The supply chain has been turned upside down with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Importers were left scrambling amid major manufacturing shutdowns, intense demand for medical supplies and shrinking air freight options. This led to an unpredictable situation where freight pricing changes by the day and scheduling is uncertain. When timing and cost are a main concern, businesses are turning to freight forwarders for their international air freight needs.
Freight forwarders are experts in importing, exporting and supply chain management. They help to coordinate the shipment of cargo using well established networks. Their experience, industry relationships and level of customer support provide a valuable service in an unfamiliar and highly competitive global market. Bill McDermott, Director of International Air Services for Mach 1 Global Services, shared four ways freight forwarders can help businesses gain the edge in this COVID-19 era.
1) Freight Forwarders Get Pricing Advantages
International air freight rates have become extremely unpredictable due to the cancellation of passenger flights as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. A large portion of freight was carried in the bellies of these commercial airliners. Now, cargo mainly relies on charter flights for air transportation. This restricts the quantity and routes of air freight shipments. As a result, shipping prices can swing as much as 30% to 40% within a 24 hour period based on availability and demand.
With pricing so volatile, freight forwarders have an advantage as they are in constant communication with their carriers. They can let their clients know which day will give them the best rate. If you were to arrange your shipment using the web portal of a carrier service, like Fedex, UPS or DHL, you are only quoted the rates for the date you select. You would never know that delaying your shipment for 24 hours could save you 30%.
2) Freight Forwarders Prioritize Your Shipment
As businesses work to restore their supply chain, they are relying on the timely transport of their cargo. Carrier services are overloaded which is resulting in shipping delays. “If someone pays more money they will move their shipment first and yours gets delayed” McDermott said as he recalled a recent client experience. The client contacted the team at Mach 1 Global Services after not being able to get updates from the original carrier service. “We were able to use our relationships to get the client a flight and get their freight moved”. Freight forwarders make your shipment a priority, ensuring that it is shipped when scheduled. If there is a delay, they will communicate with you unlike carrier service customers who are often left trying to reach a customer service representative through an 800 number with no luck.
3) Freight Forwarders have a Global Network
Freight forwarders have offices and staff around the world. Smart businesses can use this to their advantage to ensure shipments reach their destination without unnecessary issues. For instance, Mach 1 Global Services has staff in China that can communicate with vendors in Mandarin or Cantonese to get the information they need. This allows them to insure the correct paperwork is included with each shipment preventing unnecessary delays due to miscommunication.
With this global presence, freight forwarders receive the latest news in the international logistics industry which can help you strategically plan your next shipment for the fastest and most cost effective delivery.
4) Communication is Key with Freight Forwarders
In the current environment, knowing where your shipment is has never been more important. You need to know exactly when your shipment will arrive or if your shipment has run into any unforeseen challenges. This requires communication and tracking capabilities that keep you informed every step of the way. As a freight forwarder, Mach 1 Global Services provides a hands-on approach to shipping cargo. “What really sets Mach 1 Global apart from other freight forwarders is our commitment to communication. We communicate daily with our clients either through email or phone throughout the shipping process. If there is a problem, we get in front of it quickly by informing the client and finding a solution for them. Carrier services and discount Chinese freight forwarders do not communicate like we do,” McDermott shared. He has noticed a trend of frustrated shippers making the jump to freight forwarders for the added level of communication.
Mach 1 Global Services Can Give Your Business The Advantage
With over 30 years of experience, Mach 1 Global Services is a freight forwarder that has the experience and industry relationships to guide clients through this unprecedented time. Our commitment to customer service allows us to ease the stress and frustration of the shipping process and provide logistics solutions for businesses large and small. To learn more about our international air freight shipping services, visit our page on air freight transportation. To discuss how Mach 1 Global can assist you call (800) 553-7774 or get a quote by clicking HERE.
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