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What Is Freight Forwarding? 9 Things You Need to Know Going in to 2020

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Did you know that at any given time there are approximately 6 million shipping containers moving around the world?

The shipping and supply chain industries are booming and developing like never before. Thanks to the impact of new technologies and tracking methods, it has also become more efficient than previous times. 

If you are an enterprise working with a national or international supply chain you may be wondering how these developments can benefit you? What types of shipping are available? What is freight forwarding? How can it work for you?

Check out our in-depth guide to freight forwarding in 2020.

1. What Is freight forwarding?

A freight forwarding company will take responsibility for moving your goods from one location to another. This may be internationally or locally. Their responsibility starts with the collection of goods and includes storing and protecting goods until they reach their destination. 

They will also deal with customs agents and will negotiate with shipping companies to find the best deal for an enterprise. There are many different freight forwarding companies available. It is vital to compare the various options on display before choosing which can meet your needs in the best way.  

2. What Services Do They Offer?

A real advantage of freight forwarders is that they deal with the necessary paperwork that must be produced to cross borders. This can include customs clearance and international export and import documentation.

While your materials are in their care they will also ensure that they are handled correctly. If necessary specialized packing materials, storage, and inventory management service are often available.

Often electronic equipment will require specialized storage environments. These can be arranged by the freight forwarder.

Freight forwarders also bring experience. They reduce the stress involved by leveraging their experience to make delivery as quick and easy as possible. 

3. How Do They Handle Delays?

Unfortunately, no company can guarantee that delays will not happen. However, a professional freight forwarding company will handle delays in a professional manner. This would include communicating effectively and even providing tracking of your items. 

Although delays may not be preventable, a professional freight forwarding company will use every avenue to ensure that your materials arrive on time. 

4. Build an Ongoing Relationship 

The nature of a successful supply chain is that shipping will be ongoing. Punctuality and trustworthy shipping arrangements are vital. 

A freight forwarding company will select shipping arrangements that meet your needs. However, an ongoing relationship will reap further benefits. As freight forwarding companies come to know your business’s needs better, they will better be able to meet them. 

Further, as you come to know the shipping company better you will see what the can offer and how their services can improve your supply chain. 

5. Necessary Paperwork

Freight forwarding companies can reduce the stress of international shipping significantly. However, they will do this with the support of the documents that your company will provide. 

An organization should ensure that they provide the necessary documents in a timely and organized fashion to the freight forwarding company. This will guarantee the smoothest of border crossings and that goods will arrive on time.

6. Shipping Restrictions

Whist freight forwarding companies transport a vast amount of materials every day, there are some materials which they will not accept. This list varies to some degree fro country to country however some basic items are:

  • Dangerous Goods such as flammable materials
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Batteries
  • Many Perishable items
  • Sharp objects

If a specific country prohibits other items, the freight forwarding company will advise before shipments are made.

7. What Else Can a Freight Forwarder Offer?

While basic shipping services are the foundation of freight forwarding, many companies offer additional services that you may require.

These include specialized storage for sensitive goods. In other cases, a company may require insurance and a tracking mechanism. Or in exceptional cases, a shipper may accept transporting dangerous chemicals.

Consult with your freight forwarding company to see what other services they can provide.

8. Supporting Documentation

International shipping is made easier by freight forwarding companies. They will handle much of the complex paperwork involved in border crossings etc. As this is accomplished they will provide you with the paperwork for your permanent records.

  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of Lading contract
  • Certificate of origin statement
  • Inspection certificate
  • Export license
  • Export packing list
  • Shippers export declaration document

It is important to retain this information in case of a governmental investigation or a dispute with a customer. 

9. Freight Forwarders Network

A single company may be able to handle its shipping needs itself. However, it would be missing out on the advantage provided by a well connected professional freight forwarding company. 

A freight forwarding company will be able to use years of international experience to provide shipping solutions. However, in addition to this, they will be able to provide consultation about the feasibility of shipping to a specific country based on their own experience. 

Further, when difficulties arise they have numerous contacts that they can call on to resolve the issue or to provide alternative delivery solutions. 

What Is Freight Forwarding and Many Other Questions

If you have wondered what is freight forwarding? You will now know what the answer is. Likely your next question is “how can we benefit from freight forwarding?”

If you are a small to medium-sized business, you will want to find the best deal for your shipping needs. The supply chain from material producer to customer door should be watertight and traceable. 

Check the best rates for international shipping solutions right here on our site. We leverage our experience to find the best deals for your business. 

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