Freight forwarding is a common term for many businesses and even personal shipping since it is a popular method for international transportation. A freight forwarding company organizes and facilitates the shipment of goods from one location to another through different carriers, including air, sea, railway, and road freight. If you are not familiar with the whole process of freight forwarding, it might be challenging to know how to go about it. Read more about the key things you need to know about freight forwarding.
What is a freight forwarding company?
A freight forwarding company facilitates the transportation of goods or products from one location to the destination, most often where the distributor is. It is involved in coordinating the entire process for their shippers from storage to shipping of the products. In simple words, a freight forwarder is an intermediary between you/your business and the carrier. They negotiate on the freight costs and determine the most reliable courier for your goods.
Using a freight forwarder reduces your shipping hassles
Working with a freight forwarding company reduces your shipping hassles. They are very knowledgeable and experienced in terms of logistics and supply chain. They do the heavy lifting from packing, loading, to warehousing stages to ease the shipping burden off your shoulders as you deal with the critical aspects of your business.
A freight forwarder offers a wide range of services
A freight forwarding company provides a wide range of services in supply chain management, including packing, storage, insurance, inventory management, customs clearance, and international import and export documentation. If you’re unfamiliar with shipping requirements and paperwork, a freight forwarder helps you navigate the entire process.
Freight forwarding is advantageous for your business
Using freight forwarders is valuable for your business. You get to take advantage of their expertise and knowledge in the field to determine the best way to ship your goods and save money and time in the process, unlike doing it alone.
Your freight forwarder may not be responsible for shipping delays.
Many people do not understand that a freight forwarding company is not responsible for any shipping delays. Shipping delays are often caused by bad weather, port delays, unexpected route changes, or even breakdowns. Shipping delays can be frustrating and can cost your business money and customers but remember that it is out of the jurisdiction of your freight forwarder.
Shipping laws apply to some products.
A freight forwarder must know what you are transporting to work with you. They are held to certain laws and regulations and will not facilitate the shipment of illegal substances or products. Although shipping laws differ from one country to another, freight forwarders are generally restricted to ship drugs, alcohol, dangerous goods such as flammable and toxic substances, batteries, and sharp objects.
You should ask your freight forwarder about additional services
Many freight forwarders give additional services such as storage, cargo tracking, insurance, handling dangerous goods, etc.
Your freight forwarder should provide the necessary documents
Freight forwarding involves a lot of paperwork, including:
- Inspection certificate
- Commercial invoice
- Certificate of origin statement
- Export license
- Packing list
- Shipper’s export declaration document
- Bill of lading contract
These documents are vital to ensure the goods reach your customers without any problems.