As much as freight forwarding is a global business, it requires local expertise to make it work for you and your business. You may need freight to be picked or delivered to various locations internationally, but unless you have a freight forwarder that understands your businesses country and location-level logistics challenges, you may be disappointed. Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to moving freight, and every location within any country has its local logistics dynamics. A freight forwarder operating in any location need to clearly know, understand and provide solutions for the movement of freight seamlessly within that geography.
Apart from local knowledge, shippers need to consider issues related to contractual negotiations, decision making speed, freight costs, getting enough attention from your freight forwarding company and faster resolution of service issues which make it absolutely critical for you to determine whether a global freight forwarding company is the right choice for the seamless movement and smooth conduct of your business. Read on to learn what no one tells you on why a global freight forwarding company may not be your local answer.
8 reasons no one tells you about …
1. Global Contractual Policies: Global freight companies are usually locked in to strict global policies when it comes to selecting carriers and engaging in freight contracts. This rigid approach may not offer you and your business as much are you need. A local 3PL company may deliver you more options and flexibility as they are not locked in to strict global policies.
2. Global Growth Strategy: A global freight forwarding company may have an office nearby you, but your region may not be part of their global growth plans. Right now, many global 3PL companies are focused on growing their presence in Africa and in China. If you are a small to medium sized business in Australia importing from various international destinations, you may not get the attention, investment or resources you deserve. In contrast, many local 3PL providers’ growth strategies are focused on growth of their current customers which means they are in tune with their customers’ needs and build their capabilities around their customers which ensures they can deliver exactly what each customer needs when they need it.
3. Local Knowledge: Local knowledge while moving your air freight and sea freight seamlessly is critical for your business. Global 3PL companies focussed only on global freight movement may not focus as much on building knowledge and capability to provide solutions to overcome these local challenges. Many times, they may not have deep expertise in providing first or last mile services in terms of custom clearance, arranging transportation, warehousing and distribution services. On the other hand, a local freight company comes with deep local knowledge gained from years of working within your local market which means you are getting firsthand knowledge from the ones that know.
4. Global presence sometimes brings arrogance: Often global freight companies become arrogant due to their sheer size and the fact that many of their customers come to them on platter nominated from a freight forwarding company in another country. This has a negative impact on their customer service and respect towards their customers. This arrogance can be felt in particular by customers with much smaller volumes as these numbers may not have major impact on their business targets. A local 3PL provider may be more appreciative of each of their customers and therefore be more customer focused and humble.
5. Global freight companies can be costly: Global 3PL companies have huge overheads. They must spend on salaries, maintaining higher office standards, comfort of top-level executives when they travel and let’s not forget profits that need to be earned for their shareholders. And, whether you like it or not, it’s all coming from your business’s pocket. Local freight companies, on other hand, are highly cost conscious and in most cases can deliver the same job with a lower cost base. Additionally, their global network partners have a lower cost base too and therefore can deliver more value with excellent service.
6. Slower Decision Making: Global freight forwarding companies often are head-quartered in either Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai. Their local offices may not enjoy enough autonomy in making critical decisions and need to get approval from their headquarters to make these decision. These delays can have huge implications on your business. Whereas, local freight forwarding companies can make these decisions quickly as everyone involved in the decision-making process in available nearby.
7. Service issue escalation: When you are stuck with the local office of global freight forwarding company and want to escalate it to ‘somebody’ who can give you a quick resolution to your service requirement or issue, that ‘somebody’ may be sitting in a different country. Whereas, a local freight company provides all the top management and decision makers at your door step, giving you access and the direct attention that you need to service your new requirement or solve your issues.
8. Customer relationships: Last, but not the least, your relationship with your freight forwarding company remains a critical component for smooth operations. While you may think that you enjoy a great relationship with the local management of a global freight forwarding company, their hands are tied with directives from their global manager who may sit in another country. And it can possibly happen that they pull their hands back by citing helplessness due to a global directive when you need it most, leaving you high and dry. When using a local freight forwarding company, you can feel confident that they are on your side and will work with your best interest at heart.
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).