When you run a business that relies on freight forwards, stress is inevitable. However, you can reduce stress significantly by forming a good relationship with the shipping agent. Here are three proven tips that will help you have a good business relationship with your freight forwarders:
1. Too many freight forwarders can be hard to manage
They say too many cooks spoil the broth. The same holds true for freight forwarders as well. Managing one shipping agent could be stressful, so imagine a scenario where you have to manage five or six of them. The best practice would be to stick to no more than 3 service providers. Work closely with these companies and ensure that they take responsibility and address any issues that may arise during the process. That way, you can address and resolve issues on time without things getting escalated. When issues are sorted out on-time, the business relationship grows stronger and healthier. Moreover, when you work with fewer vendors, your team can spend enough time to nurture a mutual and long lasting business bond with them.
2. The on-boarding process matters
Every partnership works well when expectations are communicated and met. You need to communicate your exact requirements and define the scope of work unambiguously before you have a shipping agent on board. It is equally important to ensure that the company understands the policies and regulations of your organization and other basic requirements of the industry. In order for the new forwarder to serve you best, you also should grant them access to all necessary documents even if it is from a previous freight forward partner.
3. Good communication channels make all the difference
As mentioned above, communication is the key to building good business relationships. When you resort to multiple channels such as email, WhatsApp, Dropbox etc. for communication, you are unnecessarily complicating the process as the chances of someone missing a crucial message are very high.
The cardinal rule here is to establish an effective and centralized communication channel where both you and your partners get real-time updates and have access to any required documents. A centralized communication system not only reduces the number of emails but also brings in more transparency which, in turn, rules out misunderstandings between teams. It also helps the process move faster and more efficiently by reducing the time spent on follow-ups. The best part of having a centralized communication system is that everyone in the team can see the complete picture and align themselves and the process according to the end goals.
Looking for an effective solution?
Are you looking for an efficient and centralized freight management solution? BuyCo has the right solution for you: SMS (Shipping Management Solution). The SMS has been a favorite with both shippers and forwarders as it allows teams to work independently while maintaining a fruitful collaboration abetted by a transparent and centralized freight management solution. Since it facilitates real-time communication and easy access to data, neither you nor the freight forwarders have to track hundreds of emails and files on Dropbox, make constant follow-up calls or do any double entries.
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