What is freight forwarding?
It’s the term given to arranging for goods to get from point A to point B, on behalf of an importer or exporter. A freight forwarder takes the stress out of international shipping. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that they can assist with – including preparing paperwork, coordinating with customs authorities and booking the truck, train, ship or aircraft that the goods travel on.
Freight forwarders navigate the worldwide movement of cargo on behalf of their clients. Their role would include
A freight forwarder makes the whole import/ export process as simple as possible from end-to-end. There’s usually a lot of third parties involved at both the point of origin and delivery, but if a business is using a freight forwarder, it means they only have one point of contact throughout the process. Plus, they have peace of mind that all arrangements have been made for the paperwork, negotiations and bookings.
How does freight forwarding fit within the logistics sector?
Freight forwarders are specialists in the logistics sector – though they do not physically move any goods themselves. Instead, a reliable individual or agency will utilise their networks and know-how to arrange for seamless international shopping.
What’s the difference between a freight forwarder and a customs broker?
A freight forwarder facilitates the whole process when it comes to the worldwide movement of cargo – in most cases, they will deal with customs clearances as part of the service they provide. On the other hand, customs brokers typically only deal with one part of the process – customs clearances at the point of delivery (e.g., the port or airport of import).
Do freight forwarders use customs brokers?
Yes – while in in most cases, freight forwarders will deal with customs clearances as part of the service they provide. They’ll either do it themselves, or subcontract it to a customs broker.
What do freight forwarders charge?
There’s no set charge for using a freight forwarder. Most will provide itemized quotes and contracts which cover the costs of international shipping, as well as the fees for their services.
Do freight forwarders own ships?
No, freight forwarders do not typically own their own modes of cargo transport.