WHAT DOES A FREIGHT FORWARDER DO & DO YOU NEED ONE?
Importing and exporting are key components for many lucrative businesses. International shipping could present great business opportunities for you, but may also seem daunting.
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.
WHAT IS A FREIGHT FORWARDER?
A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.
Forwarders contract with a carrier or often multiple carriers to move the goods. A forwarder does not move the goods but acts as an expert in the logistics network. These carriers can use a variety of shipping modes, including ships, airplanes, trucks, and railroads, and often do utilize multiple modes for a single shipment. For example, the freight forwarder may arrange to have cargo moved from a plant to an airport by truck, flown to the destination city, and then moved from the airport to a customer's building by another truck.
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.