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The job of the freight forwarder is of the utmost importance in the world of imports and exports. This transportation service will make sure that, when your company trusts it to export goods, the shipment will arrive at its destination on time, undamaged.

A freight forwarder does not move your goods but acts as a conduit between the many entities that one must go through to get a large shipment of goods from one location to another.

Finding a freight forwarding company that you trust is important for the international logistics involved in the organization and transportation of goods. The transportation company or individual you choose in your global shipping plan should know the ins and outs of the supply chain and have a firm grasp on the freight forwarding process.

Freight Forwarding Services

There are many steps to get a shipment from the manufacturer to its final destination. There are also different methods of freight shipping, including:

  • Air freight
  • Ocean freight
  • Road freight
  • Railway freight

The method you choose largely depends on the destination, whether you’re shipping internationally, and the weight and nature of your shipment.

Offered Services

National or international trade has a lot of moving parts. There are many logistical steps to consider when you’re choosing a freight forwarding company for your business. An excellent freight forwarding company can make a huge difference.

Some of the services that freight forwarding companies offer are insurance, clearing customs, international export/import documentation, packing, inventory management, and storage.

Whether you’re shipping large pieces of machinery, large bins of grain or wheat, or any other unwieldy item, you want the process to be streamlined and errorless. A freight forwarding company can help you simplify your delivery and shipping process so you can focus on more pressing concerns.

Incoterms

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) created a set of guidelines, policies, and rules to manage international commerce and trade, known as International Commerce Terms or Incoterms.

Two of the most crucial stipulations that Incoterms lay down are 1) the point at which responsibility of the goods transfers from one party to another and 2) who is responsible for what service (i.e., shipping, packing, storage, etc.).

The ICC periodically updates the Incoterms, and the newest revision has gone into effect on January 1, 2020. Incoterms help classify types of exportation and importation and clarify parts of the processes.

For example, Ex Works or EXW occurs when the seller has the least responsibility and is only liable for the production, packaging, and staging of the goods or shipment at their factory. However, in a Deliver at Place Unloaded (DPU) shipment, the seller is responsible for getting the products to a specified place at a particular time.

Consolidation

Freight forwarders are responsible for booking cargo space, warehousing of goods, and freight consolidation, amongst other duties. Some of the different types of consolidation methods are as follows:

  • LCL – Less than Container Load: In this shipping situation, your shipment travels with another company’s in the same container. There are both positives and negatives to this situation. The most crucial detail is for the freight forwarder to understand if the shipper is picking up the goods at the seller’s warehouse, or if the seller is delivering the products to the carrier.
  • FCL – Full Container Load: Usually, a full container heads for the shipper’s warehouse or storage area or the shipping port. In many instances, the shipment can remain on the truck until it is ready to be loaded or removed from the truck immediately.
  • RORO – Roll On, Roll Off: This cargo cannot be placed in containers and may be static or mobile. This type of shipment may include large pieces of technology or machinery and may be challenging to handle.

An expert freight forwarder will understand what is best for your company’s bottom line and will make those decisions accordingly.

Last Word

A freight forwarding company deals daily in the complicated process of exporting and importing goods over long distances. An experienced forwarder will know the different documents involved, including a bill of lading, and have contact points throughout the network.

Asiana USA has a highly professional staff of shipping experts to handle the demands of overseas shipping. Contact Asiana today at Asiana.com or call us at 855-500-1808 to request a quote.

Ester is a media professor and content creator based out of Pittsburgh, PA. She has an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing about technology, health and wellness and travel.
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