Are you already doing business overseas and internationally? The chances are you have already dealt with freight forwarders before. If not, or you will be upscaling your business to involve overseas deliveries and other operations, it may be a good time to learn about what freight forwarding is, how it works and how it can benefit your company.
That’s exactly what we are going to discuss in the following post.
What Is Freight Forwarding?
Freight forwarding is a service provided by a freight forwarder, sometimes known as a forwarding agent or simply a forwarder. They are a company or individual that takes on the responsibility of organizing the shipments for companies and individuals so that goods and products can be moved from their manufacturer to the final point of distribution. This may be the business using the retailer selling them or the customer.
How does It Work/What Does a Freight Forwarder Actually do?
The freight forwarder, as highlighted above, will take on the responsibility for your shipments reaching their destination. Which can involve some or all the steps outlined below:
- Transport arrangement from point of origin, like the warehouse or factory of your supplier, to the airport or port, so it can be shipped out
- Documentation preparation, including all the paperwork and licences to ensure it is legally exported
- Negotiation, booking and loading the cargo for air or sea freight, whatever is most appropriate
- Organizing appropriate insurance coverage and ensuring the delivery is tracked if necessary
- Haulage and delivery arrangements to the desired location once it reaches the country it is being shipped out to
How Is Having a Freight Forwarder Helpful?
The main duties involved in their role are highlighted above, but the most helpful thing about freight forwarders is the experience and connections they have at various points in the import and export process.
It’s often the case that the actual freight forwarders you hire are not the individuals or teams who are carrying out a lot of the different tasks set out above. Rather it’s subcontracted work such as local haulage awarded to a partner that is based where your goods are being shipped out from.
They have all the right contacts, especially if you find a reputable and highly experienced freight forwarder, around the world that helps them find the best company or induvial for the job at hand. Even if the freight forwarder doesn’t know the company directly, they will know someone that does. Whether you are looking to export from Ottawa to Germany or important from Shanghai to Toronto.
Many freight forwarders offer a full-service online where you can find quotes, book and pay shipments and track them from the point of origin to the destination.
It Is important to note that while a skilled and experienced freight forwarder does not come cheap, in the long run, they can make your whole import and export operations run more smoothly, and reduce the chance of there being any nasty surcharges or expenses along the way.
What are the main Benefits of Using Freight Forwarding?
Still need a little convincing that freight forwarding is worth the investment. Look at some of the main benefits of using their services.
- You deal directly with one person to make all the arrangements for shipments, not a variety of different freight and haulage companies
- Freight forwarders are often highly experienced and skilled at filing import and export paperwork and will provide you with the assistance you need to get through the more complicated procedures involved
- Relying on their experience in the industry and their connections, they can find the best service providers around the world to ensure your shipments reach their destination
- They can do all the negotiating on warehousing, haulage and shipping costs to get you the best deals
- You get real peace of mind, knowing that everything is under control and even if something goes wrong, you have insurance and they can help file claims if necessary