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How to find a reliable shipping agent

With the growth of import and export trade volume in recent years,the shipping agent market is also prosperous,however,how to find a reliable and professional shipping agent is very important for a company.
After we get general concept for shipping agent,we know that shipping agent provide service for export and import companies,in the market,there are many shipping agent companies,so how to find a reliable one?
Four points when choose agent:
1. License
We can judge the company capability through its business license. Registered address and capital are two kernel information in the license.Through the registered address,we can know the rent and type of office building,generally speaking,the capital larger,the company better, although it is not the only factor,it can show the company ability to some extent.From my point of view,the minimum registered capital shall be one million CNY.Totallly speaking,the business license can reflect the economical capability.
2. Capability and experience
Before we choose an agent,we can send several enquiries to them,take the import as an example:
We can inquiry them on different discharge ports and import customs clearance service.The agent who has a lot of experience has the customs clearance capability in all Chinese main port.
The more business and service scope they engage,the stronger the company is.
3.Right product,right agent
Generally speaking,the goods can be classified as normal goods and sensitive products.
Normal goods is defined as:during the import and export progress,customs has no special supervision condition for the goods,it is easy at customs clearance;Sensitive goods is defined as: during the import and export progress,customs has special supervision condition for the goods,it is more complicated at customs clearance.
If your goods belongs to normal goods,any agent in the market can operate business for you,however,if your goods belongs to sensitive goods,you must find the professional agent.For example:Company A plans to import paint coating,which belongs to dangerous goods,the operation progress is more complicated than normal goods,so the common agent can’t be competent with the task,Company A shall find an agent who is specializes in customs clearance for dangerous chemical products.
4. On site visit
The best way to know an agent is on site visit.During the visit to the agent company,we need to pay attention to:Working environment, employee number,working atomosphere.Since shipping agent is a light asset enterprise,some smaller companies only have 3-5 employees,The smallest one I met is a company with two persons only,the office is about 10CBM,although the company is very small,but the resource and capability is ok,because they comes from other shipping agent,and they have abundant experience;but if your goods is high value,such company is not your option.In shipping agent field,a company with employee about 10-15 or above can be defined as a middle size company,clause 2 shall be considered when evaluate such scale company.When visiting the shipping agent company,we must pay attention to the atmosphere,an excellent shipping agent company is running all the time,which means voice of keyboard and phone is non-stop.
The above four points is to ensure the customs clearance ability of shipping agent and its safety.
Menawhile,when inquiry for freight,we can’t only focus on cheap price,the win-win between foreign trade and shipping agent is the desirable solution,which will make the import and export keep prosperous.