What is freight forwarding?
Freight forwarding is the shipment of commodities from point A to point B via one or more carriers and shipping methods, such as rail, air, ocean, and road. They have control over the whole shipping process to make sure the shipments arrive safely and timely. It is one of the most frequently used methods for international logistics, for both business personal use.
What does a freight forwarder do?
A freight forwarder is an expert who provides coordination, regulation and agreed-upon best practices to ensure that goods flow in a timely and proficient manner across borders, overseas, and throughout the world. They act as an agent between shipper and transportation companies, communicating with different carriers to find the best economical, fastest and most reliable choice.
A professional freight forwarder has clear knowledge about supply chain. So they can help customers on all path, from packaging, rate negotiations, container tracking, storage, customs clearance to final delivery.
Freight forwarders services:
1. Provide best solution and price
Freight forwarders are familiar with working with numerous different carriers and storage providers. So they can not only know the fastest, most reliable, and cheapest method to forward your goods at any point in the year, but also find you the most reliable solution at the best price depending on your preferences.
2. Prepare all the paperwork
When it comes with a lot of paperwork, especially during cross border logistics, freight forwarders can help you with all the relevant documents including:
- Commercial invoice
- Bill of Lading contract
- Certificate of origin statement
- Inspection certificate
- Export license
- Export packing list
- Shippers export declaration document
Freight forwarders ensure that you are fully compliant with strict adherence to different rules and regulations. With all these documents are provided, your goods will arrive without any issues such as hefty fines and, in some cases, legal action arising.
3. One stop shipment
Pickup service: When dealing with an international freight forwarder, the shipper can deal with one point of contact to ship goods from door-to-door, instead of just port-to-port. Which means they can pick up your goods from the manufacture or your warehouse to the right port for cargo. There are three ways to pick up/deliver your goods. These depend on whether you have booked a container service or a non-container service and whether your cargo is palletized:
> Full container pick up and/or delivery
> Pallets pick up and/or delivery
> Personal effects/household goods pick up and/or delivery
Time at the port is very expensive, so the freight forwarder will help you schedule the cargo and warehouse before your goods are loaded.
Cargo booking: rate, paperwork, insurance, scheduling… Freight forwarders can handle all these processes. For example, freight consolidation for less than container load (LCL) shipping brings a lot of headache, which is the service forwarders provide wherein multiple smaller consignments are all booked aboard the same container.
Shipment tracking: Forwarders use a Transportation Management System (TMS) to maintain transparent visibility throughout each stage of a shipment’s voyage. As the shipment progresses, they should keep you informed, especially if at any point, the shipment faces a significant risk of delay. If something goes wrong or is at risk of going wrong, they also step in and troubleshoot.
Do you need warehousing between initial pickup and delivery? What about at the port? Freight forwarders can help you. Some forwarders may have their own warehouses available to harbor shippers’ commodities. But for the most part, the service your forwarder will offer is to arrange storage at a warehouse owned and operated by a conveniently located affiliate.
5. Import/Export processes:
Importing and exporting are key components for many lucrative businesses. A good freight forwarder is an expert in handling international shipments with additional expertise in the preparation and processing of customs as well as a multitude of other documentation. Which means they can get your shipment from your vendors to you. And arrange for everything from domestic pick-up to your overseas customers efficiently.
Maybe you are wondering why you cannot do all these by yourself. Yes, it is possible to do without a freight forwarder, but it is a risky game for non-specialists to play. A lot of things can go wrong in freight during such a complicated procedure, many mistakes may appear such as:
- Goods did not arrive at the warehouse or airport in time
- Problem during customs clearance
- Error in transportation document
- Important Documents Missing
- Goods damage or short landed during transportation
- Settle cargo claims with insurance company
- Destination agent to release the goods without documents (more frequent during ocean transportation, because the ocean bill of lading is “title document”)
- If the goods are seized by customs and commodity inspection, it is necessary to claim goods title and enter the anti-smuggling procedure if necessary
There are many problems, and each possible mistake can be very variable, because customs, inspection, airlines, ground stations, fees, and policy changes are very different in different countries.
A freight forwarder is a reliable and experienced agent who will help you find solutions and avoid all these troubles. Also having a freight forwarder would make a great difference when you don’t have enough time, energy and experience. Meanwhile, using a freight forwarder can take a load off your mind, as you’ll know a specialist has picked up the haulage, shipping and even customs processes for your goods.
ForwarderOne will ensure that your goods get to their destination when they are supposed to, whether by air, sea, or land. Contact us today to find out more about our expert assistance with freight forwarding then you can get back to growing your business, safe in the knowledge your shipment is in good hands.