When we negotiate with importers and exporters, there are certain issues that we must raise in all cases. These issues will help us ensure the best freight forwarding service for our customer, with the best price and the least inconvenience. The five questions we should always ask exporters and importers are the following.
1. What are your weekly, monthly and annual volumes?
It is important to know the weekly, monthly and annual volumes of the company to match them with the needs of our customers. We want to know if there are peak or valley seasons and take advantage of that knowledge in our favor. In addition, the greater the volumes with which the importer or exporter works, the better we can negotiate with other companies to ensure the lowest rates and the best services
2. What are your main ports of origin and destination?
We must know the specific routes of the client to quote effectively. A global quote may not be the most appropriate option. It is better to know the main points and focus our efforts on obtaining the best alternatives. The more specific we are, the better we can adapt the service and budget to the needs of the client.
3. What types of commodities do you work with?
In order to offer the best service to our customer, we must ask you if their commodities may have particular requirements. Some of these goods with requirements may be dangerous, perishable, bulky, fragile, heavy or oversized goods. In the case of special goods, we must inform the customer in advance of all transport requirements according to the type of transport (by air or sea), according to the company (shipping company or airline), and according to customs (from the countries of origin and destination).
4. What kind of freight service do you require?
It is essential to ask importers and exporters how they need their goods transported. We need to know if they need air freight, road freight or a multimodal option. In this way we will be able to offer the customer the best logistics solution and customized routes for their shipments. As a strategic supplier, the freight forwarder offers complete door to door solutions tailored to each customer.
5. What is more important for the client? Speed or competitiveness?
Each customer and each order needs a different solution. Occasionally, exporters or importers give great importance to the speed of transportation, as they work with exhibition materials, perishable goods, pharmaceuticals, refrigerated goods, engineering parts or machinery spare parts. However, speed is not always essential, and then our customer will seek the most economical solution. Therefore, it is crucial to know the client’s priorities and adapt to them to offer the most appropriate service.
These are the five questions we should always ask importers and exporters who wish to hire our freight forwarding services. With the answers to these questions we will be able to design a logistics strategy that meets the expectations of the client and that reports us a benefit, minimizing both the risks and the drawbacks.