What do Freight Forwarders do?
Freight forwarding services are offered by companies who are engaged in international trade. they assist exporters in preparing price quotations by advising on freight costs, port charges, consular fees, costs of special documentation, insurance costs, and their handling fees. They recommend the packing methods that will protect the merchandise during transit or can arrange to have the merchandise packed at the port or containerized. If the exporter prefers, freight forwarders can reserve the necessary space on a vessel, aircraft, train, or truck. The cost for their services is a legitimate export cost that should be included in the price charged to the customer.
A freight forwarder is an agent who acts on behalf of importers, exporters or other companies to organize the safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of goods.
Freight forwarders use computer systems to arrange the best means of transport, taking into account the type of goods and the customers’ delivery requirements. They use the services of shipping lines, airlines and road and rail freight operators.
In some cases, the freight forwarding company itself provides the service.
Companies vary in size and type, from those operating on a national and international basis to smaller, more specialized firms, who deal with particular types of goods or operate within particular geographical areas.
Once you hire a freight forwarder, they will arrange for space with carriers, verify insurance coverage, complete documentation, and help with packaging.
A freight forwarder charges a flat fee for their services. In addition, they handle payment for document processing, carrier costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. All charges should be included in your freight quote, so make sure your freight forwarder itemizes your invoice.
What are the freight forwarding services offered:
- investigating and planning the most appropriate route for a shipment, taking account of the perishable or hazardous nature of the goods, cost, transit time and security;
- arranging appropriate packing, taking account of climate, terrain, weight, nature of goods and cost, and the delivery and warehousing of goods at their final destination;
- negotiating contracts, transportation and handling costs;
- obtaining, checking and preparing documentation to meet customs and insurance requirements, packing specifications, and compliance with other countries’ regulations.
- offering consolidation services by air, sea and road, ensuring cost-effective and secure solutions to small shippers who have insufficient cargo to require their own dedicated units;
- arranging insurance and assisting the client in the event of a claim;
- offering tailored IT solutions and electronic data interchange (EDI) connections;
- arranging payment of freight and other charges or collection of payment on behalf of the client;
- utilizing e-commerce, internet technology and satellite systems to enable real-time tracking of goods;
- arranging air transport for urgent and high-value freight and managing the risk door to door;
- acting as broker in customs negotiations worldwide to guide the freight efficiently through complex procedures;
- dealing with special arrangements for transporting delicate cargoes, such as livestock, food and medical supplies;
- arranging courier and specialist hand-carry services;
- maintaining communication and control through all phases of the journey, including the production of management reports and statistical and unit cost analysis;
- maintaining current knowledge of relevant legislation, political situations and other factors that could affect the movement of freight.
Freight Forwarding services are a key part of any company who is involved in International shipping.
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