Freight forwarding is an essential business function for companies of all sizes. The right freight forwarding company can help you get your goods to their final destination quickly and efficiently, saving you time and money.
A freight forwarder is a connection between you and the forwarder’s network of freight carriers, essentially a middle man. Freight forwarders can provide transportation (piggybacking), documentation, customs clearance, warehousing, and distribution. They put together the entire order, saving you time, money, and headaches.
What Are Freight Forwarders?
Freight forwarders are a type of transportation company that specializes in moving goods. They connect buyers and sellers and take care of the logistics necessary to get the goods from one location to another. Some freight forwarders also offer shipping services.
Businesses that use freight forwarders can benefit from savings on transportation costs, better handling of goods, and goods insurance. Freight forwarders can provide these services due to their access to a vast network of freight transportation options, including ocean, air, and trucking.
Freight forwarding companies come in different forms. Some forwarders handle all aspects of transportation, from booking the shipping to getting customs documents. Others only handle the shipping and allow the owner of the goods to do the rest.
Freight forwarding is a critical business function that links manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and jobbers.
They are part of the FIATA (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés), which has its headquarters in Switzerland. Each country has its own group of transportation companies that can act as freight forwarders: the United Kingdom, the British International Freight Association; in Germany, the Deutscher Speditions und Llogistikverbrand; in France, the Union des Entreprises de Transport et Logistique; in the United States, the Transportation Intermediaries Association; and in China, the China International Freight Forwarders Association, so on, and so on.
Types of Freight Forwarders
Freight forwarding can be a great way to connect businesses and consumers worldwide. There are a variety of freight forwarders to choose from, so it’s essential to find one that is right for your needs. Here are the types your business needs.
a. Consolidators or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC)
Consolidators are freight forwarders who book space on ocean vessels. It costs them money to do the work for you, but they can usually give you a better deal than regular ocean carriers. Because they book a room on ships for various businesses, consolidators often have lower costs than direct shippers, who deal with ocean carriers directly.
Consolidators help simplify shipping by providing a single point of contact to help with freight booking, documentation, and information. They can even help coordinate customs clearance, which is a valuable service.
Consolidators are exempt from the Interstate Commerce Commission’s Motor Carrier Act of 1980 but must abide by the Sea Act, which is the federal Carriage of Goods.
Consolidators/NVOCCs are unique in that they transport goods on behalf of their customers. They can also help get your shipments through customs. These freight forwarders offer many business-to-business services, such as warehousing, shipping, and delivery. For instance, ShipO fulfillment helps you transport your goods and offers great inventory and great customer support for your business.
B. Multimodal (Or Intermodal) Transport Operators (MTO)
These freight forwarders use a variety of transportation types to deliver goods. They make it easier to book shipments using multiple modes of transportation, such as airplanes and trucks. Because of the variety of transportation providers they work with, multimodal freight forwarders can offer more competitive shipping rates.
Multimodal freight forwarders are used for ocean, air, rail, and truck shipments. They often work with special business software to help you find the best shipping rates and track shipments. Some of these freight forwarders also offer warehousing and customs clearance services.
Multimodal freight forwarders are part of the international supply chain that results in goods from their country of origin to the consumers. They are essential to the global supply chain.
c. Customs Brokers
These freight forwarders help businesses get their goods to their final destination by clearing customs. Customs brokers don’t help with transportation. They are agents who help with the documentation required by customs officials to clear goods.
Customs brokers have access to a vast source of information about international trade; custom brokers can help businesses save time and money. Customs brokers also have information about regulations and shipping restrictions, which help with planning.
Customs brokers can help get the necessary documentation to clear Customs. Customs clearance can include a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading, certificates of origin, and a certificate of analysis. Customs brokers can also advise on international trade regulations and restrictions.
D. Port (Seaport, Airport, or Cargo Terminal) Agent
These freight forwarders specialize in handling shipments through a specific port. They work with the port to coordinate where and when the goods arrive. Port agents can help with transportation and customs clearance and storage, packaging, and labeling.
Port agents can save businesses time by working directly with the ports and transportation providers, allowing your goods to get to their destination faster and more efficiently. They also help with the paperwork required to clear goods through customs.
