You might already know that a freight forwarder can assist you with moving goods, supplies, and inventory by offering you access to a number of different modes of transportation, including air, ocean, and road.
However, if you’re doing business on Guam, a freight forwarder is uniquely positioned to offer you some distinct business advantages. When you partner with a forwarder on your Guam freight needs, you may be able to secure better shipping rates and simplify your involvement in the day-to-day logistics of your business. In fact, a good forwarder might even be able to help you uncover new efficiencies to simplify your operations and improve your bottom line.
In this article, we’ll explore these advantages, which may make you see the value of partnering with a freight forwarder in an entirely new light.
#1: Access to Consolidations (and Better Rates!)
When you’re using ocean freight to move goods to and from Guam, there are times when you won’t need a full-container solution (FCL). In these cases, working with a freight forwarder can get you access to less-than-container load solutions (LCL), also known as consolidations.
To create consolidated loads, freight forwarders work with a number of different shippers to combine their freight into a full container load.
Consolidated shipments offer you two benefits:
- You won’t have to pay for a full container if you don’t need one, creating immediate cost savings.
- Additionally, depending on what you’re shipping, your freight forwarder may be able to offer you an even lower rate. Forwarders are always looking for ways to balance their container loads. They might be looking for one final piece to finish off a consolidation—and your freight might fit the bill. If that’s the case, you’ll likely get one of the most competitive rates available.
Furthermore, a good freight forwarder will be able to spot additional ways to save you money on your shipments. For example, there are some cases in which air freight—especially deferred service—might make more sense than ocean freight. A forwarder can spot these alternatives and price them out for you easily.
The bottom line? Working with a freight forwarder gives you access to a wide range of shipping options, as well as their expertise, both of which may help you uncover new savings.
#2: Greater Ease of Doing Business
When it comes to moving freight to and from Guam, there are a lot of elements to coordinate. Whether you’re talking ocean or air freight, every piece of cargo has to pass through several modes of transportation to get to its final destination.
You could either coordinate all of those pieces yourself, or you could rely on a freight forwarder to deliver an all-in-one solution. Consider how much time and trouble it would save you to have your forwarder manage all of the pieces from origin to final delivery.
For example, if you were moving a shipment from Guam to the continental 48, you’d have to arrange for:
- Truck delivery to the air cargo terminal or the port on Guam.
- Carriage on the airline or steamship line.
- Pickup at the destination terminal or port in the U.S.
- Final delivery to the ultimate destination, either by rail or truck or both.
Or you could have your freight forwarder arrange and coordinate all of these elements, tailored to your budget and timeline.
When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see how a freight forwarder could add some serious simplicity to your operations.
And that’s not to mention the extra wrinkle that comes with many shipments to Guam: dealing with customs.
#3: Assistance with Customs Paperwork
If you’re new to the freight world, it might surprise you to discover that freight arriving on Guam is treated differently than freight leaving Guam.
- Freight arriving on Guam must clear the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency (CQA), which has established its own fees and restrictions.
- Freight leaving Guam that’s headed to the U.S. must clear U.S. customs at its first point of entry. Freight headed for international destinations will be subject to the fees and restrictions of the destination country’s customs office.
And, of course, all of these customs clearances come with their own paperwork and filing requirements.
That’s where a freight forwarder can help simplify things for you. They’ll help you prepare the right paperwork to reduce the chances that your shipment will be delayed by customs. They also can help you investigate the local customs regulations at your destination to help you avoid steep fines or penalties.
Finally, if your shipment does get targeted for inspection or delayed within customs, a forwarder can connect you with a local customs broker who can help expedite clearance.
In other words, with a freight forwarder in your corner, you’ll reduce the confusion around any customs procedures you need to complete, and you’ll position yourself for speedy customs clearance.
#4: Uncovering New Efficiencies and Better Business Processes
Finally, knowledgeable freight forwarders can add a tremendous amount of value when it comes to your logistics. Many of them work side-by-side with their customers to make sure their supply chains move smoothly, and they can do the same for you.
For example, a strong freight forwarder might be able to help you:
- Save on warehousing costs. Storage in Guam can be more expensive than storage solutions in the continental U.S. If you’re bringing in freight from the U.S. that you don’t need all at once, you might consider staging it in a warehouse in California. Your forwarder can help you secure that storage, then arrange to have items sent to Guam as you need them.
- Create efficiencies through volume. Let’s say you’re ordering from multiple suppliers in the same country, each of whom sends an individual shipment to you. Instead, consider asking your suppliers to ship everything to your forwarder’s warehouse. From there, your forwarder can condense all of your shipments into one ocean freight shipment, which could create some economies of scale.
A Valuable Business Partner for Guam Freight
Although we’ve named four ways in which a freight forwarder can benefit your business, this is just the start. If you need help with picking and packing, distribution and supply chain management, your forwarder may be able to offer you solutions in these areas, ones that simplify your role in day-to-day operations and create new efficiencies that save you money.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a sit-down with your forwarder, it might be time to schedule one to see what capabilities you’re not yet taking advantage of. And if you’ve never worked with a freight forwarder, most will offer a free consultation so they can put together a proposal to show you exactly how they can offer insight and assistance.
If you’d like to explore working with a freight forwarder for Guam freight, we’d love to talk with you. As part of the DeWitt network of sister companies, we’re able to offer full-service, door-to-door freight solutions that get your shipments exactly where they need to go, even internationally. Just reach out to schedule a complimentary consultation.