5 Tips for Getting the Most out of your Freight Forwarder

Philfast Global Forwarding Moves Freight through the Philippines and Beyond Smoothly and Quickly

From College Term Paper to Multi-National Business Giant:  FedEx Changed the Face of Logistics.


FEDEXDelivering the world in Southeast Asia

In the Philippines, there is a freight forwarder that understands what it takes to provide superior customer service, timeliness and A commitment to quality.  Philfast Global Forwarding is focused on their position in the market, has a strong presence in important trade lanes, exhibits flexibility in providing solutions, shows a deep level of industry knowledge and expertise, and places particular emphasis on the innovative use of resources and technology.  

Federal Express, the Company that Changed Logistics Forever

It was the mid 1960’s, and an undergraduate at Yale University named Frederick W. Smith wrote a paper for an economics class that described a firm which could deliver medicine, electronics, and other high priority goods overnight.  The paper didn’t impress his professors, and Smith soon found himself in the United States military.  


A few years later Smith, the son of a successful businessman, was looking for an investment, and eventually bought a controlling interest in a small aviation sales company.  Many of the shipments he needed were time sensitive, and the frustration he felt at not being able to get packages delivered within 48 hours reminded him of his undergraduate paper.  


This time, however, Smith was in a position to do something about it.  He decided to put his ideas into practice, and founded the package delivery company that eventually became FedEx.  Since then, FedEx has grown into one of the largest companies in the world and has diversified into many logistics related businesses.  It is hard to underestimate the importance of FedEx as a first mover and innovator in the logistics business.  It has set the example for quality in the logistics and delivery business, and many of the lessons learned during the early days of FedEx are applied by companies all over the planet.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management and logistics is a critical component of global trade and represents both risk and opportunity for exporters, importers and domestic companies alike.  In fact, in some areas of the world, transportation and logistics represent more than 50% of the value of finished goods; in some parts of Latin America, it represents nearly 80% of the value of some foodstuffs.

Trade represents well over half of global GDP today, while it represented only about a fourth of global GDP just three decades ago.  The impact of logistics on that growth has been enormous, by lowering transportation costs through more efficient provision of cross border services, more efficient modes of transport, better communications, more efficient analysis of big data, and many other advances.  These changes have been so rapid and complex that it is common for companies to outsource logistics and supply chain management to specialists.  

According to the Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chain Systems, “improving the efficiency of logistics and the operation of supply chains and production networks has the potential to contribute significantly” to an increase in economic growth and job creation.  And  according to the world Economic Forum, “If all countries were to improve their logistics performance and reduce supply chain barriers to just half the level observed in the best-performing country in their respective regions, global GDP could increase by 2.6%” and such improvement is “many times more effective for trade facilitation than the abolition of all remaining import tariffs would be.”  One alarming statistic:  up to 50% of food in the developing world never makes it to the end consumer.  This problem is primarily caused by a lack of adequate infrastructure and/or logistics.

Freight Forwarders are Experts in a Complex Business

As our world becomes more connected, exporting has become an increasingly important source of growth even for small companies.  Opportunities exist today for export that were simply unavailable a short time ago, and for many firms taking advantage of foreign markets is crucial if they want to survive.  Freight forwarding is a specialized subgroup of supply chain management and the logistics of exporting.


Exporting is not a straightforward task.  In addition to adjusting product offerings to suit a new market that may be quite different than the domestic one, there is the problem of making sure that product arrives safely, is warehoused securely and is distributed efficiently.  Not only that, but every country has its own peculiar regulations and requirements for different products.  Maybe they don’t speak the same language.  Exporters rely upon freight forwarders to make sure that their goods are moved securely, efficiently and properly in foreign countries.


Freight forwarders do not just move goods.  They also provide tracking from factory to retailer, arrange ground, air and water transportation, prepare manifests and other documents, negotiate freight rates, arrange for insurance, and handle claims.  The forwarder will have an agent in the country of destination who knows the rules and knows who to call in order to ensure the smooth and legal movement of the exporter’s goods.

Freight forwarders are experts in intermodal movement of goods, and have relationships that an importer or exporter normally doesn’t have.  For instance, goods can be consolidated with other shipments, allowing a small shipper to leverage favorable rates normally available only to big players.  A good freight forwarder knows who to call to get this work done.  This helps level the competitive field for smaller companies.

