Who is responsible for what?
Something we take for granted in the Forwarding world is not having to explain who is responsible for which part of the job, and it's completely unheard of to find a circumstance where the following episode is questioned these days but, nevertheless it's an important lesson for us all when dealing with new importers, specifically Amazon FBA sellers who are likely embarking on an import process for the first time ever.
We were recently asked to collect a consignment from a factory in China, and import it to FBA UK. (Westbound Logistics).
We provided an all in price, so there was no unforeseen 'hidden' charges. Our customer checked, and double checked again that it was 'all in'. It was.
What happened next was, well..... it was actually completely unforeseen!
The driver which we arranged in China, arrived to the factory. Presented his vehicle to the warehouse staff as a driver usually would do, and yet the staff would not load the goods on to the vehicle!
This really isn't something that usually falls into an area that needs explaining but was completely unfortunate for us and the customer to experience it together, especially on the first job. This has never happened to us before. Never, has a supplier or any factory/warehouse refused to actually load the vehicle that's arrived for collection. It's not just unforeseen, it's ridiculous!
Just like a delivery in reverse, a driver takes your goods to curb side or your door if its small Amazon style parcels. At no point, is a delivery driver insured or expected to go one step further INTO your home, unpack your newly bought shirt and hang it in your wardrobe. Unless of course you buy Furniture/White Goods, and pay for the extra service known as 'white glove' or fitting/installation fees.
The same with a pick up - a driver needs the warehouse staff to fetch the goods from inside the warehouse, and bring it to him (or considering he may not be able to lift it, bring it on a forklift to the vehicle).
It transpired that, the supplier selling the goods was actually a middle man, and his chosen supplier was perhaps adverse to selling to 3rd parties who come to collect themselves? That's all we can make of it, but we thought as a learning curve it's best to highlight to newly importing FBA sellers, a driver drives, and a warehouse operative operates the goods to the vehicle.