By the simplest definition, freight forwarding is the import and export of goods but, freight forwarding companies do so much more than that. They are completely in charge of all logistical aspects of importing and exporting products from one country to another.
These type of international logistics providers have specialized and in-depth knowledge across:
- Customs requirements
- Necessary paperwork
- Proper procedures
- International regulations
This means that whether you’re moving internationally or shipping for other purposes, a freight forwarder knows exactly how to get you the most cost-effective and speedy shipping to get your cargo to its final destination.
What Does a Freight Forwarding Company Do
When shipping items worldwide, most people aren’t versed with all of the policies, procedures, and options available to move goods internationally. This is what a freight forwarder does. They act as the intermediary between the shipper and various transportation services. As a part of their services, they’ll be able to:
- Find the right transport method
- Figure out insurance needs
- Prepare customs documentation
- Provide Bills of Lading
- Determine warehousing
- Assess and manage risks
- Process international payment methods
With incredible customer service and top-notch communication, a great logistics service will direct your goods via ocean, rail, or air freight to get your products to their final destination. You’ll get notified of any delays in your ocean shipping, customs clearance, and any extra freight charges so, you never have to be surprised if there’s a hiccup along the way.
Do I Need a Freight Forwarder
When considering whether or not to use an intermediary for your international freight needs, you should ask yourself:
- Do I have an understanding of international shipping procedures?
- Do I know which documents are necessary?
- Am I going to get the best deal?
- Am I able to navigate customs requirements?
- Anyone that must deal with international shipping should consider using a freight forwarder since it takes the stress off of you. They have extensive knowledge of the necessary documents, current regulations, and current costs associated with international shipping. They’re able to:
- Negotiate prices and times between the shipper and transportation
- Find a balance between speed, cost, and reliability of shipping companies
- Monitor and navigate the entire logistics supply chain from start to finish
Using a freight forwarding company can significantly reduce the overall work that you have to do when shipping goods overseas.
Choosing a Freight Forwarding Company
Now that you’ve decided to use a company to handle the logistics of your international shipment, figuring out which one you should use is the next task. Looking for a company that has:
- A good reputation
- Experience with the country you’re shipping to and from
- The services you need
- Transparency and communication
An international shipping company must have the right tools to provide their customers with excellent services. This means ensuring that goods reach their destination intact and in time, and to do so means they must rely on their reputation and connections to continue to do business.
What to Know About Freight Forwarding Services
Any type of international shipping is a complex and intricate process that requires attention to detail and an understanding of international customs processes. Making the decision to use the experts, and then choosing the right provider can feel daunting but, is ultimately the best call. A few things to note about an international shipping service:
- They aren’t responsible for delays
- They rely on relationships – between their logistics partners and customers
A great forwarding service will keep you in the loop regarding shipping time changes or other potential issues so, you can always count on the best customer service. Likewise, their constant maintenance of business relationships ensures that you’ll be treated with respect and get the best price to move your goods.