• Air Freight Agents: What Can They Do for Your Shipping Process?

    Does your company avoid air shipping because it seems too expensive? For many companies, moving freight in all ways but through the sky results from insufficient information about shipping by plane. To get sufficient information, shippers must implement a logistics department, which is costly; consult logistics software, which identifies solutions but doesn’t implement them; or retain third party logistics (3PL) agents that identify the timeliest, most cost effective shipping options using shipping logistics.

    How Freight Agents Work

    Commonly known as air freight agents, 3PL providers that specialize in air cargo connect you with plane carriers in the same way they connect you with road, rail, or sea carriers: by using shipping logistics to determine the best arrangement for your shipping needs. For most shippers, these needs center on cargo safety, cost effectiveness, and delivery time. Once the best arrangement is identified and implemented, an agent charges a broker’s fee.

    Much criticized by 3PL providers’ competitors, this fee is extremely affordable considering the cost savings that receiving the most cost effective transport options generates. But does the cost effectiveness apply to air cargo as well?

    When shippers retain 3PL providers that specialize in the unique needs of their shipping process, the answer is yes.

    Economizing on Plane Shipments

    Plane shipments can indeed be expensive, affordable only to large companies and small companies that make infrequent, low volume shipments. But, as with any shipping method, rates can vary significantly depending on several things, particularly: what a company ships, how it ships, where it ships, and when it ships. Freight agents ferret out the best opportunities and implement them in one of two ways: as direct delivery options or as options for integrated delivery solutions.

    Even when shipping direct is impractical, shipping partially by plane and partially by truck, train, or boat could eliminate certain delivery costs and improve delivery time.

    The Bottom Line

    Agents’ ability to facilitate affordable air shipments doesn’t dissuade shippers from working directly with carriers. But here is something that does: because a carrier’s shipping options are limited to what its fleet can accommodate, it can seldom deliver the best shipping options on a continuous basis. 3PL, on the other hand, can.

    If your company doesn’t use air shipping due to the high quotes it has received from carriers, it could be missing out on significant cost savings. To find out how affordable air shipments really are, contact a 3PL provider that specializes in air freight forwarding.

    Selecting the Best Freight Agencies

    Choosing the best agency depends on a shipper’s needs and an agency’s ability to meet them. But there are tips for identifying responsible agencies from irresponsible ones.

    In addition to evaluating a forwarder’s references and checking its record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), be sure that it has a broker’s license, carries cargo insurance, and has an on time delivery rate of above 90 percent.

    Once you find the right agent, you can reduce transport costs and improve delivery time with affordable plane shipments.

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    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6563988
    Translated by Aryputra Pande

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