If you are shipping internationally and you are looking for the best shipping freight rates, then the service of a freight forwarding agent is just what you are looking for. Freight forwarding does not directly move your cargo and merchandise, but it is the highly professional combination of organization, networking, and logistics that makes it an effective choice to ship your goods.
Freight forwarding is a comprehensive approach to shipping, and there are some things that the customer should learn to expect. The basics are undoubtedly essential, but if your freight forwarder can add a few extra services, it will make your shipping experience, business or personal, a good one.
What are the basic services you can expect?
The Freight Forwarder can be very advantageous to a business because, if done correctly, the service can efficiently move your cargo from one point to another in the and save you money.
One thing that is a high priority in the shipping business is the necessity of making sure that all the documentation for the transport is accurate and up to date. Some of these documents include a commercial invoice, a certificate of origin statement, a bill of lading, and an inspection certificate. When exporting there is also documentation regarding an export license, an export packing list, and the shipper’s export declaration document.
Customs clearance is another top item that a freight forwarder can handle with efficiency. This clearance procedure involves the accurate presentation of the commercial invoice and will require the addresses and telephone numbers of the shipper and the receiver. The customs officer will assess whether there are taxes or duties required and request payment if they have not been paid.
In some cases, these shipping freight rates can be an unwelcome surprise if the shipper has not taken into consideration unanticipated fees such as brokerage, storage, and late payment fees. The freight forwarder should have knowledge and experience in this area and can save the client money.
Other basic services that a competent Freight Forwarder will provide and oversee include making sure the insurance on the cargo is in effect and up to date, organizing and implementing parking and storage for the shipment, and keeping proper records of the current inventory and managing the inventory when necessary.
Extra services to look for
The freight forwarding company that is totally involved with the shipping process can manage and direct the export haulage of goods from the original source to the shipper’s warehouse. Customs clearance at the export end is again a top consideration at this part of the move. The exceptional freight forwarder will have a plan in place to unload and inspect and validate the cargo against all booking documents.
At the other end of the journey, the experienced freight forwarder will make sure that there are no surprises when the paperwork reaches the customs authorities and that all dues and fees are paid without a penalty. In addition, the cargo will arrive safely at its planned destination, and it will be unloaded safely into the warehouse to wait for further distribution.
These extra services seem to place a lot of responsibility on the role of the freight forwarder, but if the shipper considers shipping freight rates and overall efficiency, these tasks need to be in place for the process to work efficiently.
The most experienced and knowledgeable company in the freight handling business will have an extensive network of contacts in all the various aspects of the phases that a shipment must progress through to be moved quickly and inexpensively. As in any successful business, the people in this network must have the customer’s needs foremost so that the client’s company can profitably contribute to the uninterrupted line of manufacturing, distribution, and services that make all businesses work.