Are Freight Membership Costs Worth the Benefits?

Freight forwarders have complicated jobs. They have to organize shipments and ensure their safety at every point of the delivery process. They also have to oversee all the documentation of their shipments. There are several other value-added services that freight forwarders perform.

Performing these tasks becomes easier when you are part of an international network or membership group full of fellow professionals. That’s why freight alliances are so popular. Freight alliances are groups of freight forwarders who join forces to create a cooperative work environment. All members of these strategic alliances cooperate on a global level.

Why Do Freight Forwarders Need Alliances?

The costs of running a freight forwarding operation are extensive. There are many additional expenses that freight forwarders may have to undertake. Some of them include –

  • The cargo’s chargeable weight. Lighter goods that take up more vessel space are surprisingly more expensive to ship than dense, small packages.
  • Freight forwarders have to oversee packing and palletization fees. Container costs. The costs of both 20-foot and 40-foot equivalent (TEU and FEUs) containers are increasing.
  • Carrier costs while moving cargo to its destination port are also increasing due to global economic pressures.
  • Freight forwarders have to oversee over one hundred documents for each project. Shipment and documentation fees can overload an individual freight forwarder’s budget.
  • Insurance. Although all carriers provide liability insurance, freight forwarders have to pay additional coverage to secure their cargo.

After simplifying the complex process of sending shipments to their destinations, freight forwarders take a much-deserved fee. These fees are in return for organizing, coordinating, and managing the overall shipping process. Now, does it make sense to pay some of that fee to an alliance or a membership group? Let’s explore.

Understanding Freight Memberships

Freight memberships are networks of freight forwarders. By being part of these networks, freight forwarders receive perks like –

  • Access to industry information
  • Access to the latest shipment management tools
  • Ability to network with fellow freight forwarders
  • Ability to create contacts in foreign countries via the membership

Is freight membership cost worth these benefits? Yes. Modern-day freight forwarding operations are obstructed by countless global events ranging from natural causes to political ones. The best freight forwarding alliances or membership groups constantly keep track of these global industry movements.

This information allows each member of the freight alliance to de-risk his or her own operations. They get access to networks of freight forwarders with coverage in multiple countries (over 100 in the best freight alliances). More importantly, existing members get access to premium-quality tech support.

Each member of the freight alliance gets to use highly advanced digital platforms. Now, if you’re a solo freight forwarder, using the best ERP software or shipment tracking tools is not feasible. You can’t afford these advanced tools. But, if you’re a member of an extensive freight alliance, you can access these tools for very little fee.

By applying such a strategic approach to freight forwarding operations, freight forwarders can cut costs. They can also use the alliance’s digital tools to make their operations more transparent, efficient, and risk-free. That’s why freight alliance or membership fees are worth it.