Freight forwarding services and those that provide them need to be the best they can be. The shipper is entrusting their freight to this intermediary so it is their responsibility to follow through on their promises and deliver the freight on time and in a good condition. In order to provide the best freight forwarding services, there needs to be the right technology, team, and capacity.
3PL Services v Freight Forwarding Services
Before diving into the 3 factors that will guarantee freight forwarding success, we need to ask one thing. What’s the difference between a freight forwarder and a 3PL? A freight forwarder is responsible for connecting the shipper’s freight to a carrier. A 3PL, on the other hand, is able to handle the entire logistics operation. This can mean warehousing, providing insights, or any other task involved in the freight. To put it simply, freight forward falls under 3PL services, but not the other way around.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the 3 pillars that will provide the best freight forwarding services.
#1 – Technology
The first pillar of freight forwarding success is technology. Now, the technology for great 3PL services varies from great freight forwarding services. With freight forwarding, all you have to do is ensure that the freight gets from A to B. What’s the best way to know that the shipping is going smoothly and everything is on time? Track and tracing! Track and tracing is something that needs to be provided by all freight forwarding services. This technology allows the freight company and shipper to know EXACTLY where the freight is and when it should arrive.
Another piece of technology that is needed by both 3PL’s and freight forwarders alike is a proper transportation management system (TMS). This allows the freight forwarder to properly track all of their orders, keep track of the carriers, and the shippers that they work with. Sure, if you’re doing 1-2 loads a day you can get by with a simple spreadsheet, but at some point, a TMS is going to be needed.
Having the right technology is also important because it leads to developing complex processes that can be used to help the shipper improve their operations.
#2 – Team
The second pillar of successful freight forwarding services is finding the right team. The people of the freight company that the shipper and carrier interact with is huge. The number factor, or value, that is needed is honesty or integrity. These relationships are built on trust so the smallest lie can cast a huge shadow.
Additionally, the team needs to be experienced. This goes beyond how long the company has been in business or even how well the team knows basic shipping. They need to know shipping in YOUR industry. Shipping and logistics are complex and vary widely across industries which is why finding a team or associate that knows the industry of the shipper is vital.
It is important to note, that there is no “best team,” what works for one shipper will not work for another. Because of this, it is worth constantly examining your operations, if things can be done better it might be time to try out a new freight forwarder.
#3 – Capacity
And finally, we are onto the third pillar of freight forwarding success, capacity. A freight forward with no capacity is like a restaurant without any food. Even if they have great wait staff and fantastic recipes there’s no point in going in. A freight forwarder’s capacity numbers and, more importantly, carrier relations play a huge role in their success.
This is really what gives freight forwarders and even 3PL’s an edge. There are nearly 1 million carrier companies in the US alone. Being able to form relations with some of those smaller companies that benefit both them and the freight forwarder is vital to providing a great service.
So, in conclusion, the best freight forwarding service is built on their technology, team, and capacity. With these three things, all freight should be able to be handled with quality and delivered on time.
If you are in the market for a new freight forwarding service or even 3PL service then you should check out Becker Logistics. We have been in business for over 24 years and have different teams dedicated to the industries we work in. Additionally, we have over 70,000 partnered carriers and the technology to ensure our partner’s success. If you want to reach out to Becker Logistics you can do so by contacting us or get started today by requesting a quote.