Whoever makesRequest for Proposal (RFP) needs to focus on finding a collaborative freight forwarder who can help expand their business.
To do this, it is essential to understand how to perform the RFP to compare the best rates and services they have to offer.
If you're using RFPs to find the right freight forwarder for your business, keep the following tips in mind to execute a process that helps ensure you get the best service from your partner, which is often not just for the lowest cost.
1. Prioritize Transparency.
Some agents may provide you with a number that looks good on paper, only for you to find out later that several additional fees are not included or that they only apply to one type of service.
Provide agents with a comprehensive rate sheet so you know in advance what rates are, and are not, included in the basic freight rate.
Also, ask how conditional market rates, such as fuel surcharge or bunker adjustment, will affect the rates. That way, you won't be surprised at them later.
Also find out what fees are specific to certain trade routes, or if any shipment volume or size specifications apply to them.
Then, after selecting the fees, make sure they are binding, so you can compare the fees listed on an invoice with the fees listed on the RFP.
But be aware that price does not always come with a commitment of space; always ask for transparent KPIs and specific mutual commitments.
Tip: Ask what would happen if you sent more or less than your weekly allocations and how much free time is included.
2. Ask about your differentiating products.
When you are specifying the fees, it is also time to ask what the price of the type of service or the space that is included will be. But you can also ask about your differentiated products and services.
Check how much visibility you will have in your shipments or if API integrations can be useful. Consider how data and analysis capabilities may be required or whether the platform can accommodate multiple user logins.
3. Question customer satisfaction.
In addition to reasonable rates and beneficial services, look for agents who have reliable and flexible customer service.
Your agents must be prepared to deal with market interruptions or new environmental regulations, establishing constant communication and offering alternative solutions in an agile manner.
Stay tuned for the following points:
Finding a collaborative workforce that can help expand your business is critical.