When you’re running a small business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and forget about the big picture. It can be especially difficult to consider logistics as a part of your operation if your company is just starting up. However, freight carriers are essential for businesses that need to move goods from one location to another—whether it’s across town or across the country. The good news is that there are many options out there when it comes to freight carriers, but finding one that’s right for your needs can be tricky without some guidance. In this post, we’ll go over how to make sure you choose the best option for your situation!
Consider the price-to-speed ratio
When you’re shipping, there are many factors to consider when choosing a freight carrier. The first step in finding the best price-to-speed ratio is to figure out how much time you have to get your product delivered and where it needs to go. If you have less than 48 hours to get your product from point A to point B and it’s going across the country, you’ll want to find a carrier who can deliver on time without charging an arm and a leg for the privilege.
If your product has a longer window in which it needs to be delivered, then you have more flexibility in choosing your carrier. There are several factors that determine how fast you can expect your shipment to arrive at its destination: where it’s going (i.e., whether it’s on a major highway or off-road), what’s inside (i.e., whether it’s perishable), if there are any weather delays along the way, etc.
Service level agreements (SLA)
SLAs are an important part of any contract between a shipper and a carrier. Most carriers offer different levels of SLA based on the type of equipment being shipped and its destination. You should always make sure that both parties agree upon what type of SLA is required for your shipment before signing any contracts or accepting services from a carrier.
The next thing that you need to look at is pricing. Make sure that the prices offered by different carriers are not too high or too low because it could be a sign of poor quality service or unreliable service respectively. The best way to find out about pricing is by checking online forums where people discuss freight carriers and their prices so that you can get an idea about what works best for your business needs.
Look for a freight carrier that specializes in your industry
As you search for the right freight carrier, it’s important to consider whether or not they specialize in your industry. If you are a clothing manufacturer and need to ship a large quantity of clothes overseas, then it would be ideal to find a shipper that specializes in clothing. This will ensure that they have the experience needed to handle your shipment properly and efficiently.
Similarly, if you are a food manufacturer shipping large quantities of perishable goods across the country or even internationally, then look for a freight carrier who has experience in handling these types of shipments as well.
Check out the company’s reviews and ratings
Reviews on sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List can help you figure out whether or not a particular company is worth dealing with — especially if there are negative reviews or complaints about how long it takes them to deliver goods or services.
Ask friends, family members, or coworkers if they have any recommendations for good freight carriers that they’ve used before. Ask them about their experiences with that company — was it good or bad? Were they satisfied with the services provided? These questions can help narrow down which companies will be worth your time and money in terms of quality service and overall value.
Capacity and capabilities
Some carriers specialize in small shipments while others can handle large loads. This will help you determine how many shipments you want to make at once.
You want to be sure that the carrier you choose offers excellent customer service before making any decisions. You should always check references and ask around before choosing a freight forwarder.
If you are shipping valuable items, it is recommended that you purchase insurance coverage with your shipment. This way, if anything were to happen during transit, your goods would be insured and covered by the carrier’s liability policy.
To make the best choice for your needs, you must first seek information on each of your options and consider the implications that your choice will have on the total cost of shipping, transit time, and quality of service.
Infographic provided by AV Logistics, a shipping container tracking company