What To Look For
The FGX sales team has met with thousands of firms that ship internationally. Having been the recipient of this market data we feel confident that the below points should be in the query chain of any company looking to include best practices in the vetting of potential partners to service your international shipping.
Half a dozen is all it takes
- Transit times
- Chain of custody
- Customer service
- Soft cost
- Hard cost
- Environmental impact
- Take your top 5 shipped to destinations and get the transit times.
Chain of Custody
- Take your top 5 shipped to destinations and get the confirmed routing. (You’ll want to see as few steps as possible.)
- Confirm which tracking events are “live”.
- Confirm the level of granularity their tracking achieves.
- Ask if the company can track to the air waybill number, not the can, or slot number.
- Where geographically are you calling when you call the customer service team?
- Do you have an international service department?
- What kinds of training have they received?
- If they can’t answer your question, can they escalate the issue in real time? (Without having to call back?)
- Do you have a dedicated sales representative?
- Where are they located?
- What is your shipping providers definition of a lost package?
- What percentage loss does your shipping provider run?
- What is their definition of a mis-sorted, or late shipment?
- What percentage mis-sort do they run?
- If you need custom reporting can your shipping providers do it?
- What is the response time?
- What can be included?
What aid does your shipping partner provide regarding administrative tasks?
- Certificates of origin
- Fish and wildlife
- Commodity code harmonization
- Arranging proof of import license with the consignee
- Dangerous goods declarations
- Trade agreement research
- Duty and tax cost forecasting
- What are your rates?
- What has been your rate increase in the last two years?
What are your surcharges? Be sure to look at:
- Residential surcharge
- Address correction
- Fuel surcharge
- Collection surcharge
- Over-weight surcharge
- Re-route surcharge
- Re-delivery surcharge
Take your top 5 shipped to destinations and ask:
- How many flights does it take to deliver there?
- What is the total mileage from origination to destination?
- How much carbon is used (under the life cycle paradigm) to deliver one, three pound shipment to each of these five destinations?
- Can you provide me with verified reporting monthly and quarterly, should I need it on the carbon cost of our international shipping?
Armed with these “best practice” questions you should be well on your way to raise the bar on what you expect from your international shipping partner. Should you not feel satisfied with any of there answers, rest assured FGX is here for you.