Everything To Know About International Freight Forwarders
Learn how international freight shipping works, what a typical worldwide freight company does, and how freight companies differ from logistics companies.
International freight forwarders are becoming more important in the modern world. In the era of massive consumption and production, goods are shipped worldwide every second. To ensure the timely arrival of cargo at its destination, businesses rely on international freight services offered by international forwarding companies.
What Is International Freight Forwarding?
International freight shipping or forwarding refers to the movement of freight across countries. It’s among the most commonly used methods of transporting goods internationally for businesses and individuals. International freight is usually organised and tracked by international freight forwarding companies. They cooperate with international freight carriers that include ground, air, and ocean freight international logistics.
The main principle international freight forward companies work on is based on timely and cost-effective good transfer. The goods have to remain in good condition throughout their transit. To accomplish that, an international freight forwarder masters the international forwarding skills needed to ensure the products get from point A to point B safely.
Primary Responsibilities of an International Freight Forwarder
International forwarding of goods is organised by companies who arrange the whole shipping process for the client. This includes storing the goods in a warehouse and shipping them to any destination in the world.
International freight forwarding companies are intermediaries between shippers and goods transportation services. They are responsible for developing the fastest and most reliable transport routes and negotiating the most favourable price for the client. This includes cooperating with several air, land, or sea freight international logistics providers.
Freight Forwarders and Shipping Delays
Freight forwarders are responsible for many things, but shipping delays aren’t one of them. Delays can happen everywhere due to breakdowns, port delays, bad weather, or impromptu route changes. Although it’s frustrating to experience any shipping delay, it’s important to note that there’s nothing an international freight forwarding company can do about it.
Import and Export of Goods Made Easy
As a business owner who operates internationally, importing or exporting goods can be a stressful task. However, an international freight forwarder makes the whole process run smoothly. They have the skills and knowledge of freight, international logistics, and other related services.
Plus, well-established forwarders have strong contact networks. This ensures affordable cargo pricing and that your goods get to their destination the fastest way possible. An experienced company will have dealt with many different situations. This experience helps them deal with any problems that may arise during the transport.
Also, it’s important to note that some companies only specialise in specific cargo types. It’s essential to determine the best shipping method for your cargo before opting for a particular company. Ultimately, it’s best to work with professionals who already have experience working with goods similar to yours.
Some international freight services you can expect from a worldwide freight company include, but are not limited to:
- Import and export documentation for international forwarding
- Customs Clearance
- Packing the Goods
- Warehouse Goods Storage
- Inventory Management
Benefits of Hiring an International Freight Forwarder for Your Business
Doing business around the globe comes with many challenges. That’s why hiring a freight forwarder can be beneficial for the company. Some of the key benefits include:
- Timely pickup and delivery of goods. You get to keep your regular customers by catering to their needs on time. They cooperate with tested international freight carriers with an excellent reputation.
- Advanced tracking systems. Knowing where your cargo is at any given point is essential for both you and the customer. Thanks to easy-to-follow tracking systems offered by these companies, you’ll be able to track your goods until they arrive at their final destination.
- Higher security. An international freight forwarder offers high levels of security when it comes to the safety and care of fragile cargo pieces.
- Cost-effective solution. Oversized packages are often more expensive to ship. You get more reasonable prices with freight forwarders since you won’t be the only person sending goods through them.
- Proper documentation. International shipping can become a business owner’s worst nightmare if the transporter demonstrates a disparity in the documentation. It’s essential to know the laws of the countries you ship to avoid delays or to lose your clients.
- Inventory management. A worldwide freight company offers much more than shipping and documentation. By hiring a forwarder, you can save thousands on hiring multiple people for specific tasks. These companies have a proper set of tools to help manage your inventory more effectively.
International Freight Forwarding Process – The Six Stages
We can break the international freight forwarding process into six stages:
- Export Haulage. This includes transferring goods from the source to the freight forwarder’swarehouse.
- Export Customs Clearance. All goods shipped internationally have to receive clearance before being sent.
- Origin Handling. This involves unloading, inspecting, and validating the cargo and making sure everything is done by the book.
- Import Customs Clearance. The authorities check the cargo paperwork.
- Destination Handling. All services related to handling the cargo when it arrives at its destination, including warehouse transfer.
- Import Haulage. Transferring the cargo from the warehouse to the final destination.
International Logistics and Freight Forwarding Companies
“International Logistics” is often used interchangeably to refer to freight forwarding companies. Even though their work touches on the same fields, there are still some important differences. An international forwarding company can partner with one or multiple logistics companies. This means the price checking capabilities with a freight forwarder are better than those of an international logistics company.
An international logistics company owns all its assets, including the trucks, planes, or boats, but has no access to the shipping routes. Therefore, managing the physical movement of goods in the global supply chain is the primary responsibility of a logistics company. International logistics companies may also include documentation services sometimes. But this part is mainly done on behalf of an international freight forwarder.
What Is International Freight Forwarding – Explained
The primary purpose of freight forwarding is to ensure the goods arrive from one point to another. International freight forwarders cooperate with international logistics companies and offer international freight services for businesses and personal use. If you need a hand with international freight shipping, finding international freight carriers, or any other global supply chain aspect, an international freight forwarder can help. Thanks to their advanced tracking systems and expansive networks, you get to streamline every part of your business related to delivering goods.
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