What Is A Freight Forwarder?
Freight forwarding services are among the most essential part of any supply chain and ensures everything from raw materials to finished products get where they need to be regardless of where they're manufactured. Freight forwarders are the intermediary between businesses domestically and globally and experienced freight forwarders know how how to mitigate the effects of unforeseen problems while ensuring all applicable customs, declarations, and local regulations are adhered to.
What Does A Freight Forwarder Do?
Freight Forwarders provide a wide variety of services that facilitate domestic and international freight shipping business to business and business to customer. From negotiating freight costs with carriers, preparation of shipments including bill of laden, shipping insurance coverage, to facilitating the offloading of cargo from ocean & air shipments, freight forwarders act as an intermediary and beneficiary for you on behalf of your freight and cargo shipments and provide you with “dock to door’ services that deliver where and when you need.
Freight Forwarding Logistics
Many can provide their own logistics services in the form of procurement, manufacturing, warehouse, distribution, shipping and local delivery services directly to their customers which eliminates the need for extra steps in the logistics and supply chain process as well as costs for businesses which allows them to expand their business with a reliable distribution network.
Additional Types of Freight Forwarding Services
In addition to freight shipping supplies and raw materials, freight forwarders also provide niche based shipping services like those needed for fashion shows, photographers in foreign locations, corporate relocations, trade and bridal shows or even same and next day shipping and fast air freight forwarding services.
Air Freight Forwarding Services
In addition to large air transport aircraft, additional cargo space is utilized on commercial passenger aircraft. Decreased numbers in travelers due to the coronavirus and recent supply chain interruptions in the Suez Canal has seen a large increase in air freight forwarding shipments.
Ocean & Sea Freight Forwarding Services
Unlike the relatively small size of even the biggest air transport aircraft, ocean freighters have the capability to transport exponentially larger amounts of freight, however one of the biggest drawbacks is although they can carry a wonderfully large amount of cargo, there are literally hundreds of thousands of cargo containers on the ship and if you don't have an experienced ocean freight forwarder & expediter, your cargo will end up sitting on a dockyard waiting to be unburied. Freight forwarders offer individuals and businesses alike to speed up the ocean & sea freight shipping process. While the forwarders can't speed up the ship, sea freight forwarders & expeditors speed up the onloading and offloading process.
Freight forwarders give you the advantage of knowing where your freight shipment is through every phase and helps to eliminate the uncertainty and delays shipping locally and globally while helping you minimize delays in the shipping process.
International Freight Forwarding
Whether importing, exporting or international freight forwarding, freight shipping and forwarding across borders involved both known and unknown variables including:
- Customs & regulations of both importing and exporting nations to prevent fines, litigation and even criminal consequences from shipping prohibited items or incorrectly packaging and shipping hazardous materials
- Local weather conditions caused by major storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. While earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can’t be predicted, all businesses, especially freight forwarders must have plans in place to mitigate unforeseen impacts, just as the Coronavirus has done for nearly 2 years.
- Coronavirus impacts & conflict zones have become more prolific, especially in Eastern Europe, the Middle East while South America and Southeast Asia have seen an increase in infections.
Internal freight forwarders take all of the above into consideration with the goal of minimizing and eliminating delays for their clients. Many domestic and international freight forwarding companies also offer 3PL logistics services that allow businesses to get their raw material and supplies manufactured and assembled without the need for additional steps in the supply chain process.
Advantages of Using a Freight Forwarder
While many people use services such as the Post Office for one-off and small eCommerce shipments, both small and large businesses get much better deals shipping everything from Pallets to Metric Ton sized shipments due to freight forwarders not only negotiating the best rates but also the reliability the customer demands.
Freight forwarders handle all the customs documentation, insurance and paperwork necessary to facilitate domestic and international freight shipments while handling the Bills of Laden, warehousing and even manufacturing and distribution of your freight shipments. When you’re searching for a freight forwarder, ensure you use a company with an extensive history of successful operations.