The “door to port of shipment” and “port of delivery to door” journey of cargo is as crucial as its seaborne journey in a vessel. A trader needs to avail inland freight services to ferry the goods from his place to the port through a safe and secured route and transportation. Barges, rail, trucks, oil tankers, etc. are the mediums of inland haulage. Depending upon the geographical location of the factory, an exporter has to decide which vehicle he would choose. Earlier, this was likely to be a difficult task since the agents did not have a secure chain of inland logistics. Today, availing inland freight services has become an easy task.
The first thing traders need to understand is saving a few bucks in inland logistics charges would not make a huge difference in their profit margin. Therefore, one should consider several other aspects apart from the charges while choosing the best inland freight service provider.
Steps to choose the right service provider
Booking inland freight services is not a difficult task given the internet has made things so much easier. If one does not have any prior consideration regarding a reliable option, it is better to take it to the browser and search for an inland freight services provider. A trader can book inland freight services in five simple steps.
#1 Analyse the available options
Once a trader has his list of preferred names in the market, it is necessary to analyse the services and reviews of the previous customers. Since the rates of the inland freight services do not differ with a significant margin between the prevailing charges in the market, what one needs to look at is the service offered at the defined price. Therefore, choose the one that best suits the shipping requirements.
#2 Choose quality over quantity
In the international shipping industry, quality matters over quantity as a trader who comprises the safety of freight shipments may find it difficult to survive in the market. Do not compare just the price but rather compare the services that the providers are offering. The tracking facility is a vital service these days for knowing the whereabouts of the cargo. There are many more services like digital documentation, availability of trucks, etc.
#3 Consult the representatives
Find the contact details of the provider on the internet and consult the available representatives to know more about their services and get verbal confirmation from the other end. This task will also help in understanding the responsiveness of the inland freight services provider.
#4 Discuss the details and get a quote
Explain the route from where the inland haulage is needed, quantity and volume of cargo, etc. to understand which will be the safest vehicle and medium of transportation to ferry the freight to the port. The service providers will come up with the details of the truck or barge and a quote explaining the charges for the services.
#5 Verify information and finalise
If the quote is reasonable compared with the services offered by the provider, give all the needed information to the representative and finalise the booking. A few of the service providers in the Indian market offer all types of services related to freight shipments. One can also check the quotes of other details if needed.
The quality of inland freight services has improved highly given the freight forwarding companies are taking care of the quality and authenticity of the service. Traders should also ensure transparency from their end to avoid any hurdles in the process. It stands as the responsibility of both the traders and their service providers to do everything in their capacity for exporting goods safely. After all, damaged goods are not a pleasant sight for the importer!