How to Choose And Work With The Right Freight Forwarder

April 29, 2024
Ram Radhakrishnan
Founder & CEO


Choosing and working with the right freight forwarder can make or break your shipping operations. But how can you do it effectively?

How to Choose And Work With The Right Freight Forwarder

Choosing and working with the right freight forwarder is a key strategy for streamlining shipping operations. However, building relationships with the ‘right’ freight forwarding partner can get tricky or sometimes outright challenging. 

Freight forwarders are the bridge between your supply chain operation and the customer or location to which the goods are being shipped. This makes them a very critical party to the shipping process. In this article, we will explore vital factors to consider when choosing and working with a freight forwarder.

How to Choose The Right Freight Forwarder

Choosing a freight forwarder is not so difficult if you have the right approach. There are two major steps. Identify your needs and then evaluate the freight forwarder. Let's explore them to understand further.

Identifying Your Shipping Needs

While it is easy to conclude that you need a freight forwarder, finding the right one will be quite challenging if you do not understand what exactly you need from the right freight forwarder. A freight forwarder's reputation might be stellar, but that does not mean they are the right fit. You still have to answer some critical questions.

For instance, what shipping mode are you seeking to leverage to transport your goods?

It could be air freight or the marine route. There are other factors to consider when seeking to understand what exactly it is you want in your freight forwarder:

Evaluate Freight Forwarders

Evaluate Freight Forwarders

Ok, you know what you want, and you know your expectations. The next part comes easy. It is the call for quotation or research on potential freight forwarders. This part is critical because it will go a long way to determining the freight forwarders you decide to partner with.

Therefore, there are a few factors to consider when choosing the right freight forwarder.


You want to work with a freight forwarder who is well-versed in the forwarding business. This means evaluating their mode of operations, knowledge about the industry, and the relationships the freight forwarders have built around the industry. Consider the relationships in the international shipping industry as well. Showing expertise means your shipment is in good hands.

Experienced and Reputable Freight Forwarder

During your evaluation process, look out for a reputable and experienced freight forwarder with a proven track record in handling and delivering shipments to their respective destinations without fail. A freight forwarder with long enough experience and a proven record shows efficiency. Good reputations are usually developed from a commitment to responsibility and a streamlined operation.

Service Offerings

Assuming you have found your ideal freight forwarder from the initial two, it is now time to ensure that the service offerings suit your requirements. So you have to answer the important question: does the freight forwarding business offer the services I require? 

Different freight forwarders offer different levels of services. Some could be full freight forwarding services, including customs clearance, cargo insurance, and warehousing. Others may offer a partial or some of the listed options.


Today's supply chain is anchored on visibility and transparency. The core enablers of these two are effective communication and real-time updates and tracking. Your freight forwarder must be able to provide these two because it would be significant in ensuring the success of your shipping operation. You don't want to operate blindly. The impact on your supply chain management could be astronomical.

Technology Adoption

We have made so much headway in logistics management, even in the freight forwarding industry, because of technology. You would be hard-pressed to find freight forwarders without some level of technology integrated into their system. 

Freight forwarders depend on it to streamline operations, communicate effectively with shippers, and manage shipments. Any freight forwarder you partner with must have some tech integration into their operations that guarantees the above.

Geographic Coverage

As the last bit of your evaluation, ensure the freight forwarder you work with has a strong presence in the origin and destination market of the cargo or shipments. Typically, you want a freight forwarder with a global network for international shipping.

How to Work With Your Freight Forwarding Companies

You have the right freight forwarder, and you have onboarded the business. The next part is to ensure you have an excellent working relationship. This is important for several reasons, but the primary one is a seamless shipping operation.

How to Work With Your Freight Forwarding Companies

Here's how to ensure a smooth working relationship:

Clear Communication

The most important communication is ensuring the freight forwarding company understands your expectations and objectives. This will save you a lot of headache. Going forward, ensure everything runs smoothly with necessary details such as shipping requirements, deadlines, and budget constraints. If anything needs to be clarified, ensure you ask questions, encourage the same, and be open to feedback. In all of this, ensure you are very clear.

Documentation Accuracy

Documentation is so important, especially for international shipping. Ensuring that the complete and accurate information and documentation of your goods and shipping process are in order is critical. The documentation should typically include proper descriptions of the shipment, weights, and values.

Errors in the documentation process can be painful, and they will prevent the freight forwarder from being efficient, leading to delays, damages, and increased costs of goods.

Timely Response

Timely response facilitates timely delivery. When dealing with freight forwarders, delays in response or decision-making can be detrimental. It is essential to always be on the watch and endeavor to be as quick to respond to information when necessary. It could go a long way to ensure a streamlined shipping process.

Open Communication

Open communication is crucial because it makes for easier understanding and quickens freight forwarding. Don't hesitate to ask questions and encourage the same from the freight forwarder.

How Silq Helps Shippers Connect With The Right Freight Forwarders

How Silq Helps Shippers Connect With The Right Freight Forwarders

Sometimes, selecting the right freight forwarder might be easier said than done. That is what Abel Toyz was experiencing for some time before Silq came on board. In a bid to streamline its shipping process, the company decided to onboard better freight forwarders, but finding the right one took forever. At least, it seemed that way for Abel Toyz. The company had shipments piling up without any hope of shipping these goods.

The company was not asking for the best freight forwarder; it just wanted a good freight forwarder that could work well with the business. That was until it discovered Silq. Suddenly, it had one of the best freight forwarding platforms on the market, which gave it a solution to the problem. Silq is the freight forwarding platform that checks all the boxes. The best part is Abel Toyz could evaluate the platform in a matter of minutes.

After onboarding the Silq platform, the company sent out field operators to review Abel Toyz's manufacturing process and how it could start sending out the shipments immediately. The onboarding process was quick and there was seamless communication between the parties.

Once that was sorted, Silq immediately found carriers that could begin shipping Abel Toyz goods to their destinations. Silq took advantage of its LCL, FCL, and shared container loads to ensure that all shipments were processed and on their way in quick time.

Before long, all the piled-up Abel Toyz shipments were on their way to their respective markets, and the company had found a freight forwarding partner they could finally depend on.

You Can Ship Without Surprises Through Silq

We know shipping operations could be a hassle. But only if you do not have the right partner in your freight forwarder. With Silq, you have a partner that eliminates the challenges that come with shipping. You can do all your research within minutes, explore rates seamlessly, and easily monitor your shipments.

Silq enables your shipments to enjoy smooth and efficient transportation with 100% visibility. Connect with us today and ship like never before.

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