Workout more. Eat healthy. Lose weight. Save money. Learn something new. More self care.
We’ve all made personal New Year’s resolutions at some point. The New Year is a great “excuse” to get in shape, try learning a skill we haven’t before, and start taking care of ourselves. However, we rarely take that attitude into the New Year regarding our roles at work.
If you work in any role dealing with transportation of products, you’ve had your fair shares of frustrations with freight forwarders and other transportation vendors. Whether it’s major mishaps in damaged or missing cargo, terrible communication practices, or simply feeling overcharged and underserviced, the New Year may be the right time to start looking for a more fitting freight forwarder solution.
Finding a New Freight Forwarder in the New Year
New Year’s resolutions are a great excuse to try something new. A New Year represents a fresh start and an opportunity to take another look to see things the way they are and make the necessary changes you want to see.
However, there are more reasons to search for a new freight forwarder in the new year than simply following suit on the New Year’s resolution fad. There are tons of practical reasons to use this new season to find a forwarder that works best with your company:
1) Annual Budgeting
One the the biggest reasons people switch freight forwarders is over pricing. After all, while many people may give you reasons regrading why they switched vendors – timing, communication, delays, fees, etc. – at the end of the day, most of it boils down to price.
If you’re being ripped off by your freight forwarder, there’s no reason to wait before switching. However, many companies release departmental budgets at the beginning of the year, making the first few weeks of January 2020 the prime time to look at finding a real freight forwarder solution that will take you through the next year.
With Interlog USA, the best part about partnership extending beyond a year is that a client’s shipment frequency and volume can have a big effect on their pricing and routing options. Not only does finding a new forwarder in the new year give you a head start on your annual company budget – it may also give you a chance to properly elaborate on the extent of a partnership you’re searching for, thus drastically decreasing your shipping pricing.
2) Busy Season is Over
Every transportation vendor is different and may have different peaks and valley seasons. However, you as a shipper, as well as the forwarder you were working with, are coming out of the busy fall-through-December season and into the (hopefully much more mellow months of January and February).
Nobody wants to even think about switching vendors during the busy season. You just white-knuckle the office chair and hope your shipments all move as planned – on schedule with no issues or added expenses. The busy season is the worst time to look for a vendor. Neither you nor any prospective freight forwarder will give their best impression.
The valley season just after the New Year is a great time to start looking for a new freight forwarder. While logistics craze is at an all-time-low for the year, use the experience you just went through to elaborate on your current supply chain and logistics solutions to new freight forwarders. Use it as a time to discuss solution with experienced freight forwarders – not just a time to buckshot 100 blind RFQs to shipping companies.
Conducting the Search
We’ve said it in many prior articles, but we’ll say it again – there is a right and a wrong way to search for vendors. While many people like to equate price to value, the truth is the two are mutually exclusive variables. Unfortunately, an RFQ does nothing more than scope out an untrustworthy ballpark rate for a job that, frankly, anyone who hasn’t spoken to you in detail about won’t be able to offer an accurate rate for.
Virtually every freight forwarder has the same costs – they’re all non-asset based and they go to the same 13 ocean carriers, ~50 airlines and final mile truckers. They get the same carrier rates as everyone else and all their payroll expenses will find themselves amongst the industry averages. With the exception of a couple greedy outliers who’s rates will stick out to even the most inexperienced decision makers, most freight forwarder’s rates will be similar; and any discrepancies between two forwarders’ pricing are sure to be matched through a simple conversation.
Finding a freight forwarder in the New Year is about finding a solution through a valuable partnership- not just about decreasing a rate quote. Freight forwarders with experience in shipping along your regular routes may have key recommendations on carriers or alternative routings to make your shipments cheaper, more reliable, and more efficient, however, none of that expertise is properly represented through an Excel RFQ.
Finding a Forwarder with ‘Process’
One of the key distinctions between experienced and inexperienced forwarders is the presence or lack of process. Every freight forwarder wants to tell you they have a process, but few have anything to show for it.
Interlog USA , Inc. has developed the SHIELD Protocol to protect shippers against the 4 Great Burns of the transportation industry. The protocol was built on real research with real shippers, and is based on the details of 15+ years of active customers of Interlog USA, Inc. , as well as hundreds of shippers from nearly every industry.
Reach out to one of our team members to get the conversation started, and allow us to demonstrate exactly how the SHIELD Protocol can solve your shipping frustrations.