E. Air Freight Agent (Air Waybill Agent)
Airfreight agents help handle international air shipments, including booking shipments, tracking shipments, and issuing the required documentation.
Air Freight agents can help manage the transportation needs for goods that are going to or coming from an air carrier—coordinating the transportation and ensuring that the goods will be delivered. This can help ensure compliance with delivery deadlines and ensure your shipments get to their destination.
Airfreight agents can help with the logistics of international shipping. This can allow your business to focus on other areas of the company.
F. Road Haulage Brokers
These freight forwarders specialize in shipping by trucking. Road haulage brokers help get the goods from one destination to another by coordinating the transportation and logistics.
Road haulage brokers can help save your business money through trucking. They can also help your business avoid transportation bottlenecks and get goods to their destination at a more convenient time.
Road haulage brokers often have access to transportation providers that deal with trucking. This can help your company avoid the up-front costs of entering into a contract with a trucking company.
Road haulage brokers can also help with customs and transportation documentation, such as the bill of lading and the commercial invoice. They can help your business grow by managing all the details that may come up when shipping by truck.
Which Type of Freight Forwarder Is Best for Your Business?
Freight forwarding is a great way to get your freight delivered to the right place at the right time. There are several different freight forwarders to choose from, so it’s essential to choose one that best suits your business.
If you are looking for a freight forwarding company to handle your international shipments, you will want to choose a multimodal freight forwarder. This type of freight forwarder will have access to transportation options in and out of the country and customs clearance. They are companies that have experience working with all kinds of shipments and can offer the right services for your specific needs.
If you are shipping by air, an air freight agent is the best type of freight forwarder. This freight forwarder will be familiar with the available transportation options and can provide your business with the necessary documentation and information.
If your business is looking for customs clearance services, a customs broker is your best bet. They help you avoid problems with international shipping by contracting with a customs broker.
If your business is interested in trucking, a road haulage broker can help. These freight forwarders specialize in trucking and can offer competitive rates. They can also help your business get the best shipping rates and help coordinate your shipment logistics.
Many businesses use a freight forwarder to help ship goods to destinations worldwide. Freight forwarders use their network of transportation and logistics providers to coordinate the shipment and delivery of goods.
These businesses can offer various services, including customs clearance, storage, packaging, and labeling. Freight forwarders can be used to ship products that are going to or coming from a port, airport, or cargo terminal.
Freight forwarding makes it easy for businesses to get their shipping needs met. It can connect your business with a network of providers and give your business access to various transportation options. For Instance, the Zggship Freight forwarding company in China has a perfect cooperative relationship with significant transportation companies all across the globe. Forwarders can help your business save time and money while providing multiple other services.
Steps in Choosing The Right Freight Forwarder
- Do your research. The first step is to research and find a freight forwarding company that specializes in what you want to do with your business. Search for freight forwarding companies that suit your business.
- Look for a freight forwarder who has experience. Freight forwarders who have experience in different industries, such as retail, aerospace, or technology, can help your company get the most out of the shipping process.
- Look for a freight forwarder who has a solid customer base. A freight forwarder with a solid customer base will be able to offer more shipping options and better rates.
- Get referrals. Talk to friends and business associates about the benefits of using a freight forwarder. Ask them where they’ve had success and had trouble with shipping.
- Think about your goals. What is your ultimate goal? How much time and money do you want to spend shipping? Think about your goals and what you want out of the shipping process. Think about how you want to run your business and how you want your business to operate.
- Choose a freight forwarder you trust. Your freight forwarder is a part of your supply chain. They are a vital part of your business, helping you make money and save money. Freight forwarders are a valuable resource, and you want to be able to depend on them.
- Make sure your freight forwarder is licensed. It’s important to know that your freight forwarder is licensed and that they follow the rules.
Freight Forwarders are a great way to keep your business moving. They can help your company by saving you money and time. Freight forwarders offer a variety of services, from storage to customs clearance.
They help businesses get their products from the place of manufacture to their final destination. Using a freight forwarder can help your business focus on what it does best rather than the shipping process. Choosing the right freight forwarder is essential. Make sure you select the best suited to your business and that offers competitive rates and services.