A wise man once said that a strong offence is the best form of defence. With that said, be prepared for any delays that may be caused by this month’s European Road Freight Bans by using Espace’s European Road Freight Ban Calendar. Stay tuned for more information relating to EU road bans.
Working within the freight forwarding industry can be tough at the best of times, so it’s only natural that as freight forwarder you want to make the process as quick and easy as possible for both you and your clients. In an industry where security and time management are an essential part of day to day work, it makes sense to have a series of guidelines to run alongside. Take a look at the list below for information and inspiration on how to function better as a freight forwarding business.
Documentation, Documentation, Documentation
So nice we say it thrice. Seriously though, keep hold of all documentation you can. Whether they come from the sender or receiver, it is essential to keep all documents on the service you are providing. Starting with the Consignor and ending with the Consignee will allow you to keep a chronological file, which if the need arises will support any possible problems that could arise at a later date.
The action of interaction
One of the biggest methods of promoting trust between you and your clients is interaction. Now I know reading that might make some people say “We are always interacting with our clients, what do you mean?” However within freight forwarding this is more than simply selling them a product and sending them on their way. In order to keep information correct and as up to date as possible you must always be tracking the cargo/shipment and keeping in contact with the driver. This provides comfort for your clients and allows you to be one step ahead should any problems arise and in turn can be the difference between a highly annoyed customer and a well-managed job.
It’s customary to go through customs
I cannot stress enough the need to understand clearly the regulations and legality of transporting goods from country to country. Unless you’re Pablo Escobar you’re probably not going to be shipping large hauls of illegal substances around the world and might think this does not apply to you but believe me it does. Not every country allows the same things to be imported or exported, take Australia with their delicate ecosystem for example, what might be normal at home might be devastating to others. This said it is always beneficial to check any changes to customs regulations. With the current migration situation it is also advised to keep up to date with any issues or delays that may arise. The union custom codes will change in May, stay tuned for more information closer to the date.
Keep your shipments in ship shape
No one likes receiving damaged post from the postman so why would a business be any different when receiving damaged cargo or shipments? This is something that can be easily prevented within ALL industries, be it freight forwarding or floral arrangement. Make sure you know what you’re shipping and make sure it is properly secured. If this is noticed at the beginning it is much easier to fix problems and if they can’t be fixed you can let the client know that you have investigated the matter.( Remember what we were saying about documentation? 😉 )
With any luck this will have given you an insight into correctly providing freight forwarding services to clients and I hope it will help you in the future.
Tony & The Espace Team
Yesterday we attended the BIFA awards in London where we were finalists in the Award for Staff Development. I recently saw these 2 quotes on social media and thought they would be appropriate for a post on Staff Development. Steve Jobs was spot on. Getting the best people you can for your business, developing them, paying them correctly, motivating and above all thanking and praising them for their efforts is a must if you want a team of A plusers.
In my opinion, Senior Managers / Team Leaders who do not invest any of their time in the development of their staff are not doing their job. People want to feel secure and that their role is important. Appreciation is right up there in the basic hierarchy of needs triangle, ignore it at your own peril. The knowledge, skills and competencies of your employees are the single-most significant driver of company value, especially for SME companies. Investment is absolutely required and employers should own the responsibility of providing more specialised business or sector-specific training and education.
We made a commitment a few years ago to develop our People as we recognised that they were our biggest asset. That’s why I imagine we came runner up in the Employer of the Year at the 2015 Global Freight Awards and have just missed out on the BIFA Award for Staff Development. Developing our staff has greatly benefited Espace and the unbeatable service we provide to our customers, but equally as impressive are the benefits it has provided our staff. Where some businesses may have a revolving door policy and staff that feel under appreciated, Espace is proud to say that it has a brilliant collection of long serving staff, who are happy working for us for years to come.
This isn’t just beneficial for our family here at Espace, but also for our customers. We find that when you have a team of positive thinking, highly valued and well trained individuals working together as a team that each person will strive for the greatest results achievable. This basic necessity of respecting everyone involved and helping them to become the best they can be is one of the reasons we attract staff to us as an employer of choice.
So why wouldn’t you develop your staff?
As a freight forwarding company we provide numerous freight services, each tailored to your specific needs. Check out the image below in order to find out a short summery of each of the services we provide.
Throughout this week we have been working in collaboration with a number of businesses to aid in the forwarding of 200 tonnes of turf for the Stade de France. Shipping like this is not uncommon but it does highlight the scale of some European road freight shipments that are made from England to France. The amount of turf being transported is pretty surreal and hard to visually imagine, so we’ve compiled a short infographic to try and show it’s equivalent using various subjects.