Why Freight Forwarders are Essential to the Success of your Business?

A strong logistics system that guarantees the secure delivery of goods is essential for businesses that serve clients worldwide. As expected, aspiring entrepreneurs and new company leaders may need to be more informed regarding the ins and outs of global logistics and international shipping.

Simplified, a third party ensures the secure delivery of goods to their designated location. Freight forwarders is the name given to them. Choosing poorly in logistics management is a certain way to hurt a company's chances of expanding internationally.

But if you want your company to thrive internationally, you must partner with a trustworthy freight forwarder. To gain a better understanding of freight forwarding, consider this blog that will explain how important freight forwarders are to your company's productivity and success in the long run.

What is a Freight Forwarder?

Companies that facilitate importing and exporting goods on behalf of other businesses are known as freight forwarders. The entire transportation process is overseen by freight forwarders, who also store goods before shipment and ensure they pass customs.

They don't move the goods but network with businesses that do, allowing them to orchestrate every detail of a client's shipment. Transportation firms that move goods by land, sea, or air are known as freight forwarders.

What does a Freight Forwarder do?

Freight forwarders coordinate with storage facilities, shipping firms, and other logistics providers to prepare a company's goods for shipment. They provide their customers with a dependable and inexpensive means of sending and receiving goods domestically and internationally by utilising the services of companies they have contracted with. Freight forwarders offer a variety of services, including:

  • Assembling the paperwork required for goods import or export
  • Deciding which shipping companies to use to deliver the goods to their destination
  • Settling freight disputes on behalf of their customers
  • Combining cargo to reduce the number of shipments
  • Keeping track of inventory while it is being transported and stored
  • Making insurance claims when required

Freight Forwarding Types

Regarding getting goods from point A to point B, freight forwarding companies can partner with one or more carriers to ensure everything is done legally and safely. Road haulage, air freight, and ocean freight are examples of how carriers can move goods.

Types of Transportation by Road

The freight forwarding company will determine the best haulage vehicle for transporting the goods. Of the many forms of road transport, articulated lorries (Artics) are the most common for transporting non-standard goods. For instance:

Container Truck

The gold standard and cheapest method of transporting containers via road. This category also includes curtain-sided transportation, such as the one depicted above a container truck equipped with a long-lasting soft side, perfect for the speedy loading and unloading of goods.

  • Road transportation using flatbeds, semi-low loaders, and low loaders
  • Perfect for transporting large construction machinery.
  • Temperature-controlled trucks are for the transportation of perishables, like food.
  • Box trucks are ideal for cargo susceptible to the weather, like perishables and clothing.
  • Car transportation is specialised equipment with built-in ramps to make loading and unloading cars easier.
  • Tanker transportation for the flow of gases, chemicals, and liquids.
  • HIAB and side loaders load and unload trucks. It is also referred to as a lorry-mounted crane or lorry loader in the trade. It can also be used with a side loader to load and unload shipping containers practically.

Types of Freight Transportation by Air

  • Direct services: This is usually reserved for smaller packages that can be accommodated in the cargo hold of an aircraft currently flying a regular route.
  • Consolidation: the most economical way to ship goods by air; multiple shipments are combined into a single flight. Shipping companies should be mindful that this service might lengthen the time it takes for shipments to arrive when using it.
  • Charter: This is the priciest option because it involves the freight forwarding company hiring a whole plane to transport the exact cargo that the carrier needs.

Sea Freight Transportation Types

Freight forwarding companies must choose the most appropriate vessel type for their clients' ocean freight transportation needs. Among them are:

  • Container ships: container ships are the most typical maritime sight. These ships transport goods in 20- or 40-foot containers enclosed above and below deck. Also, specialised gear like flat racks and open-top versions is required if the cargo doesn't fit neatly into the container.
  • Tankers: transported dangerous materials that necessitate extra caution, including liquids, gas, oil, and others
  • Breakbulk carriers: perfect for moving individual commodities like coal, grain, or fertilisers
  • Roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels: can accommodate various wheeled vehicles, including large tractors, smaller trucks, and passenger vehicles like cars, vans, and motorcycles.

What are the Different Stages of Freight Forwarding?

Here are the steps involved in forwarding freight:

Export Haulage

In freight forwarding, the initial step is known as export haulage. This happens when a transportation firm transports goods from a business to a warehouse owned by a freight forwarder. Trucks typically handle this step, but the specific mode of transportation is determined by the company's shipping materials and the distance to the warehouse. Your package may not arrive for several hours or even days.

Export Customs Clearance

The departure of an international shipment is subject to the approval of customs officials in the country of origin. Agents may verify both to ensure that the product and the paperwork are compatible. Before approving the product for export, they ensure its safety and legality. This is an important step that many freight forwarders outsource to customs brokers.

Checkpoint for Items

When the receiving crew unloads the goods into the warehouse, it is considered an items checkpoint, sometimes called origin handling. Upon arrival, they check the goods for damage and verify that they correspond with the order's booking paperwork. The freight forwarding crew also verifies that the final destination can receive the cargo. There may be additional restrictions if an item travels to a country other than its origin. Potentially included are:

  • Flammable liquids: Due to the potential hazards, there are strict regulations for the shipment of gasoline, lighter fluid, acetone, and even perfume.
  • Alcohol: Freight forwarders have specific regulations regarding the shipment of alcohol because the laws vary by country and state.
  • Drugs: Shipping recreational drugs is something other than something freight forwarders do because pharmaceuticals often require climate-controlled transportation methods.
  • Perishable items: If you want your perishables, like food, to arrive in the best possible condition, you should send them to express.
  • Dangerous items: Workers who handle packages may be in danger from products that contain knives or other sharp objects.

