10 Essential Things to Understand About Freight Forwarding

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1) What does a freight forwarding company do?

Freight forwarding companies are tasked with the delivery of inventory from one location to the next. Freight forwarders are in charge of overseeing the entire operation for shipping companies, from the stockpiling of wares to the transport of products. Freight forwarders are the middle man between the shipping and transit companies, communicating with couriers to establish an agreed price on the most efficient, dependable and quickest passage.

2) An easy option for importing and exporting products

Enlisting the services of a freight forwarding company ensures that importing and exporting is a far less complicated experience. Freight forwarders have expert understanding of supply chain management, allowing them to help your business in all areas, from warehousing responsibilities to customs protocol.

3) They provide a multitude of different services

The services offered by freight forwarding companies are many and include:

  • Customs clearance services; brokerage, consultancy, tariff concession applications, and advice, duty drawback and trade advice, compliance
  • Air and sea freight, coastal shipping, domestic freight forwarding, and transport
  • Contract logistics & 3PL Services; domestic 3PL warehousing, offshore 3PL warehousing, value-added services, distribution
  • Supply chain planning and management, transportation management, supplier management
  • Export services

4) They benefit your company

Calling upon a freight forwarder to deliver your inventory to your customers can benefit your business in a number of ways. With their high-level proficiency in the areas of freight forwarding, they will help guarantee that all of your wares are sent to their nominated location on schedule in a manner that is far more cost-effective than if you were to handle everything on your own.

5) They’re not to blame for transportation setbacks

It’s import to understand that freight forwarders are not at fault when interruptions occur during the transportation process. Such problems are the result of inclement weather conditions, shipping or vehicular issues, shipyard problems or passage alterations. While such holdups are inconvenient, these are beyond the control of your freight forwarding company who will be hastily doing everything they can to help rectify any issues as soon as they can.

6) Look to develop and cultivate a good rapport with your freight forwarding company

Your freight forwarding company is tasked with safeguarding your expensive business wares, so it’s imperative that you develop a sound relationship with them. It’s crucial that you select a freight forwarder that is trustworthy and who offers excellent customer support.

7) Always ensure that your documentation is current and compliant

Prior to offloading your inventory to your freight forwarding company, make certain that your documentation has been filled in correctly and is compliant with all relevant laws. Your freight forwarder has expert knowledge of documentation requirements and can assist you with anything you need. Compliant documentation is essential to ensuring that your items are not held up at customs and prevent the likelihood of a financial institution withholding your capital.

8) Conditions apply to particular item types

Freight forwarders must abide by stringent international shipping laws and in circumstances will they transport potentially hazardous items. The actual list of banned items is determined by the country that the items are being shipped from, but typically such forbidden cargo includes:

  • Hazardous materials (noxious or combustible wares)
  • Drugs
  • Liquor
  • Produce
  • Cutting instruments

9) They will typically provide additional logistics services

Most freight forwarders provide additional services for your consignments, so it’s always a good idea to enquire about them when discussing the price estimate.

10) They must issue you with a number of written logs and reports

Even in the digital age where almost all documents are stored on computers, freight forwarding necessitates a considerable amount of paper documentation, particularly when international shipments are concerned. Your freight forwarding company is responsible for providing you with a range of number of documents, including:

  • Commercial documents
  • Financial documents
  • Transport documents
  • Insurance documents
  • International trade-related documents

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