The Rising Cost of Air Freight, Impact of Zone Skipping and Supply Chain Management
With the world events, political stances, and especially Coronavirus – shipping goods internationally has changed. The rising cost of air freight has led to more companies utilizing containers via ocean freight. This has slowed many supply chains and hurts direct selling companies, retailers, and overall B2C business. This has left many freight forwarders wondering what to do to save cost. Below are 6 considerations points for International Forwarding:
- Zone Skipping – East Coast & West Coast Locations
The importance of having a 3PL service offering with warehousing on the East Coast and West Coast cannot be understated. As costs rise to ship (https://blog.stamps.com/2019/10/15/usps-announces-2020-postage-rate-increase/) in 2020, the importance of zone skipping is at a premium. Ensure that you have a 3pl service company with both East Coast and West Coast warehousing capability, LTL and FTL trucking, and offers zone skipping to save you and your company money.
- Service Offering – Export & Import, Customs Clearance, Packing, Storage, and Inventory Management
Ensure that the above is checked off the list of offering for your 3PL service partner. When international forwarding, it is vital that your 3pl service provider offers customs clearance, importing and exporting, the relevant documents for both (see below), packing, storage, inventory management, and order fulfillment. Be sure to ask for a full list of offering and understand the cost.
- Freight Forwarding Network
Freight forwards that you are considering should have a network of contacts and experience within the business. This will help you get the best price for shipping your cargo and ensure that your items arrive on time. An experienced 3PL service company will offer a wide array of solutions as they have encountered various problems in the past and you can benefit from their learned experience.
- Cargo Type + Shipping Restrictions
Certain freight forwarders and 3PL companies may only specialize in certain types of cargo or product, others will offer a full service offering for a wide array of product types. When getting a quote from a freight forwarder, be sure to not only ask about their full 3pl services but ask specifically about the cargo you are moving. This will help you get the best ship rates, address any potential problems upfront, and ensure your goods are transported effectively and efficiently.
- Freight Forwarding Process
There are 6 key stages of freight forwarding. Ensure your freight forwarder contact can provide solutions to each:
- Export haulage is the transfer of goods from its origin to the freight forwarders warehouse.
- Export customs clearance is when the cargo receives clearance to leave its country of origin.
- Origin Handling is the inspection and validation of the cargo against its booking documents when unloading.
- Import customs clearance is the paperwork that is checked by authorities upon arrival.
- Destination Handling occurs once the cargo reaches the destination office and is transferred to the import warehouse.
- Import haulage is the final step. This is where your cargo is transported from import warehouse to the final destination and may include last mile logistics providers.
- The Details – Freight Forwarding Documentation
Lastly, the freight forwarding process comes with details and documents needed to complete the process. A freight forwarder should provide you with the following documents:
- Commercial Invoice
- Certificate of Origin Statement
- Inspection Certificate
- Bill of Lading Contract
- Export Packing List
- Export License
- Shippers export declaration document
The term “logistics” is thrown around a lot. Many companies simply search for logistics partners without knowing what their specific need is. A good 3PL company offers a full service offering from point of origin to point of consumption. As you know, there are many destination points along a supply chain – knowing where you have the biggest problem can help you identify solutions to improve efficiency.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you with your logistics needs and provide time and money savings today.