The business of shipping cargo either nationally or internationally, requires the coordination and expertise of everyone involved in getting the manufactured goods from the factory to the buyer. The cargo and freight agent can be found in warehouses, receiving offices, shipping stations, and stockrooms. The role of the agent is to facilitate and expedite the movement of goods from one mode of transportation to another and have it arrive safely at the appointed destination.
There are many duties performed by the cargo and freight agent that combine to fill an important leg of the shipping process. These agents ensure that shipments are loaded, picked up, and delivered on time and that all the paperwork is accurate, and the shipping fees are paid. International agents also are responsible to ensure the payments of customs and tariff dues are made and recorded.
Specific Duties to Assist the Shipper
Cargo and freight agents normally handle more than one client at a time. They are expert at organizing and coordinating different methods of shipping and distributing goods so that they save their clients’ money in shipping costs, and the goods arrive safely and on time most efficiently.
Most shipments are arranged based on the final destination, and the agent uses computer software to maintain accurate records. To track shipments and deliveries, the agent also uses barcodes and spreadsheets through the internet to provide an up to date report on the path of the cargo.
The agent also can decide on the appropriate mode of transportation to complete the journey of the goods from the warehouse to the customer’s front door. They have a thorough knowledge of the costs for each type of transportation, and they can advise the client on the mode most advantageous for their needs as well as the payment options available.
The logistics of shipping can be very complex and confusing, and the role of the cargo and freight agent is to simplify the description of this process and reduce it to manageable terms for the shipper and the buyer. Many times the agent will be in constant contact with the freight forwarder, the warehouse manager where the cargo will be stored, the drayage contractor, and even the truck driver hauling the container or goods.
Much of the agent’s day is spent in the office on the telephone or computer, but there is also the need for the agent to step onto the loading dock at times to assist in the loading of a truck or container and making sure that the load is balanced and secure for shipping or delivery.
A cargo and freight agent will also prepare estimates for postal rates, shipping rates, and other charges while also being able to facilitate bills of lading, invoices for shipping charges and other documents required for the entire shipping process. Included in this service are the weight, time of shipment, and the dimensions of the cargo. Using the existing and accurate records that the agent has produced it is also a duty to be able to track and recover lost cargo.
The cargo and freight agent is a skilled member of the shipping team, and through experience and on the job training this person can make sure that the seller’s goods are received and distributed efficiently at the lowest cost possible for shipping and handling.
There are many duties that an agent can perform for his clients as he fulfills his role within this complex shipping scenario. Asiana USA employs highly trained agents to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of your cargo, and we work continuously to improve on this service. Contact us today at 855-500-1808 for a free estimate.