Freight forwarding is a critical part of any supply chain operation, and managing it flawlessly is vital, so businesses deliver cargo on time. However, due to the international nature of freight forwarding, there are complexities involved – and lack of insight and knowledge of them can be catastrophic.

Improper and incomplete documentation, inadequate process knowledge, verbal contracts and insufficient understanding of operations are among the major challenges business owners face while managing the freight forwarding task.

It can also become quite hectic and time-consuming dealing with these challenges along with taking care of the core business. There is the very real risk of a lapse in attention and even the possibility of a major operations failure.

Australian business owners know that freight operations are wide-ranging and complex, to the extent it’s hard to pay daily attention to it. That is why aligning your company with a professional Australian freight forwarding company is a wise choice. It will have efficient resources and experienced manpower to overcome freight forwarding challenges.

Read on to learn about major risks with your freight operations and how managing them proactively is crucial.

1) Shipping without having the complete insights of freight forwarding

There is a lot more to freight forwarding than just knowing your initial freight cost, transit time and carrier name. It is a complex process. Anyone managing it should have proper insights such as airplane/vessel routing, free days at the origin/destination port, cargo weight and shipping restrictions. These factors all have a vast impact on operations and ultimately determine both customer satisfaction and the sustainability of your business.

Alignment with a professional freight forwarder saves you from having to deal with all these details – instead you simply let them know your needs and expectations. They then do the tough job of managing your shipments end-to-end while you focus on getting core business done.

2) Shipping prohibitive items and other restrictions

There are certain types of goods which cannot be imported or exported, or that require special permission from the relevant authority, for example, biological/botanical products and hazardous materials. Different countries and transportation modes have different rules and regulations including specific packaging requirements, certificates and quantity allowed. This makes the logistics situation more complex for business owners trying to manage it on their own. Not following the guidelines may result in the detention of the cargo or, even worse, the import-export license may be cancelled.

Avoiding these eventualities requires a knowledgeable freight partner who is across all the rules and regulations and can inform business owners of all the critical information.

3) Incorrect shipping documents

Documentation is an integral part of any freight forwarding process as complete and correct documents help ensure flawless delivery of a shipment. However, any error, discrepancy or delay in the documentation at any stage (e.g. while customs clearance, stuffing and/or delivery) can halt the freight forwarding operation and impose heavy penalties.

To avoid delays and penalties, those managing freight should have specific knowledge and ensure timely filing of all the documents from end to end. So you don’t have to waste time gathering all the relevant information. A professional freight forwarder is an economic resource who will manage all these challenges. They bring years of experience to the job, ensuring delivery of your cargo without any hassles.

4) Verbal or unlawful shipping contracts

A contract between a freight forwarder and a business owner sets out the requirements, liabilities, commercials and legal terms. These ought to be mutually agreed upon and followed by both parties for efficient operations.

A well-drafted and duly signed contract saves time, energy and risk. By contrast, during shipment negotiation, verbal agreements and on-site liabilities agreements require more time, consume your energy, increase risk and potentially delay shipment.

Like in any other business relationship, signing a lawful contract with the freight forwarder gives business owners major benefits in the long run including greater control, reduced liabilities, more competitive rates, reduced risks, and better supply chain relationships.

A freight forwarding operation gone wrong can be quite a catastrophe given the international nature of the movements. Imagine your products getting stuck in some offshore location with you having no control over fixing the situation. In logistics, prevention is better than cure.

Experienced business owners understand this and align with international freight forwarding experts that have years of experience in managing global operations. They are well versed in the latest import and export cargo requirements of most jurisdictions. They become business partners who take actions proactively to make your operations seamless and save you time and money.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).