A freight forwarder is an intermediary agent who cares for all the necessary tasks to import and export goods. Usually, freight forwarding companies do not do the actually shipping, instead, they are the logistics experts. They arrange the transportation, which could be by sea, air, road, or rail, and usually manage freight invoices as well.
What Does a Reliable Freight Forwarder Do?
There is much involved in forwarding freight, especially if the export or import is international. Freight forwarding companies should have extensive knowledge of international laws on the movement of goods. It may also be necessary to know about local laws of the foreign countries involved. Since crossing borders means inspections at customs, the right documentation is needed, and if these are not in order, deliveries can be held up.
However, more than just being knowledgeable about transportation laws is necessary. The type of items being transported also has to be taken into account. For example, if the items are perishable, like food, then the freight forwarder has to consider the length of transit time.
There is also a matter of good coordination. For example, in one container there could be goods from many different businesses. Time schedules, routes, and delivery dates need to be worked out well in advance.
Insurance is also a factor to take into consideration. If goods are damaged during the route, either by the fault of the transportation company or natural disasters, then the freight forwarder will arrange for appropriate compensation. Freight forwarding companies will also act as an agent in these special circumstances.
An experienced freight forwarder will usually arrange for tracking of the shipments. Many logistics companies offer real-time GPS tracking. This allows the clients involved to be able to know, at any time, exactly what is happening with the goods.
Taking everything into consideration, it is logical that a business wishing to have goods imported or exported must carefully choose a reliable freight forwarding company.
Freight forwarding is a complex operation with many factors to consider for the exporting and importing of goods. Make sure to choose the best freight forwarder for your needs.