The primary objective of a good Cargo Agent who knows his or her duties is to ensure the effective transportation and shipment of Cargo or Goods to the proper destination and the right Clients.
The Cargo Agent is the bridge between the buyer and the sellers of an Organisation that involves the shipping of products or goods. Every Customs broker company has the main responsibility of ensuring effective communication between the elements of trade(buyers and sellers) and has the utmost duty of updating clients on the current location of their Freight.
For this to be attained, a certain level of good communication skills needs to be met.
The Cargo Agent, who can also be referred to as a Freight Forwarder or Freight broker has to know the rules and regulations of the Importation, documentation, and Taxation of cargo shipping in a given country and is in charge of the end-to-end process of Cargo shipment within or Outside of the country.
With these values in mind, it is always necessary to keep a close eye out before choosing a Cargo Agent to be in charge of shipping particular goods, this is because choosing a Cargo Agent with renowned qualities and a high level of professionalism ensures effective and effective shipment of freight with minimum or no problem during his or her work process.
Keep in mind that a Cargo Agent has the role of providing documentation and bills for cargo shipment when the need arises, Advising and Informing necessary destination Charges, paying taxes and duties on behalf of the cargo owner, and proper documentation of the current and final destination of cargo shipment.
Therefore, the duties and roles of a Cargo agent or Freight Forwarder cannot be overemphasized as their work makes transportation shipment within or outside a country easier and more cost-effective but in case you don’t want to work with or have a Cargo agent, you would have to perform his or her duties which may include
Finding and Filling out the necessary documents for exportation of shipment and dealing with local custom duties and authorities and lastly ensuring the freight is being delivered at the appropriate destination.
Before making the hasty decision of choosing a Cargo Agent, there are certain qualities and 7 peculiar characteristics that he or she needs to possess and that you need to look out for.
These 7 characteristics are;
1. A GREAT DEAL OF PROFESSIONALISM.
Due to the fact that a Cargo Agent or Freight Forwarder works with several transport and shipping companies, he or she should possess a great deal of professional attitude when dealing with both companies and clients and address them as professionally as possible.
In this manner, it is always of utmost importance that the cargo agent impacts an image that shows pure professionalism, this ensures that the company’s image is maintained and the clients can have a calm mind knowing that their cargo is in capable hands.
The freight forwarder should always keep and project a professional image in his or her workplace, the company he or she is working for or the client they are dealing with, for an agent to excel at a workplace, a professional attitude should be maintained and upheld at all times.
2. IMPECCABLE OFFICE AND COMPUTER SKILLS.
A Cargo Agent might stay long hours in his or her office with their computer working due to the nature of their job. So, it is very important that he or she possesses impeccable office and computer skills.
They should be able to provide accurate documentation for cargo shipment and have great informative skills to be able to provide updates to their clients on the progress and location of their cargo shipment.
The Cargo Agent should be able to arrange Cost-effective transportation means and appropriate shipment arrival according to the client’s destination.
3. GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY.
Air freight services or Ocean freight services usually works hand in hand with a lot of professionals in the transportation and trucking industry. He or she should therefore know the safety guidelines, rules and regulations, how the atmosphere and environment works and how work is done in the industry.
He or she should also be up to date with the current transportation cost such as fuel prices and should always be able to make appropriate decisions and choose the most cost-effective way for freight shipment.
With a good knowledge of how the trucking industry works, a cargo agent should be able to choose the best shipping companies to ship the cargo to his or her client whilst maintaining a good communication and updates of how, when and where the cargo of his clients are being delivered.
4. WILLINGNESS TO DELIVER CLIENT SATISFACTION.
One of the good qualities of a Cargo Agent is the eagerness to always deliver client satisfaction. Without this attribute, he or she would not make for a good agent.
A Cargo Agent should always have in mind that without good patronizing clients, there would not be able to have a means of living, so on this note, a Cargo Agent should always endeavor to satisfy his or her clients and this can be done by:
•Answering and addressing any questions the clients might have.
•Having a strong online presence by always being available when the need arises.
•Always updating the client, on the current location of their cargo and also lastly by dealing with them as professionally as possible.
By doing this, you are sure to keep your clients happy and in addition, develop long-lasting relationships with your respectful clients.
5. HIGH LEVEL OF HONESTY.
A Cargo Agent or Freight broker should always possess a great degree of honesty. Honestly leads to the trust of clients and continuous relationship with them.
A Freight broker who works with reputable companies should always endeavor to work with honest employers and employees and should treat any form of dishonesty, fraud or theft as quickly as possible to avoid harming the image of his or her organization.
He or she should always stay clear of any form of bribery and corruption that would lead to distrust and loss of clients which would inevitably stain the image of his or her company.
6. BRILLIANT COMMUNICATION AND PEOPLE SKILLS.
A Cargo Agent should always possess good communication skills. This is because it really goes a long way to maintaining a good relationship. The Cargo agent should always go the extra mile to satisfy and keep them happy. Doing this will ensure the development of long-term partnerships.
7. GOOD PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS.
This is another attribute that needs to be possessed by a Cargo Agent. He or she should be able to think of solutions to problems when it arises. Problem-solving is a mandatory skill that needs to be attained as a professional.
He or she should always be able to retrace steps, recheck documents, and last locations of cargo when the issue of missing shipment surfaces and he or she should be able to solve the problem with the aid of their other professional and office skills.