How can I choose a freight forwarder to ship LTL across North America?
Shippers in Canada, the US, and Mexico recognize the importance to include freight forwarders in their supply chains for various reasons, such as flexibility, versatility, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness. That is why many of them move their LTL shipments across the North American region using a freight forwarder. But how do they choose a freight forwarder to ship LTL?
We know how important it is for you and your customers to work with a freight forwarder that you can trust. That is why, in this post, we share with you information that will help you to choose the correct freight forwarder to ship Less-Than-Truckload freight.
1. Make sure you understand what freight forwarders can and cannot do for you
The first step to choose a good freight forwarder to ship LTL freight is to understand what exactly a freight forwarder does and what are its responsibilities.
The freight forwarder is the meeting point between the shipper and the solution to its transportation and storage needs. In other words, the freight forwarder is in charge of organizing and managing the storage and transport of your LTL freight.
The freight forwarder will select and contract the services of the carrier that will offer the real transport service of your LTL shipment across North America. Also, the freight forwarder will consolidate your LTL freight with other customer’s shipments, this will help you reduce costs. To learn more about LTL shipments, we invite you to read the Beginner’s Guide on LTL: Shipping from the US and Canada to Mexico
What does a freight forwarder do?
- Negotiates transportation rates with LTL carriers
- Offers cargo insurance to protect the goods transported.
- The freight forwarder also books the truck to transport your LTL shipment on the day and time you need it.
- Organizes and manages the US-Mexico border crossing of your LTL freight
- Consolidates your freight
- Guides you through the transportation of your cargo, requesting the documents you require for the transportation and border crossing between the US and Mexico.
2- Put together a list of requirements and information about your LTL shipment
First, determine the transportation mode that you need for your shipment. In North America, the most common transportation service is ground transportation because is the most affordable way to ship goods between Canada, the US, and Mexico.
Second, gather the information about your LTL shipments such as
- Pick up address
- Final destination
- Size/weight/dimensions/value of each pallet
- Class (if you do not know the class, the freight forwarder can help you to determine it)
Finally, identify what are your LTL freight requirements so you can search for a freight forwarder that covers your specific needs. For example, if goods are shipped to addresses where there are no loading docks, then you will need to find a Freight forwarder that offers lift-gate services.
Read our post: Accessorial charges, shipping LTL from Canada to Mexico
3- Research Freight Forwarders based on the criteria below.
If you are shipping LTL freight between Canada, the US, and Mexico, search for a freight forwarder that covers the points below:
- The freight forwarder has a large network of C-TPAT approved companies.
- It works with carriers that have transit permits and 24/7 satellite tracking systems
- The freight forwarder gives you continual status updates.
- It has experience in the Mexico-US border crossing. As freight transportation between the US and Mexico is complex, you want to make sure that the freight forwarder that you choose has crossed many loads through this border.
- For LTL shipments from Canada to Mexico, you need a freight forwarder that works with bonded carriers.
- It has personnel that speaks English and Spanish, so you can make sure that it can manage the shipment with all parties involved. If you are shipping LTL from or to Quebec, you should search for a freight forwarder with a trilingual team that speaks French, English, and Spanish.
Mexicom Logistics covers all the criteria above, with more than 650 satisfied customers in Canada, the US, and Mexico, more than 49 000 loads transported throughout North America and more than 14 years of experience offering LTL and FTL transportation solutions.