When your business needs a barge charter to deliver something from one place to another across the ocean, you’re looking for the best company that will provide this. It’s not easy finding the right one. You need to do a lot of research.
There are more barge companies out there. Especially on the west coast, where lots of things happen, you can find many companies providing such service. Not all of them are right for you though. To know who is and who isn’t you need to know what to look for.
In this article, we’re going over the details about this issue. We will explain what a great barge is, what you need to look for in the company supporting your business efforts, and how to know you’re hiring the best. Follow up if you want to know more about these things.
1. Look for local offices
Although ships travel across the globe for thousands and thousands of miles, you should still look for the main office that will be located near you. Transporting goods across the continent is a serious job and you need to prepare the documents thoroughly.
For this, you need someone who’s going to be located closely, and someone that you’ll be able to call and see on short notice. Businessmen are busy people and they don’t have time to drive from LA to San Diego every day to meet with their partners for every small issue.
For example, let’s say you’re located in Long Beach. A beautiful city with lots of opportunities. Some highly successful businesses operate here. Looking for a Long Beach barge charter means you can find one easily in the city, and you don’t have to travel for miles for signing the documents.
Always look for a nearby place. If you can’t find one, only then go elsewhere and look for something else. However, you can find a close one, make sure you choose that. Unless something else is stopping you.
2. Make sure they are equipped with what you need
Different companies transport different stuff. Sometimes some businesses transport meat and other sensitive foods. They need a deep freezer. Make sure the company you’re about to hire has barges with freezers on them.
Other times the material is fragile or complex to be transported. Make sure that the client will offer the right services and equipment to protect your investment. If they can’t provide something like this, it means that you need to look for some other place.
3. Read about them online
The best thing to do when you’re researching is to run the names of those nearby and see what comes up. For example, if they had three sunken ships in the last 5 years, it means that they are not reliable and no matter how the price is for working with them, it’s simply not worth it.
Instead, you need to find trusted peers. Companies that managed to build a strong reputation of keeping their clients happy. Look their names up on review pages, social networks, and don’t forget to look up their websites where some valuable information can be found.
Previous clients’ testimonies, images of their fleet, explanation about what they are doing, a page with satisfied clients and companies they worked for in the past. If you happen to find some well-known names in your industry and others, it means you’ve come to the right place.
Blogs and forums are also a great place to read some more info on them. Tremendous information can be found on the internet, you just need to look. You can even find out how their employees are being treated. Poorly treated employees mean bad service for you as an end customer, and this is not something you want.
4. Check out their experience and portfolio
Their experience is something that’s highly valuable and you must opt for a company that has been around for a long time. It’s clear that you don’t build a barge company overnight, but more years in the business means a stronger guarantee that everything will sail smoothly. Literally, sail smoothly.
On their website, you should find previous projects. These projects should tell you if it’s worth hiring someone or not. If the company didn’t have any significant clients in the past, you don’t want to be the first that will break the ice. You’re looking for someone serious.
The portfolio and the experience are deeply connected. A rich portfolio means a business is highly experienced. People working for it will be skilled and know what they are doing. Any sudden problem will be handled by them without a problem, and that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Compare prices
The price is not the most valuable thing in this business, but it still matters. We say it’s not the most valuable thing because hiring someone who gives you an affordable offer and losing your cargo in the ocean will be a much greater problem than the money you lose.
This is why you should be looking for those who are actually charging fair, and still provide excellent service. To find out more about this, you need to compare a few companies with each other. See who offers the best value.
When you find the one that is the most experienced, skilled, and has an amazing reputation but still asks for a price that is not significantly higher, it means you should go with them. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something affordable to help with short-distance transport then you might consider someone else too.
These five points are a great way to understand what it takes to choose the best barge service there is in the US. Not all providers are amazing, so you need to search deep. If you’re looking for specific charters, this will make things even harder. However, doing thorough research always payout in the end.