freight forwarder

A Guide to Finding the Best Freight Forwarder

By Paul Woods
In May 5, 2022
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Businesses that rely on exporting and importing services often need to have efficient, cost-effective, and safe transportation of their products. It doesn’t make economic sense to transport the goods themselves. And that is why these companies require intermediaries. Since most of these companies cannot access private shipping arrangements, hiring a freight forwarder is their best option.

Freight forwarding is a service offered by agents to facilitate the transportation of merchandise internationally. The freight forwarding agent stands as the link between the carrier and the company owing selling the goods. Apart from facilitating transportation, freight forwarders have now adopted other means to assist the owner of the goods. They go as far as contract other transport providers to make the process easier for the company.

What is the Role of A Freight Forwarder?

Freight forwarders today participate in various roles for the companies they work for. However, the type, size, and owner of the merchandise determine the role a freight forwarder plays in the company. Below are the essential roles of freight forwarding agents.

Advises the Shipper

The most common role of a freight forwarder entails advising and helping companies effectively transport their merchandise. During this time, they provide the client with all the information necessary to facilitate the transportation of goods. They will communicate ahead about the challenges that might come up during transportation and provide a way around them. Also, they help bargain with transport agents to come up with the best shipping cost. Since freight forwarders have an abundance of experience and knowledge in the field, they help ease all the processes involved in the shipment.

Book Freight Space

A freight forwarder with an extensive network and expertise comes in handy for clients looking to import and export goods from particular countries. They book an ideal space for cargo on airplanes, ships, trains, or other modes of transportation. The forwarding agent will advise on the best available shipping option such as containerization, air freight, and road haulage.

Handle Warehousing, Packaging, and Distribution Matters

Before goods are shipped or after they arrive, a freight forwarder is responsible for organizing matters to do with warehousing, packaging, and distribution. The agent can store the products right before importing or exporting them as they wait for distribution or transportation. In most cases, there is a transportation contract that includes these services (storage) before and after delivery.

Handles All the Papers and Custom Clearance

For the process of importation and exportation to be successful, there needs to be proper documentation. In this case, the freight forwarder you choose will help perform all the documentation necessary and ensure to clear with customs. The forwarder is responsible for preparing and submitting all documentation regarding the products and ensures they conform to lawful and customs requirements. They represent the client during duty payments and custom assessments. After that, they will take the merchandise and papers from customs once they clear.

Tips for Choosing the Best Freight Forwarders

freight forwarder

Choosing an ideal freight forwarder is not easy. However, with the following tips, you can narrow down your list and remain with the best forwarder that matches your needs.

Transparency

The goal of any forwarder is to remain open with the client to build trust and provide effective performance. Therefore, they always work to meet the client’s expectations by delivering relevant information about the freight. Transparency ensures efficient communication between the parties involved.

Responsiveness

How quickly a freight forwarder reacts to your concerns and requests plays a huge role in providing excellent service. A company that deploys risk-easing techniques is ideal for solving urgent matters.

Expertise

Before hiring a forwarding company, ensure it has the skills necessary to handle shipment and possible challenges. Several years in the business can provide excellent expertise to ensure forwarders handle matters proficiently.

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