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You’ve heard the term freight forwarding, and you know it involves transporting goods. However, you also want to know what a freight forwarder does and how it can benefit your business. Transportation is a complicated industry, and there are many detailed tasks that a freight forwarding company performs for its clients.

What is a Freight Forwarder?

Freight forwarders liaise with shipping companies, storage facilities, and transportation services to ensure the safe transportation of goods from one location to another.

These companies are middle-men, and they negotiate with other transportation companies to get you the best price and service. Freight forwarders find the fastest route for your products and take responsibility for transporting your goods.

They Offer Stress-free Transportation

Freight forwarding companies take the hassle and stress out of the transportation process. There is a considerable amount of paperwork involved in international and even domestic transport, and delays can have significant cost implications.

Experienced freight forwarding companies have extensive in-depth knowledge of the procedures required at each stage of the journey, so you can relax. Their job is to get your goods to their final destination as efficiently as possible.

Multiple Services Under One Roof

International shipping requires different services, and the freight forwarding process requires an understanding of various procedures. Freight forwarders are logistics companies that can also arrange storage solutions for your products, product collection by a transportation company, and origin handling services.

Additionally, freight forwarders can handle the paperwork necessary for export customs clearance.

The bread and butter of freight forwarders come from arranging transportation by ocean freight, air freight, or drayage and ensuring goods are ready for import customs clearance and destination handling.

These procedures require incredible attention to detail, knowledge spanning many industries, and excellent customer service. Good freight forwarding companies make product transportation hassle-free experiences for their clients.

A Freight Forwarder Has Many Contacts in Their Network

To solve issues on the fly, your freight forwarder must have an extensive list of contacts and strong relationships with these services suppliers.

Freight forwarders are not responsible for delays caused by the weather, port delays, or unexpected route changes. However, a good forwarder can attempt to resolve these issues by contacting their network of service providers to find a transportation company that can take over the shipping process on short notice.

The more contacts a freight forward has, the better chance they have of getting you the best possible price with a reputable transportation company. For example, a company could suddenly find they have space in a container that is going to your destination and offer a reduced rate to fill the space.

They Can Advise on Restricted Goods

Freight forwarders adhere to strict regulations regarding what they can transport, and they can also help you avoid transporting banned goods to countries or states that do not accept those items.

Although a freight forwarder should review the goods and destination of each transportation request, import haulage and export haulage procedures are particularly strict regarding firearms, pharmaceuticals, flammable liquids, alcohol, and perishable items.

If you attempt to transport forbidden items, you are likely to incur significant fines, and customs could seize your goods.

Your Freight Forwarder Provides You with Documentation

Your freight forwarder handles all the paperwork with customs and the various companies involved in your goods’ transportation, and they also provide you with copies of the important documents. Many standard documents include commercial invoices, a Bill of Lading contract, export licenses, and export declaration documents.

If just one of these documents is missing, customs can keep your goods in storage until you resolve the issue. Storage costs add up each day, meaning incorrect paperwork will cost your business money.

A freight forwarder can help you avoid delays caused by error and ignorance, so your goods reach their destination in a timely manner.

Some Freight Forwarders Specialize in Specific Cargo

Although many companies provide services for a range of industries, some freight forwarders specialize in certain products. A company that works specifically with the cargo you are transporting can bring a range of benefits to the partnership.

The transportation companies a specialized freight forwarder works with can bring more knowledge of the requirements for moving your goods from their origin to their destination to the table and understand those products’ customs requirements.

Final Thoughts

Freight forwarders are essential when transporting goods. Whether you are moving products between states or across international borders, there are many rigorous standards and procedures you must consider to ensure the timely and safe delivery of your products.

For a consultation to discuss your company’s freight forwarding requirements, contact Asiana USA at (855) 500-1808.

Michael has worked in the transportation industry for two decades and is interested in how modern technology is impacting the future of customer service within commerce.
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