials locally and internationally.

A smarter and intuitive freight analytics tool will help you know how to play your cards right and where to position yourself in the ecosystem. The value of the IoT in the freight forwarding industry is completely realized when customers see the difference in how you provide services amid competition and today’s economic and healthcare challenges.

There is a high degree of risk but the demand curve shows that freight forwarding and shipping is a frontliner in this arena. IoT will help provide the accuracy, security, traceability, and timeliness that customers and companies would expect from freight services.

There is definitely a heightened demand to locate and move medical supplies and immediate or basic goods that are needed to combat the spread of COVID-19. A lot of major companies such as Apple, SpaceX, and Tesla are also in the works with manufacturing or sourcing medical supplies such as surgical N95 masks, disinfectants, and ventilators that are needed in the United States and other parts of the world.

Zip Logistics Provides Add-On VALUE to Client Base

This emerging and immediate need for sourcing and moving these medical supplies promote the increased need or demand for a sustainable, efficient, and analytics-driven freight forwarding company such as Zip Logistics. Making a technological system work would require a total understanding of the dynamics that happen in the freight and logistics industry.

Enabling fewer transitions and optimized transit nodes will help manage the smooth and fast flow of goods. This provides and creates new value that customers and companies need in today’s real-time challenges.

The meshed networks and technologies offer a much better option for supply chains. This aims to eliminate bottlenecks in communication with a single data system. This allows multiple companies to gather and share information that will ease traffic and allow speedy turnover of cargo or goods.

In addition, new challenges also help create new business models or expand revenue streams. This is what makes you stand out amid the competition. Optimized and customized shipping creates premium packages or pricing while also providing unique and unparalleled value for your client base.  

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 types

Basic Types of Freight Forwarders – Which Freight Shipping Mode Suits You?

 People nowadays are driven by consumerism. Many companies bombard consumers with different product lines to choose from. In fact, a new device or a product would be introduced into the market one after another.

This is actually an exciting yet riveting part of being a consumer – the truckload of options. People can get into a wild shopping frenzy. These products would include basic goods like food, clothing, furniture, household appliances, and smart devices or gadgets for personal and business use.

Freight shipping services play a pivotal role in the transport and distribution of products. Many businesses wouldn’t be operational at all without freight forwarders. 

Without freight shipping companies like Zip Logistics, raw materials and equipment won’t be transported to manufacturers and products won’t be delivered to retail stores.

What is Freight Forwarders?

Freight shipping or forwarding is simply the transporting of bulk shipments from one location to the point of destination. The transportation process is just one part of it, as freight shipping also covers organizing, scheduling, handling, and paperwork. This basically includes loading, unloading, and also insurance services.

Zip Logistics basically takes care of the whole nine yards for your transport needs. Yes, this is hands down a crucial element for businesses to be able to meet the needs of different customers in a fast and efficient way.

Tons of different products get shipped around internationally or locally in a daily grind. Freight forwarding companies would import and export local and international goods. This includes perishable goods and even highly sensitive properties.  

Businesses or individuals would use different shipping methods depending on volume, destination, or other shipping needs. Versatility is a game plan – and it’s in our books.

Freight refers to any shipment that weighs greater than 150 pounds. So, the smaller packages are usually via parcels like FedEx or UPS. Freight would usually be loaded directly into the floor or by pallet. We provide online tracking options so you can be on top of your shipment in real-time.

Types of Freight Forwarding Services

 There are different modes or types of freight forwarding services that cater to varied transporting or shipping needs.

Ground Freight Shipping

Also dubbed as door-to-door shipping, this is typically used for local transporting of goods. Trucks are used for loading and unloading cargo locally or from one state to another.  Around 26 pallets can be loaded into a standard size truck.

This is an affordable option but could be costly too depending on traffic, road hazards, and infrastructure problems.

Rail Freight Shipping

If you are a bit low on the budget, you might want to consider this eco-friendly option. This is said to be a faster and more economical option for freight shipping. 

This is a safe and also cost-efficient way to move cargos as it’s free from any traffic or roadblocks. It can do both domestic and international shipping.

Sea Freight Shipping

Used mostly for shipping overseas, this mode of freight shipping makes use of ferries and ships for transporting cargos. 

It’s the classic and oldest form of ship freight for both domestic and international shipping of large containers. The only downside is that this could be slower than other forms. But, is one of the cheapest modes available to move goods and products.

Air Freight Shipping

If you want to move your cargo fast then this is the best route to do it. Airfreight services make use of cargo planes which is ideal for packages that have a weight of more than 100 pounds. 

This may be considered as a top-dollar option or rather pricey but this is the safest and quickest way to transport your cargo for both domestic and international shipping.

The above types of freight forwarding modes or types can all be involved in a single shipment. For instance, with international shipments, both air and sea freight shipping is needed. Moving the cargo from piers and airports would also require ground freight shipping or the use of trucks.  

At Zip Logistics, we got you covered with all the logistics involved for your cargo transportation needs. 

Whether it is for personal or business shipping, our professional freight forwarding services provide you the best rates in terms of carriers, customs clearance services, insurance, and inventory management or warehousing. 

We act as a professional and expert intermediary so you won’t need to stress yourself with the little to humongous details of freight forwarding.