Below are some typical questions you should think about before choosing a company for your freight forwarder.

How do you Measure Performance?

DARTRANS would suggest you measure the selection and performance of your broker/forwarder minimally as follows:

A. Owner & Staff Experience-
.....as traditional Brokers and Forwarders
.....in complimentary allied disciplines
.....in years of industry experience

B. Customer Base and Mix
.....representing small and medium sized firms
.....representing Fortune 500 firms
.....representing a variety of product lines
.....representing clients both as importers and exporters

C. Cost Effectiveness
.....simplified billing, no surprises
.....balancing available resources with shipment exigencies
.....additional charges only as authorized

D. Flexibility
.....responsiveness to clients needs
.....offer solutions for problems, not excuses
.....a "will do", not simply a "can do" attitude
.....proactive approach to business evolution

E. Reputation
.....with customers
.....with competitors
.....with vendors
.....with employees

"How do I find a forwarder to meet my needs?"

Many ingredients are involved in finding the right forwarder to meet your goals. Here are some things to think about...
As the architect of transport for your company, your prospective forwarder should be capable of providing various options for your decision on routing, pricing and timing of delivery. The cost of transportation is always important, but you need to be informed of the risks involved in "cheap" rates. Will you be sacrificing reliability of the carriers or cargo security and finding out about it later?

Does your forwarder have the resources to provide a full transport service?

After the booking is made your vendor calls and informs you they cannot load a container. Or your client in Europe needs duty and tax rates before he commits to buying the merchandise. Without having a full service forwarder, you may find yourself unable to adapt to the constantly changing world of international trade.

Is your forwarder a licensed customs broker?

Your trading activity may, now or in the future, involve the importing of goods. They should hold a valid license, issued by the Department of the Treasury. In order to obtain a broker’s license, a rigorous background investigation is conducted, a test on classification, valuation and regulation must be passed and continued compliance must be maintained. All this brings an additional level of professionalism to your forwarder.

Is your forwarder/customs broker connected?

Does a strong partnership exists with forwarders around the world to keep control of your merchandise? The best forwarders have established private networks to track and deliver your merchandise.

Is your forwarder trained in international banking? In other words, will you get paid??

Shipping under a letter or credit does not guarantee payment; you have documentary obligations and your forwarder is your biggest asset or liability in this regard. Banking rules are dynamic and forwarders must be up to the job of finding potential problems with your letters of credit before you ship anything (whether your selling or buying).

Can your forwarder offer solutions to collection outside of letters of credit?

The documentary credit is an excellent method of transacting business with companies you don’t know, but with existing relationships, do you really need the high cost of a letter of credit? Your forwarder should have alternatives for you.

What about insurance?

Although your terms of purchase or sale require another entity to provide cargo insurance, you still have risk. A required function of your forwarder must be the ability to explain these risks and to provide appropriate coverage for you. Cargo insurance is just a minute percentage of your transaction, and your forwarder must be prepared to provide a complete insurance product.

Duty Drawbacks?

As an international trader, you must be well informed about duty drawback. Can your forwarder provide you with information and establish a program to allow you to participate the refund of customs duties?

Does your forwarder belong to, and actively participate in trade organizations?

The National Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association is dedicated to educating the industry on new issues.

Does your forwarder have the electronic resources to maintain tracing of your merchandise and report to you quickly and inexpensively?

Especially important in this day of high speed transport, is high speed, electronic communication. EDI is a buzzword and has several definitions, but can your forwarder even discuss this, or better, can they implement a EC (electronic commerce) product for you?

Why Choose Dartrans?

Many ingredients are involved in finding the right forwarder to meet your shipping requirements. At Dartrans we are confident that we have the expertise to get the job done.