Importing and exporting are key components for many lucrative businesses. International shipping could present great business opportunities for you, but may also seem daunting.
If you have not heard the term “freight forwarder” before, you may be a little confused. Is it a shipping company? A distribution manager? An importing and exporting partner? A commercial freight forwarder is none of these things — but it takes on some of the responsibilities of all of them. Here’s what you need to know about using an international freight forwarder for your business-to-business shipping.
The process, paperwork, and regulations involved in international trade may seem intimidating. However, you can be a successful international shipper without getting caught up in the logistics of logistics.
That’s what a freight forwarder is for.
This blog covers the basics of what a freight forwarder is, what a freight forwarder does, why you should use a freight forwarder, and even how to find a freight forwarder for those who are interested in international shipping, whether importing or exporting.
Here are the most commonly asked question about freight forwarding and their answers:
What is a freight forwarder?
Firm specializing in arranging storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of its shippers. It usually provides a full range of services including tracking inland transportation, preparation of shipping and export documents, warehousing, booking cargo space, negotiating freight charges, freight consolidation, cargo insurance, and filing of insurance claims. Freight forwarders usually ship under their own bills of lading or air waybills (called house bill of lading or house air waybill) and their agents or associates at the destination (overseas freight forwarders) provide document delivery, deconsolidation, and freight collection services. Also called forwarder.
That definition is a little wordy and sounds complicated, so let’s just do a basic definition as follows:
A freight forwarder is a company that arranges your importing and exporting of goods.
So what does that actually mean in terms of what a freight forwarder does?
What does a freight forwarder actually do?
There is a lot that goes into arranging your international shipping. While the freight forwarder handles the details of your international shipping, it is important to know what a freight forwarder does not do in order to understand what a freight forwarder actually does.
A freight forwarder does not actually move your freight itself.
The freight forwarder acts as an intermediary between a shipper and various transportation services such as ocean shipping on cargo ships, trucking, expedited shipping by air freight, and moving goods by rail.
A freight forwarding service utilizes established relationships with carriers, from air freighters and trucking companies, to rail freighters and ocean liners, in order to negotiate the best possible price to move shippers’ goods along the most economical route by working out various bids and choosing the one that best balances speed, cost, and reliability.
Freight forwarders handle the considerable logistics of shipping goods from one international destination to another, a task that would otherwise be a formidable burden for their client. Source:https://www.universalcargo.com/