Freight forwarding services have naturally picked up and are on the rise in Singapore because of the Lion City being Asia’s, if not the world’s, logistics hub, and competition means that you need to look at a lot of factors when choosing a particular company to make sure that you get the logistics services that you and your shipment needs.
Finding a suitable freight forwarding company that meets your needs requires a lot of thinking as well as research. Some factors that you need to consider include:
• Terms, Services, and Policies – Authentic freight forwarding services will be more than happy offer potential clients with a proper quotation with all the terms and services of their company, and the cost of their services should be disclosed to you in full.
Before going through with a particular service, you should remember to read the disclosure document carefully and in full before signing the contract.
• Delivery Time – Good freight forwarders will always assure clients that their goods will be delivered on time. Before agreeing to the terms, be sure to ask the company to take responsibility for your goods, and look for that specific clause in the contract.
• Expertise – A good logistics company with an excellent freight master in Singapore needs to have a detailed understanding and knowledge and should be able to explain to you everything you need to know about the freight industry, both locally in Singapore and on the international scale.
Because on-time shipping is such a delicate and complex job, freight forwarders need to have in-depth knowledge of the documentation and paperwork as well as the skilled workforce necessary to ensure proper delivery.
• Haulers – Good freight forwarding services work in conjunction with more than one shipping company, so be sure to ask them to know the number of transportation agencies, from local freight companies to international freight companies, as well as access to air freight and sea freight.
• Capacity and Types of Goods Handled – This is perhaps the most important category that you should consider when looking for a good freight forwarding service, from monthly shipment volume to types of goods handled.
Here are some more questions that you should ask yourself before choosing a good freight forwarding service:
• Where does my liability and responsibility with the cargo begin and end?
• What kind of service do I need?
• How does this service usually package their cargo? Is it considered hazardous, and if so, do I have the safety data sheets required by the freight forwarder?
• Where is the cargo’s origin address as well as the final destination?
• Will my cargo be delivered via air freight or sea freight? If so, how big is my cargo?
• Will I be needing additional repacking services and labeling?
• Will I need any additional documentation and legalization services?
Now that you have chosen a freight forwarder to move your goods, it’s important to know how the process of freight forwarding works in order to better understand the procedures needed to make sure that your shipment arrives on time.
So how does it work? It basically boils down to the following steps consisting of both transportation and documentation:
Export Haulage – This is the part where the cargo leaves the shipper and is moved to the warehouse of the freight forwarder, usually by container truck or by train. It could take anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks.
Export Customs Clearance – Clearance is always needed for any cargo before it leaves the country of origin, and these checks are performed by licensed customs house brokers who are required to submit details as well as supporting documents regarding the cargo.
Customs brokerage facilitates the transfer (import and export) of goods overseas and across geographical borders to individuals, organizations, or corporations, from one country to another. These particular firms require a licensed customs broker in order to make a transaction.
Origin Handling – In this part of the process, the cargo is being received and unloaded. A forwarders cargo receipt is then issued after validating by making comparisons against the existing booking details to make sure everything checks out.
Import Customs Clearance – Authorities in the destination country are required to check customs paperwork regarding the goods being moved. The process of import customs clearance can begin even before the cargo arrives in the destination country’s shipyard.
What separates this from customs duty is that it’s the freight forwarding service’s responsibility to perform the import customs clearance as long as their license is valid.
Destination Handling – This process involves receiving the necessary documents about the cargo’s details from the point of origin. Usually, the forwarder at the point of origin takes care to make sure this process is seen through.
Import Haulage – Upon reaching the country of destination, the shipping company takes the cargo from the shipyard to the forwarding agency’s warehouse in the said country of destination.
The cargo is then taken to the destination point via transportation agency. However, the consignee can also choose to collect the cargo themselves.
Remember that the forwarding agent is the individual or firm (though usually firm) that undertakes the coordination and movement of goods, and provides these services either directly or through one or more sub-contractors.
These sub-contractors are often common carriers who have the means of transporting either goods or people via land, air, and sea, and offer their services to the public. Most of the time, these carriers transport both passengers and cargo, which is why many ocean liners that accommodate passengers also happen to have storage areas for goods.