A good forwarder will have access to the latest technology.  This is critically important for tracking, communications and chain of custody.  In todaýs business environment, it is state of the art for imaging technology to be fully integrated into the forwarding process, so that information in the form of pictures is quickly available.

Making the Relationship Work

It is important that an exporter have a good working relationship with its freight forwarder, and there are some key elements that make that relationship work better.  

  1. It starts with having a well written, clear agreement in order to avoid surprises.  The exporter should not be afraid to ask specific and pointed questions about the process and the level of service provided, until he is satisfied that he understands it thoroughly.  A professional forwarder will welcome these questions and be happy to explain what he does in detail.  A good working relationship means that each party should have a specific point of contact in the other organization who understands the relationship thoroughly and provides a level of accountability.

  1. Another important factor is timeliness and availability.  Freight forwarders work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and must be available at all hours of the day and night to resolve problems and answer questions.

  1. Speaking of communication, customers should never be shy about raising issues about which they have doubts or concerns.  Freight forwarders cannot resolve problems when they are unaware of them, and frank, open communication allows the forwarder to serve you better.  Determine whether the telephone, email, or some other form of communication is easiest or more appropriate and take advantage of it.  Many customers find it convenient to do periodic performance reviews, just as they do for their staff, in order to identify weak points in the relationship and allow the forwarder to provide better service as the result of feedback.

  1. Finally, you’ll want the services from your freight forwarder to be a complete as possible, ideally, just one company which handles everything from shipping to delivery to the retailer. The less complicated any system is, the less likely it is to fail.

  1. Think of your freight forwarder as a member of your team and treat him accordingly.  Your interests are aligned, and conceptualizing your freight forwarder as a business partner will help you work together to improve your bottom line. And don´t be afraid to describe how the forwarder can make your life easier.  We all know that it is easier to retain than to find clients, and your freight forwarder wants to keep you happy.  

Trading Opportunities in the Philippines



The fastest growing markets in the world are emerging markets, and these are heavily concentrated in Asia.  Both the production side and the consumption side of retail goods and services are increasing in this part of the world, and businesses interested in fast growth are looking to Asia as a great opportunity.

The Philippines is an Asian country with enormous potential.  It has a young, upwardly mobile population, an expanding economy, and is the 12th most populous country in the world, with over 100 million people.  The presence of an increased number of assembly plants in the Philippines and in nearby countries such as Thailand and Vietnam means that the Philippines will become increasingly important in regional and global trade.  

Philfast Global Forwarding, Inc. operates out of three conveniently located offices, and provides a full suite of services for any company which needs to move goods throughout the Philippines.  With modern management systems, cutting edge technology, and a relentless commitment to quality, Philfast Global provides the values that matter to its clients: quality, efficiency, safety and professionalism.  Services include freight brokerage, end to end tracking, warehousing, and transportation.  As an island nation, competence in intermodal transportation is an absolute necessity in the Philippines, and Philfast Global’s team of experts deliver safely, on time, and cost efficiently.  

Philfast doesn’t deliver just goods, but it also delivers peace of mind.  Customers no longer have to be concerned about whether their perishable, hazardous, time sensitive, or high value cargo will arrive where and when it should and in good condition.  For complex movements, Philfast does the difficult and time consuming research to find the best shipping rates and transport modes.  Proper characterization of goods, compliance with transportation, import and export rules, protection by proper packing against natural disasters or accidents, and dealing with a sometime dense bureaucracy are everyday practices at Philfast.  Goods are tracked using state of the art satellite and internet technology, with data collection that allows analysis of shipping costs and efficiencies in real time.  Not only that, but in the unlikely event of a loss, Philfast makes sure that proper insurance coverage is in place and that chain of custody is clear so that the claims process is as efficient and complete as it can be.  Philfast Global Forwarding is rapidly becoming a symbol of quality, efficiency and superior customer service in the Philippines.


Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, Philfast Global Forwarding has been selected  to receive the BID International Star Award for Quality for 2015 at the convention in Geneva.

About BID and the International Star Award for Quality:


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management.  A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries.


The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level.


Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated.  The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.