Freight forwarder is an agency or a company that deals with either a single carrier or multiple carriers to transport the goods from one place to another. The freight forwarder organizes the entire shipment process and completes the supply chain until the goods reach the customer. The freight forwarder is an expert in the logistics network and completes the transport of goods while using different modes of transport for a single shipment.
Here are 7 facts about the freight forwarding industry:
- Documents provided by the freight forwarder to the client are:
- Commercial invoice
- Bill of Lading contract
- Certificate of origin statement
- Inspection certificate
- Export license
- Export packing list
- Shippers export declaration document
Due to the immense business opportunities around the world shipping goods to different parts of the world is common but lack of understanding by small companies requires them to partner with experts in the field. Freight forwarders solve the problems of such companies by completing all the necessary transactions to deliver the goods.
2. Role of a Freight Forwarder:
The point to remember is that a Freight forwarder will not directly move the shipment but will connect different carriers to deliver the shipment. Apart from facilitating and managing the transport of shipment they also;
- Choose the mode of transport suitable for the shipment
- Check the rates and find the best deals
- Consolidate the shipment
- Ensure the packaging is accurate
- Review all the necessary documents from the carriers
- Coordinate with the carriers
- Provide insurance for the goods
- Track the shipment with the carrier
- Provide additional services like customs clearance, export packing, transport, and warehousing till the shipment reaches the customer.
3. Benefits of hiring freight forwarder are:
When you hire a freight forwarder you will get expert guidance on the way your goods should be shipped. The entire process will be dealt by the company without any hassle. Shipments involving many modes of transport require in-depth knowledge and understanding of the best transport mode and the statutory regulations followed in all the countries. The shipment of goods also requires knowledge of policies to follow compliance according to shipping laws.
- Time and Cost:
Outsourcing freight services will let the companies relax as the challenges from the beginning of the shipment to the delivery are all faced by the freight forwarders. Companies lacking knowledge in the network can hire freight forwarders and use their time and skills in the core functions of the company.
- Streamlined processing
The freight forwarding company completes all the necessary documentation and compliance procedures to deliver the shipment.
4. Choosing a Freight forwarder:
- Licensing is a very crucial and vital factor to remember while hiring a freight forwarder. Different countries and different goods have statutory laws and compliance policies that need to be adhered failing to know any of the policies and laws may put the entire shipment at risk.
- Reputation of the company is a great component to check the credibility and efficiency of the company. Companies who are members of associations like CIFFA and having designations like Professional Freight Forwarder (PFF) will prove the company ranks highest in the industry.
- Strong network worldwide is highly required as the agents need to deal with various procedures, people, cultures also language.
- Experience in the shipping industry matters a lot as they deal with complex situations like weather, people, uncertainties, and specific goods.
- The freight forwarder must be technically sound as they must track the shipment online, provide live tracking reports to the customers and other carriers related to the chain. Providing access to data, invoices documents via online helps the customers to understand the shipping details better.
- Freight forwarders who provide integrated logistics and value-added services have in-depth knowledge of the supply chain management which promotes efficiency while being cost-effective.
5 . Freight restrictions:
The freight forwarders need to adhere to rules and regulations. The rules may differ from country to country however in general the freight forwarders are restricted to ship the following:
- Dangerous Goods (including flammable liquid and toxic items),
- Perishable items (except for those on special express delivery)
- Sharp objects
- Drugs (prescription and recreational)
6. The freight forwarders follow six key stages, including:
- Export haulage
- Export customs clearance
- Origin handling
- Import customs clearance
- Destination handling
- Import haulage
7. Services offered by freight forwarders include:
- Customs Clearance
- International export and import documentation
- Inventory management