How networks of international freight forwarders select members

Freight forwarding agents play a very important role in commerce as well as international trading as they assist the progress of transportation services. The main function of carriers is to get the goods from the manufacturer to a market and many argue that forwarding agents are somewhat experts in the logistics network. However, freight forwarders need the help of reliable partners around the globe in order to sustain their business. Virtually anyone can apply to become a member of a network of international freight forwarders, but the truth is that very few persons are accepted. What applicants expect is a tough selection process. The vast majority of cargo alliances have systematised the process and what is sure is that only agents of the highest calibre will be selected. In what follows, we will present how well-established networks select applicants.

Listing requirements for the forwarding network

The main goal of freight forwarding alliances is to facilitate the lives of its members. To be more precise, they offer carriers the opportunity to join their forces and implicitly cooperate. The result is that they become stronger, so strong in fact that they are able to stand against multination transport companies. Being a freight forwarder is not synonym with clearing agent and any person who wants to connect with a network of international agents needs to have expert of the local market. Another important requirement is related to the activity of the company. If the firm does not have a large number of clients, then it is not eligible. Equally important is the willingness of the carrier to cooperate. Combined effort is at the basis of any alliance and, consequently, the ability to communicate is a must. 

In-depth logistics interview

Applicants are interviewed in the same manner that job seekers are. Contrary to popular opinion, interviewing candidates is still necessary. The interview provides networks the opportunity to closely evaluate the candidate and, of course, determine if they can make a positive contribution. The interview can take place face-to-face or via telephone or e-mail correspondence. Candidates can be asked all kinds of questions, some more complicated than others. The inquiries can pertain to transportation, stockroom management, areas of distribution and so on and so forth. The greatest advantage offered by the interview is that real conclusions can be drawn as the subject of the interview cannot prepare his answers.

Performing an external audit  

Unquestionably, alliances cannot afford to accept just about anyone. The wrong choice can seriously influence the success of the network and this is the reason why the vast majority of them impose conditions for shipping agents who wish to become members. What happen is that many international freight forwarding networks perform external audits. This means that a qualified accountant is hired to find out if the accounting records are accurate. The reason why an external audit is necessary is that it can reveal whether the applicant who works independently complies with tax laws. Those carriers who are lucky to be accepted enjoy the first months free.