Ocean

Trust a top global NVOCC

Leverage freight volumes and consolidation solutions for consistent service and competitive rates by working with C.H. Robinson, a leading non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC). Global forwarding experts leverage considerable freight volumes to negotiate dedicated space and more effectively use capacity through full container load (FCL) and less than container load (LCL) options. This includes options for both dry and refrigerated product to help ensure your products arrive to the satisfaction of your customers.

In addition to FCL and LCL options, a consolidation solution provides you with a better alternative to co-loading freight by combining LCL freight into full containers. As a result, you can maintain better control of shipments with less handling, fewer claims, and better tracking. Use these advantages to ensure you get the dedicated space for a highly flexible global supply chain.

8 questions to ask before selecting a freight forwarder

  1. Do they run their own consolidations? The forwarder must have high enough volumes to combine freight from many customers at once, or they're unlikely to be running their own consolidation program.
  2. Do they offer complementary services? If you ship internationally, you will likely encounter customs, vendor purchase order requirements, warehousing, and other needs beyond ocean. You may even need to change plans at the last minute and expedite a shipment by air that you scheduled to ship by ocean. A single call should provide you access to local experts who speak your language and can provide a full portfolio of transportation services, so you are not left with a shipment going nowhere.
  3. What are their average transit times for LCL consolidations in specific lanes? Forwarders may offer direct consolidation to certain locations, at transit times that can approach the times for FCL. For example, a forwarder with a consolidation warehouse in Chicago, Illinois (United States) may be able to ship a container from Santos, Brazil, to Houston, Texas (United States), and immediately truck the container directly to Chicago with the permission of U.S. Customs.
  4. Can they easily accommodate unexpected routing changes of consolidated freight? If your business experiences frequent routing anomalies—for example, the need for late cutoffs for freight, unexpected demand, or a need to expedite—make sure the freight forwarder is flexible enough to accommodate such changes.
  5. Are they able to leverage volumes and negotiate better pricing? Forwarders with large volumes of freight can usually negotiate better pricing than individual shippers and typically have more leverage and experience to do so. The forwarder provides consistent business for the carrier and may leverage best practices to make it easier and more efficient for the carriers to do business—potentially driving down costs.
  6. Can they provide assurance that they are in compliance with rules and regulations? Trade rules, laws, and regulations can be complex and vary from country to country. They can also be changed at a moment's notice. Talk with potential freight forwarders about the processes they have in place to stay in compliance and how they communicate those changes internally and with you.
  7. Will the freight forwarder provide timely notice of price increases from steamship lines? Proactively communicating when general rate increases (GRIs) are proposed is critical for you to understand the influence on total landed costs and how your budget may be affected. This provides you time to adjust your transportation strategy if necessary.
  8. Is the forwarder willing to help you improve your supply chain efficiency and incorporate new ideas to better manage change, risk, spend, and complexity? The best forwarders will continually work with you to improve your supply chain and provide insights that could affect your overall costs and bottom line. Collaboration is the key to improvement, and the forwarder should strive to understand your specific business goals and needs. Good communication is critical to ensuring your success and if you are directed to a call center you may not be getting the personalized attention you deserve.

Does your supply chain have unique needs? Talk to a local expert
Need a shipment moved now? Start here