shipping containers stacked in a shipping yard

How Do Freight Forwarding Companies Work?

Rosa Turchio Blog, Freight Forwarding

The process of shipping products requires a lot of paperwork to fill out, regulations to understand and abide by, and processes to have laid out to ensure smooth delivery and transit. All of these things can be daunting for people new to international trade and shipping. 

Luckily, it’s possible to ship goods internationally without having to deal with the stress and hassle that comes with importing and exporting goods.

Freight forwarding companies can take care of the various responsibilities on behalf of you and your business. While it may seem like paying a freight forwarding company for excellent service may seem like an additional cost, freight forwarders offer a wide range of services and can actually help you save more money than you spend with them by ensuring the safe and efficient transport of your goods. 

What Services do Freight Forwarders Provide?

Freight forwarders are often seen as a middleman between various transportation services involved in the journey. They are not distributors, shippers, importers, or exporters, but they play a part in ensuring that all of those different parts of the shipping process work well together.

Most transportation companies use air freight, ocean freight, and ground freight to ship goods both internationally and domestically. 

The freight forwarder’s responsibility is to make sure that the goods make it to their destination efficiently, safely, and in the most cost effective way for you: the client. Freight forwarding companies do this by leveraging their established relationships within their network of contacts. The better the freight forwarder, the better and larger their network will be.

Freight forwarders are also responsible for handling all of the paperwork required to export products, along with securing customs clearance at the destination port. 

How Do Freight Forwarding Companies Help Businesses Save Money?

The process of international shipping requires clear communication between several different transportation companies in the supply chain. Your shipments might be delayed if a vehicle breaks down, if a port is backed up, or if there is inclement weather at the port of origin or destination port. A breakdown at any point in the supply chain means that your goods could be in limbo, while everything else carries on as normal.

A reputable freight forwarding company, like Cargo Partners International, has a large network with strong relationships at every stage of the supply chain. Having a freight forwarder that knows how to keep things moving in the event of a hiccup is crucial. Being able to ensure products reach customers promptly helps save you money. 

Being able to find the most efficient route of transportation is just one part of what freight forwarding companies offer to the global supply chain. When dealing with international import and export, customs documentation can be very complicated, and is an essential part of international shipping. 

Customs documentation is very important, as one error or omission can cause your goods to be seized by customs officials. Freight forwarders are experts in preparing your goods for customs clearance by preparing any necessary documents, and ensuring their completeness and accuracy. Things like bills of lading, insurance certificates, packing lists, certificates of origin, and commercial invoices are all things that your freight forwarder can help prepare.

READ MORE: Small Business Guide to Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarders have specialized knowledge of the customs clearance process and can help ensure goods are eligible for passage, both at the origin and destination. All of this helps save you time, stress, and money.

Do I need a Freight Forwarder?

At the end of the day, any business can conduct their own importing and exporting without the help of a professional. Business owners might see this as an opportunity to save some money on their logistics. Most of the time, however, this actually increases costs, instead of reducing costs.

There is a long list of companies that have tried to organize their own product transportation without the help of a professional freight forwarding company. In most cases, these companies find that liaising with different transportation companies, organizing customs clearance documents, and dealing with issues as they arise in the sometimes unpredictable world of supply chain management requires a lot more time and effort than they thought, making handling all of this in-house an impractical task. 

A reliable freight forwarding company can help transport your goods from the factory to their final destination. Some of them, like Cargo Partners International, even offer warehousing services, with advanced inventory management and control. 

READ MORE: Why Warehousing is an Important Part of Any Logistics System

Conclusion

Freight forwarders work with different transportation services to ensure the safe and timely delivery of goods. Freight forwarding companies act as a middle man between shipping companies and customs officials, and can help save you money by leveraging their extensive network of contacts in the global supply chain.

To learn more about how freight forwarding can help save you money and simplify your logistics process, contact Cargo Partners International today.