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With shipping challenges continuing to disrupt the retail industry, it is crucial for wholesalers to find the right freight shippers to keep business moving. Freight haulers are vital to wholesale companies. This is not something that should be taken lightly. 

“Choosing the right freight shipping companies can make or break your business, especially with what we saw a couple of months back when the supply chain crisis happened,” Brian David Crane, founder of Spread Great Ideas, said. “With inconsistencies in demand, labor shortages, and international trade fluctuations, a quality freight shipping company that can provide safe and cost-effective services becomes crucial.”

What is a Freight Hauler?

Before we go into different ways that you can find a reputable freight shipping company, let us first dive into what exactly they do. According to uShip, a freight hauler or freight carrier is the company or person who directly handles your shipment via truck, train, boat, or airplane. If you are shipping Less Than Truckload (LTL) or international freight, several carriers may handle and transfer your shipment. For some shipments, you might hire a freight broker or a freight carrier — companies that contract with a network of carriers to arrange for your freight shipment. 

Parcel Volume Continues to Increase

A new Parcel Shipping Index from Pitney Bowes, featuring 2021 data from 13 major markets around the world, revealed that global parcel volume reached 159 billion in 2021, equating to 5,000 parcels per second. The Index estimates global parcel volume will most likely reach 256 billion by 2027, with an 8.5 percent CAGR from 2022-2027. This proves just how important freight shippers are. If you want your business to grow, you need a company who will be able to handle your increase in volume. 

Key Tips When Searching for Freight Shipping Companies

Crane offers some points for wholesale businesses to keep in mind when looking for freight shippers:

Research the Companies

Look at their resume and their client list. If possible, try to get a clear idea of the challenges they have efficiently dealt with in the past. Check their years of experience and ensure they have a good carrier network. 

Right Certifications

Ensure that the freight companies have the correct licenses and permits. Do they have special permission for handling sensitive products? Do they have the efficiency in handling a large volume of goods? These questions will help you arrive at the appropriate decision. 

Network Efficiency

A network of global agents is a critical factor for delivery efficiency. Check if they have local agents at the originating and destination ports. 

Risk Management Efficiency

The ability to manage risks and unforeseen situations is probably the most important aspect of your decision. Analyze what cases these companies have handled in the past and how well they have fared with client communications. 

Check Their Services

Analyze your freight forwarder’s opinions and services. Do they provide air freight and ship freight? Do they allow tracking of orders? Do they provide additional services like import-export documentation and offer transportation services? Do they provide international insurance? These help you rank prospective freight forwarders who can do a bit extra. 

24/7 Support

Make sure that they provide around-the-clock support services. How fast are they in solving grievances? What is their resolution process if there are problems? How fast is their customer service? These aspects are fundamental when choosing a good freight service provider. 

uShip also offers some additional factors that wholesale companies should keep an eye out for when searching for a reputable freight shipper:

Check for Authority

Going off of Crane’s advice, it is extremely important to check a freight carrier’s authority. They must be authorized by the Department of Transportation to transport ‘goods for hire’ and should have a USDOT and MC number that can be verified on SAFER. The only exceptions to these rules are freight brokers or freight forwarders. A freight broker or forwarder will only have an MC number. You can look up any company’s credentials by DOT number, MC number, or company name.

Verify Cargo Insurance

Another important thing for wholesalers to do is to verify your freight carrier’s cargo insurance. All freight haulers are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance. You may want to purchase additional coverage from a third party. Ask your freight carrier for their claims-to-damage ratio. This statistic reveals the percentage of claims that have been paid as a result of loss, damage, or theft. A reliable company should have a claims-to-damage rate of 1.5 percent or lower.

Review Feedback

Finally, businesses should take a close look at the freight carrier’s customer-rated feedback and transaction history. Do they have a positive reputation among fellow transport companies and previous customers? Any reputable freight hauler should be able to provide positive references from previous customers. You may also want to look up the company on the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been lodged against them.

The most important thing any wholesaler can do is to ask questions in order to find the right freight shipper for your business. Any reputable company would be more than happy to answer your questions, or to point you in the right direction. Be up front and let them know about your shipping needs and desires, and eventually, you will find the right fit.

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