Why the cheapest international freight option isn’t always the best

Everyone is trying to save money. Whether it’s for your vacation fund, or for a company-wide initiative to ratchet down unnecessary spending, more money in your pockets means more gains at the end of the year. But for freight, like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for with the cheapest carrier. When you cut corners, and hire a subpar freight carrier, the long-term negative effects can wreak havoc on your bottom line. Underqualified carriers entice shippers with rock-bottom prices, and shippers don’t properly weigh the disadvantages before choosing.  You might save some cash upfront. But over the long-term, the potential for mishaps and lost revenue grows. Finding value and expertise in a forwarder will help you more than shopping for the lowest price.

A more highly trained workforce

Often a low priced forwarder won’t have an expertly trained workforce. This type of staffing allows the forwarder to offer solutions that might involve less handling and fewer transloads. As we’ve written in the past, less handling means fewer potential points of loss. A well-trained staff at a single-source freight partner will boost your bottom line over time. Not every supply chain utilizes excellent carriers. But the most successful include superb partners from start to finish.

Fewer claims, fewer surprise costs

A more moderately priced carrier will know which airlines have lower incidences of claims – for loss or damage. They will have more developed relationships with the air cargo industry and will be able to offer expert insight to their clients. A sense of how cargo handlers at airports work and the level of professionalism practiced by the handlers is a valuable asset for shippers. The more knowledge the carrier has, the more knowledge you, the shipper will have.

The development of relationships and knowledge is also a key indicator of financial stability. Because they’ve had the time to hone relationships means they will have a sturdier footing in the industry. There is less of a chance of a carrier disappearing from the scene before they complete delivery of your shipment.

They aren’t in it for a one-off cash grab; they are here to make a difference and help international shippers grow their business.

Higher standards for global shipping partners

They will have relationships with more highly trained global partners and hold them to higher standards.

They will be invested more fully in supply chain security, providing training and insisting that their global and domestic partners adhere to strict security measures. Safe carriers mean safe freight. Protect your investment by using the best carrier available rather than the cheapest international freight option.


A partnership rather than just another revenue source

You will get more timely updates on your shipments. The technology will be better and offer more comprehensive information on your move. A great partner will have a better infrastructure of technology, allowing you to perform international shipping tracking from your office.

Paying slightly more per pound or kilo to move a smaller shipment may decrease your overhead in storage costs if a company is holding inventory. A portion of what you pay for is access to a carrier’s team of experts. Analysis by these experts will help fine-tune your supply chain and increase the efficiency of your business.


Find the careful balance between excellence and affordability

We aren’t suggesting you go and search for the highest-priced carrier available. You will find prices running the gamut, from mind-bogglingly low, to outrageously high.  Instead, we recommend you consider what you need from your carrier.  Find the middle ground for affordability and value. Be wary of those claiming to “have it all,” at rock-bottom prices. Instead of jumping at the first low price, ensure your carrier will give you what you need — when you need it most.

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