A Forwarder’s Agent

When an import shipper pairs with a freight forwarder, they are not only partnering with the forwarder, they are partnering with all the other relationships that come with that forwarder. This can either be a great thing or really awful to have to deal with as a customer. Not only do you not get to interview them as you would your new forwarder, but you do not have any control if your forwarder decides to switch to another agent or start a new relationship with a new company that you have never heard of. That being said, it is certainly easier to deal with your one or two account representatives than to have to get to know other companies and their representatives all around the world. So then what happens if your own agents or shippers do not work well with the agents associated with your freight forwarder? It is not easy to deal with agents who do not get along well. In fact it can be real hassle and not worth it even if it means letting go of low freight rates. Fortunately, these disagreements usually pass over time, but in the mean time it is important that everything stays professional and that you do not personally get involved with problem abroad unless it directly affects shipping and receiving the goods. In most cases, everything will resolve within a few shipments. And if it does not resolve, it is up to the service providers to make it work. It is not the responsibility of the customer to handle such issues. A quality freight forwarder will address any discord to make sure the flow of goods is not disrupted. Thankfully this type of issue is not the norm. Usually any freight forwarder that would mesh well with your company will also have good agents abroad that will fit in well with your own contacts there.