How To Find a Forwarder

So you have found a product and you are ready to ship, but WAIT….. How do I ship?????

Below are the 6 most important things that you need Know/ decide when looking for a forwarder.

 

1. Forwarder From Your Country or Local Chinese Forwarder?

In all honesty there are a lot of pluses and minuses to both.

If you choose a forwarder from your country:

1. It is easier to communicate

2. Easy to contact if there is a problem

3. Payments are simple

4. They will be bound to local laws and if something is to happen it will be easier to take action against them

If you choose a Chinese Forwarder

Make sure you check out reviews of them online. There are few forwarders that are REALLY bad, but some are definitely better than others. Make sure to do your homework and save yourself the headache.

1. Communication can be complicated

2. Problems can be more difficult to handle

3. Payments are still easy I would use: Credit Card or Pay Pal if possible.

4. Forwarder are bound by Chinese law, which is as tough as any other country, BUT pursuing legal action from another country in a language you do not speak is never easy. (Just make sure you use one of the bigger companies)

 

2. Check Exchange Rates

Yes China is cheaper, but the Euro and the Dollar are both losing value, so check the exchange rate and make sure you have calculated the cost properly. Remember the Golden Rule: SHIPPING EATS MARGIN FOR BREAKFAST! 

So be safe and not sorry double check your exchange rates and overestimate you fees a bit, you will be happy that you did.

 

3. Cheaper is NOT Always Better

There are some really cheap companies and then there are some really good companies, I prefer customer service and peace of mind, but I also realize  that is not always possible. Some companies that have always done well for me are KWE, Hellmann, and SAGA. Everyone has their bad days, but these guys have always been consistent over the years that I have been exporting. However, sometimes you need cheap and dirty, that’s OK just make sure they are legit a good place to research a bit is China International Freight Forwarders Association (www.cifa.org).

 

4. Big GUYS use small guys to Do The Work

Even big companies like Hellmann and KWE use local forwarders that they subcontract to get the goods to port. However, The up side to this is that if a company like KWE or Hellmann have a problem with a local forwarder I can assure you they have legal representation and a HUGE NAME to back them. Forwarders do not want to piss off these guys. Yes they will charge you a premium for them handling things, but they will handle things.

 

5. Post a Quote Request

Another good way to get quotes is post a quote request on a forum like www.freightnet.com or www.cargoyellowpages.com 

You will get a ton of quotes and be able to compare prices. This is a really good tool in the beginning when you are shopping around for forwarders.

 

6. Talk To Them

Last, but not least. Give them a call see how they handle your call ask them a lot of questions. Like

1. Are they licensed and approved to handle the goods you are shipping?

2. Are the financially sound?

4. Do they have enough staff to handle your business?

5. Can they handle anything that you want to ship?

6. Do they have local agents or partners in the regions you are shipping from that can take care of your order.

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