As most transportation of cargo and goods, whether in international waters or air space, involves multiple transit destinations and ports, logistics can be a complicated industry. Hence, it is always necessary to have a freight forwarder that can help in carrying out logistic operations.
A freight forwarder is an essential service provider, mostly for companies that are importing and exporting their cargo. This agent or company specializes in logistics and organizing shipments in place to transport goods.
However, the rise of competition amongst freight forwarding companies also gave emergence to fraudulent individuals who would take advantage of the situation. Freight forwarding has both good and bad sides, just like any other industry.
Any business owners looking to ship their products abroad definitely need to hire freight forwarders. Their skills and expertise in logistics are proven to be extremely useful in making all of the requirements involved with transporting goods from one place to another much more bearable.
While most people would like to see the best in others, the combination of blind trust, the lack of knowledge, and inattention can make it quite easy to be a target of fraud. Most of the time, freight forwarders may not be associated with the crime or fraud. They might even be co-victims as well.
As a client, it’s highly vital for you to be aware of the tactics of deceptions used by scammers in the shipping industry. This will help you become attentive and rightfully suspicious when you find unscrupulous elements in the market with fake websites and news pretending to be able to handle your shipments.
Be alert and knowledgeable to avoid being a victim of freight forwarding scams. Learn more about the various frauds surrounding the shipping and freight forwarding industry and how to avoid them in this infographic by Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp.
Scam #1: Holding your good’s Bill of Lading (BOL) for ransom
This kind of scam usually happens online. The scammer will pose as a freight forwarder on some popular shopping sites. They can be fairly easy to identify because they offer their “services” on a ridiculously low rate.
Once they found an unwitting client, negotiations will take place, and once the goods are packed from the port of loading, the scammers will deny the release of an important legal document called the Bill of Lading or BOL. This document serves as the proof of contract of carriage and receipt of the client’s goods.
And without the BOL the port of destination will not allow anyone to claim their shipment. The client will then receive an email demanding for a specific amount of money, or hence, they will not receive their goods at all.
How to Avoid This Scam
Before contacting any freight forwarding company, be sure to know the normal cost of your shipment. Many new importers nowadays lack some diligence when it comes in the current costs of their shipment, and that’s why they easily get attracted by any low or discounted offers on the net. Be sure to look for a company that manages their own official website and try to find any client’s reviews and testimonies about them.
Scam #2: The Duplicate Name Scam
Another common example of freight forwarding scam is by making a fake site with a name similar from a legitimate company site. While it’s possible for companies to have identical names, some of these sites are designed to steal money from clients who don’t know how to distinguish a legit site from the bogus ones.
How to Avoid This Scam
You must know how to identify a legitimate site properly. First is by looking at the site’s URL. If you know the exact spelling of the company’s name, head over to the URL and see if there are any misspelled letters around. Also, pay attention to the site’s domain name. If the URL has a free hosting website on it like .wix, .homestead, or .hubspot, there is a very good chance that the site is fake.
Scam #3: Cargo Theft
Scammers doing this act of theft tend to target clients with high-valued cargos. Same with the BOL scam, they will pretend as freight forwarders offering you with suspicious discounted rates and then seemingly vanish into the thin air once they got hold of your shipment.
How to Avoid This Scam
Vigilance will always be the key. Aside from knowing whether their company website is real, you must also be curious about how they do their work as well as their terms and conditions. Ask them everything that you wanted to know and be sure that you have their respective contact numbers, including their shipping and billing address.
Finding a reliable freight forwarding company for your shipping needs is a big step towards success. You just have to practice vigilance at all times to ensure that you will not be a victim to certain scams that can cost you a lot of money before you can even start your business.
For instance, let’s say you want to ship your car but aren’t quite sure how to do it without running into these common scams. You can safely transport vehicles with transport vehicles with A-1 Auto Transport while they take all the risk and avoid these common shipping scams so you don’t have to worry. If you’re unsure about how to guard yourself from these common scams, rely on reputable companies to take care of the finer details for you.