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    5 Qualities of a Freight Forwarder You'd need for your Business
    Updated On: 07 Mar 2023 | 676 Views

    5 Qualities of a Freight Forwarder You'd need for your Business

    Do you need a reliable freight forwarder to ship and deliver your freight from international supplier / manufacturer to Nigeria?  There are 5 Qualities to Consider when searching for a relaible Freight and Clearing Agent in Nigeria.

    Check Who is a Freight Forwarder: A freight forwarder or a freight agen is an individual or organization who handles the business of freight transportation from one region to another. A freight forwarder acts as an agent to help shipper / buyer arrange the movement of goods from supplier to buyer / shiper. 

    For many reasons that we will discuss in another blog, the barrier to entry into freight forwarding and customs clearing service in Nigeria is very loose. New and less-than-qualified individuals and enterprises enter the trade on a daily basis. Therefore, an importer who’s concerned about cost, safety and speed of their consignments should endeavor to make certain confirmations before committing to a potential forwarding and clearing agent. Even when you are already using a forwarder, just like with all vendors, it is good practice to have certain checklists and deliberately re-evaluate your freight forwarder based on established criteria.

    I have highlighted below some of the qualities you'd need –as an importer – before commencing or continuing with a freight forwarder and/or a Customs clearing agent.

    1. Good knowledge of the industry and your business

    This factor is certainly a no brainer. Like the dictum, Nemo dat quod non habet, what you don’t have, you certainly cannot give. A simple way to evaluate the depth of knowledge of a vendor is to ask them for details of procedures on what they intend to offer and specifics of their quotes. Experience on jobs they’ve done in the past, particularly for related/similar businesses as yours may be a key factor of competence. Should you feel a hunch to verify, please do.

    2. Tact and Doggedness

    How sensitive is the agent to pre-empt threats in the freighting process or clearing process, and proactively move to avoid them? How careful are they to avoid errors of omission or commission that may cost their clients (you) painful delays or loss of money? How diplomatic are they in ensuring smooth passage of your shipment both at port of origin and at destination? Are they willing and determined to always assist you solve your shipping challenges?

    3. Dynamism

    How adaptable are they when there are changes or difficulties in the process? Often than not, certain complexities occur in international logistics that require quick thinking out of the box to unravel. Your freight forwarder and/or clearing agent must have the competence to quickly step in to help you save cost, avoid delays and ensure safe delivery of your shipment.

    4. Organization and Structure

    Does the freight service provider have a traceable and well organized office(s)? How long have they been in business? What’s kind of public image do they have? Are they visible enough for people to be able to make certain references concerning them? How efficient is their office and service procedures? Are they open in communication or hide under some ambiguous excuses? Is there some level of governance in the structure of the organization?

    5. Partnerships and Alliances

    Strong and reliable partnerships make things easier in logistics. You may therefore want to verify a few things about the kind of local and international alliances that the freight forwarders have. Verifiable international partnerships are of essence in freight forwarding and logistics generally. This is important for knowledge sharing, global best practices, adaptability, and ability to serve the client from multiple locations.  Local networks, particularly among stakeholders within the value chain is equally important.


    Doing extensive due diligence on a freight forwarder and clearing agent either at the point of engaging them or renewing their contract is certainly an investment worth the while. Failure to conduct one may prove fatal.

    12, Joseph Odunlami Street, Off Thomas Salako Street, Ogba Bus Stop, Ikeja, Lagos