One of the most important aspects of running a successful import/export business between the UK and Germany is logistics. Yes, you need to find the right goods for your market. But if you can’t get them where they need to be, when they need to be there and in perfect condition, you’re going to struggle to maintain your customer base. Freight forwarding is one of the simplest options. The freight forwarder’s role is to manage all of the multiple processes involved in international shipping, streamlining the administration for their clients. So, whether you’re transporting goods between Germany and the UK or your business involves cross trade shipping, finding the right freight forwarder can relieve the burden of logistics.
Everything you need to know about choosing the right freight forwarder for your import/export business to Germany
What services do freight forwarders provide?
Different freight forwarders provide varying services. Some will offer value-added packages while others will stick to the basics. But you can largely expect the following services:
- Export and import customs clearance logging
- Transport options and container deliveries from port to door
- Export documentation
- Container weighing and certification
- HS Code classification, import duties and taxes
- International freight charges, port service handling charges and insurance coverage
- Quarantine services
- Cargo tracking
- Specialised cargo movements
- Related 3rd party services
In the current political climate, a good freight forwarder will also be the first to know how to deal with the changing requirements of international cargo movement in the light of Brexit. Ensuring that your business complies with changing legislation without service disruption.
What should you be asking freight forwarders before deciding who to give your business to?
When selecting a freight forwarder to ship your goods to or from Germany, you should treat it as any other business appointment. That means asking questions and not just going for the first or cheapest operator you find on Google.
So, get a quote. Then find out how the freighter can serve your business. Do they offer flexible or tailored services? Are same day or next day collections available? How much does express freight cost and can they offer economy express services? What do those services entail? What are their business hours? Is there someone available to answer queries and resolve problems at all times? Is there a digital tracking service to check shipment status? And will your company have a dedicated contact within the freight business?
Why the cheapest freight forwarder isn’t always the best option
If your company’s reputation relies on your being able to move your goods quickly and efficiently, you need a logistics company that you can trust. You need a service that not only gets your goods from A to B at the expected times, but in excellent condition. And you need a company that understands how your business works and what it needs. This means that while cost will – and should – always be a consideration, reliability and quality of service play equally significant roles. Really, you should be looking for a freight forwarder that you can build a long-term relationship with. That way, you’ll get the best services at the best prices.
It’s not the easiest time to be in the import/export business within Europe. Everything is in a state of flux as negotiations take place following the UK’s exit from Europe. And most people whose work revolves around the moving pf goods between the UK and Germany will be considering their options and waiting to see what comes next. The good thing about working with a trusted freight forwarder is that they should be able to take at least some of the burden of the new legislation and processes off your shoulders.
So, if you’re in the market for a new freight forwarder, take your time, search around, and select the right provider for your business.
Get a quote from Plexus Freight today.