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To: From: Date: RE:

Francois Damba Aung Kyaw Moe 29 May 2013


We have some difficulties in the area of importation into Betaland and I need to assist the Regional Logistics Office in selecting a freight forwarder in Betaland in order to facilitate our importation and clearing process. This selected agent should be also utilized for organising any outbound shipments that might be necessary from time to time. In this regard, I would like to propose some criteria for the selection of a competent Freight Forwarder and how we should go about identifying and selecting one Requirements of a Competent Freight Forwarder It is an undeniable fact that a Freight Forwarding Company must have able and sufficient Human Resources which is well-trained and competent about the business of forwarding services. Its staff must have wide varieties of experiences related to the freight forwarding services and keep honest professionalism. Every country including Betaland must have a certain set of procedures and regulations related with importation and freight forwarding services. The staff from the selected freight forwarding company must accustom with all these formalities and governmental procedures. Sometimes Governments prescribe a kind of licence or certification that permit the business of freight forwarding and a Freight Forwarder must have staff that get the licences and permits to run the business of importation and customs clearing. These staff should keep themselves updated about the changing rules and regulations concerning with the business of Freight Forwarding. Another important thing is that a good Freight Forwarder should locate itself in local and international networks of freight forwarding services since there are nexus of multi-national networks and connections. It should have a certain market share in transportation and freight forwarding business and maintain good reputations from the customers, mostly from UN/INGO organizations.

As a rule, UN and INGO get the Tax/Duty Exempted status as humanitarian organizations, a good Freight Forwarder that could work for a humanitarian organization should have information about how to proceed to get Tax Exemption Certificates from the Governmental authorities. Since freight forwarding involved multi-modal transportation, a good Freight Forwarder must have offers for various options of transportation and forwarding and this means that it must have good connectivity and linkages with the local and international transporters and shippers. That capability makes us to avoid managing contracts with different companies for different services, for example, road, and sea and air freight. A good Freight Forwarder must have its own warehousing facility since we need enough space of storage for our supplies in transit condition. Not only having a good warehouse, it must have a good and professional warehouse operation system and able staff to handle the transaction of the transit warehouse. Freight forwarding involved sending cargo from origin/source country to destination country, and a good Freight Forwarder should have transportation and customs clearing facilities in both sides. As far as governmental procedures are concerned, it must have good knowledge and information about the rules and regulations on both sides, and competent in dealing with international marine time laws and business laws. Criteria for Selecting a Freight Forwarder Based on the above requirements we can start to identify an able Freight Forwarder and in this regard, we need some hand-on criteria to measure their capability and advantages as follows: 1. Location The location of the office a Freight Forwarder is important since a forwarder is going to be involved in international movements by sea, they should have an office close to both the ports of origin and of entry. 2. Staffing and Labour Management Since forwarding services involved with licences permitted by the government authorities, a good Freight Forwarder must have staff who are well-experience and well-versed in processing procedures in government offices concerned and they must have official licences to do so. It staff have to be trained, competent, experienced and trustworthy. And they must have capacity to many labour forces whenever necessary for cargo handling 3. Proven Track Records We have to check that a Freight Forwarder is not just a new comer who has no substantial experiences in freight forwarding and Have a proven record of reliability, accuracy, and timeliness, as verified by references from other groups that have used their services. A freight forwarder should be chosen who has a proven record of reliability, accuracy, and timeliness. A good Freight Forwarder should have been in business for a number of years and have an

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established reputation. In this case, we should check by obtaining references from other organisations that have used their services. It is an advantage if a Freight Forwarder has experience with a Humanitarian organization and its nature of operation. 4. Technical Capability It is better if a Freight Forwarder is well- equipped and well-informed about the state-of-the-art technologies in it and Telecommunication, quality assurance and inspection, computerized track and trace systems linked up with internet, and verifying goods arriving in the port: discharge, storage and loading operations, checking weights and inspecting shipping packages for visible damage. 5. Variety of Services Available and reasonable Tariff/prices Another criteria to measure a Freight Forwarder is whether it can offer a wide variety of services, so that we do not need to contract with many different companies for different services (e.g. sea and air freight, re-packaging of damaged materials, etc.) It must be capable of managing multimodal transportation and forwarding. It could offer us a reasonable price tariff that is both competitive and professional. 6. Equipment and Infrastructure A good Freight Forwarder should own or have access to a bonded warehouse to protect and control shipments in transit and it is better to have a trucking fleet for inland transport and have access to specialised vehicles when needed such as container trucks, low-bed trailers, tankers, etc. 7. Flexibility A good Freight Forwarder must be flexible in their availability on short notice, also outside of office hours and on public Holidays. 8. Networking A capable Freight Forwarder must have influence in the transport market, with port authorities, etc. and have not only a country-wide, but preferably a multi-country regional network of transportation and freight forwarding. 9. Financial Stability Finance is the very life-blood of a business company and a reliable Freight Forwarder must have strong financial standing to cover all its operations. 10. Compliance with Humanitarian Values A good Freight Forwarder must understand and comply with the humanitarian values and should not involve with any anti-humanitarian/illegal operations of freight forwarding.

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We must visit each and every interested Freight Forwarders and interviewing/assessing their capabilities against these criteria and we can identify the most appropriate Freight Forwarder for our service.

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