Import Clearance of Customs

Upon arrival at the destination country, officials verify the paperwork given by freight forwarders to ensure it corresponds to the product. Also, they check to see if the product satisfies all the country's entry requirements. The shipper is billed for these fees later by the freight forwarder, who acts as an intermediary between the shipper and the import customs agents.

Arrival at Destination and Management

The freight forwarders will arrange for a transportation company to prepare the product for shipment after it clears import customs. Among the documents they may receive for the shipment are:

  • Invoices
  • Bill of Lading certificate
  • Export packing list, license, and declaration document
  • Certificate of origin
  • Inspection certificate

Once the product has passed inspection, it is loaded for transport and brought to the import warehouse.

Transporting Imports

The last step is what freight forwarders refer to as import haulage. This happens when the product leaves the import warehouse and reaches its ultimate destination. Similar to export haulage companies, shipping companies may use various transport options depending on the goods and the distance from the warehouse to the final destination.

Import shipments can take anywhere from a few days to a few hours to reach their destination, depending on the distance and mode of delivery.

Five Facts that make Freight Forwarders Crucial to Business Success

If you want your business to thrive in the global market, you must work with a reliable freight forwarder. Look at these five reasons why freight forwarders are crucial to your company's success and longevity if you want to learn more about freight forwarding.

Supplying Accurate and Timely Documentation

When sending goods internationally, problems with paperwork can cause delivery delays or even the shipment's derailment. Passage through customs is mandatory for all foreign-bound goods. Customs agents verify the legitimacy, safety, and proper documentation of goods before allowing them to pass through a border.

Although not all of them may be required, it is wise to have the following documents on hand regardless of your shipment's destination. Several factors influence the documentation needed for your shipment. What paperwork is required to export or import goods depends on several factors, including the mode of transportation, whether the cargo is domestic or international, and the ultimate destination.

Offering Optimisation of Routes

Faster logistics operations are possible thanks to freight forwarders' access to a global network of specialists and other connections. Finding the most cost-effective transportation options, minimising travel time, and determining the best route for transporting goods are all made easier with this.

The forwarder is in a prime position to secure the necessary cargo space, choose the most efficient route to ensure timely delivery, tailor the transport schedule to the customer's requirements, and negotiate a reasonable price with the carriers. Your company can increase the likelihood that the shipment will reach its destination on schedule and in good condition by working with a freight forwarder with extensive, reliable connections.

Also, when a shipment needs to be delivered multiple times, the shipper must pay for the freight. This can be expensive, especially for small businesses. After establishing trust with the shipping company, businesses often find that they can extend credit terms, which frees up capital for freight costs and allows them to deliver a greater load.

Economical Logistical Services

Freight services help you save money on shipments by taking advantage of discounts offered for larger shipments. Due to the low volume of shipments from a single customer, these discounts are only available through freight forwarders. The top freight forwarders can do more than deliver goods; they can also help their clients improve their service.

Whether you opt for shipping or air freight, you will benefit from these advantages. Experts in the field can guide customer segment benefits and effective negotiation strategies. Port fees, insurance, and charges are some of the subjects they'll cover. You could inform the buyer, who would ultimately receive the shipment, of this.

Improved Security and Safety Protocols for Freight

You may relax knowing that a freight forwarder will handle the logistics of shipping your cargo.

The last thing you want as a business owner is for the authorities to mess up your shipment and ruin customers' purchases. Freight forwarders help you avoid losses due to theft or damage to your cargo using the right tools and equipment.

By utilising freight forwarders, you can rest assured that your items will be physically loaded and unloaded safely and that they will also lessen the likelihood of cargo loss or theft. They can provide you with third-party insurance to safeguard your shipment. If you want to know where your shipment is and what it's doing, you can ask your freight forwarder about freight tracking.

Several Additional Services

Beyond their essential role in facilitating the transportation of goods, freight forwarders also provide supplementary services that could benefit your organisation. This type of service is called value-added service. A competitive advantage in your market can be yours with these provisions. With the help of freight forwarding companies' knowledge and experience, you will grow as a businessperson. The extra detail you provide is sure to be appreciated by your customers.

Freight forwarders often offer extra services, such as cargo tracking, that can enhance your experience working with them. Customers will never again doubt your knowledge of the subject or be in the dark about the whereabouts of their orders because of tracking. To help you enhance customer service, the top service providers provide real-time, on-demand reporting.


What is a Freight Forwarder, and what do they do?

A freight forwarder is a company that specialises in arranging and managing the logistics of international and domestic shipping. They act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers, handling tasks such as booking cargo space, customs documentation, and coordinating the transportation of goods from the point of origin to the final destination.

Why are Freight Forwarders essential to the success of businesses?

Freight forwarders play a crucial role in streamlining the shipping process, reducing shipping costs, and ensuring the efficient movement of goods. They have expertise in navigating complex international regulations, customs procedures, and transportation networks, which helps businesses avoid delays, minimise risks, and optimise their supply chain.

How do Freight Forwarders help with international shipping?

Freight forwarders are well-versed in the intricacies of global trade. They can assist businesses with customs clearance, documentation, compliance with international regulations, and choosing the most cost-effective and efficient shipping routes. This expertise is invaluable for companies looking to expand their reach in international markets.

What services do Freight Forwarders offer?

Freight forwarders offer various services, including cargo booking, warehousing, customs brokerage, documentation preparation, tracking and monitoring shipments, and managing transportation logistics. They tailor their services to meet the specific needs of businesses, ensuring a smooth and reliable shipping experience.

How do businesses select the right Freight Forwarder for their needs?

When choosing a freight forwarder, businesses should consider factors such as the forwarder's experience in their industry, their network of international agents, their track record of reliability, and their ability to provide cost-effective solutions. Collaborating with a forwarder that aligns with your business goals and can offer customised logistics solutions is essential.