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When you’re dealing with international transportation of goods a freight forwarding company can be a real asset. Not only can they negotiate on shipping, warehousing and haulage costs on your behalf, but they can also help with insurance claims if things go wrong.

How does a freight forwarding company work? Read on to find out more…

Freight forwarder data

This role involves responsibility for freight transportation – moving the goods from one destination to another. A freight forwarding company specialises in arranging the entire process from the point of origin to the final destination.

Using a freight forwarder to import and export goods make the whole procedure much less stressful as you’ll get help on all levels. A range of transport carriers will include sea, air, road, rail, or multimode transportation to ensure your goods arrive on time.

Freight forwarding companies with years of industry experience will have numerous contacts – guaranteeing the best rates for your individual shipment. Freight forwarders specialise in logistics, with many companies also offering customs broker services.

Global links ensure that the right person will be found to get the job done. And you’ll be able to book, pay, and track your shipment easily online. You may have to pay fees upfront, but the benefits of using a freight forwarder will prove a helpful investment.

Services provided by freight forwarders

Freight forwarders can provide an entire range of services including packing and storage, inventory management, international export and import documentation for customs clearance, and insurance.

Bear in mind that they can’t be held responsible for shipping delays that occur due to bad weather resulting in route changes or port hold-ups, but they will resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Keeping goods on the move is just one of the many advantages of having your shipment professionally taken care of. Your freight forwarder will be in overall control of getting your shipment to its destination which will also cover:

  • Arranging transport from warehouse to port or airport for shipping
  • Preparing all necessary documentation required for importing or exporting goods (see below for more details)
  • Negotiating and scheduling cargo for delivery by sea, air, rail, or road
  • Organising insurance
  • Setting up haulage and delivery to your requested end location

Documents provided by your freight forwarder

Your international freight forwarding company will assist with all the necessary paperwork to prevent any customs delay issues and these include:

  • Bill of lading contract
  • Certificate of origin statement
  • Commercial invoice
  • Import or export declaration documents
  • Import or export packing lists
  • Import or export licences
  • Inspection certificate

Be aware of shipping restrictions

Strict regulations are adhered to by freight forwarding companies. Typical prohibited items include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Batteries
  • Dangerous goods (flammable liquids and toxic items for example)
  • Drugs (both prescription and recreational)
  • Perishable items
  • Sharp objects

Freight forwarding costs

Quotes from freight forwarders will vary dependant on the services that are covered. Arranging the transport logistics associated with the shipment will always be the core cost component. When you receive your itemised quote, it should supply charges for:

Storage as necessary – before and after shipping

Packing and palletisation – relative to how your goods are being shipped

Specific product costs – such as every heavy cargo, perishable items that require refrigeration, and additional licences for goods that need extra precautions taken

Transportation – these costs may be calculated by cargo weight or volume, and cover haulage to a port or airport, air or sea freight costs, and local transport to get to the final destination

Additional fees – these could cover specific routes or ports that incur extra costs during peak delivery times for instance

Costs for documentation – including all necessary import and export paperwork

Administration and handling fees – payable specifically to the freight forwarder and often in advance

Insurance and surcharges – accounting for price increase in fuel, or fluctuating currency exchange rates for example

Benefits of using a freight forwarder

Advantages include dealing with one individual specialising in all of the complex issues related to the transportation of your shipment. With the freight forwarding company’s global connections you’ll get the best deals on shipping, haulage, and warehousing costs, all negotiated on your behalf. And you can relax knowing that if anything goes wrong any insurance claim will be dealt with for you.

In conclusion

“I’m looking for cargo transportation” The answer to this statement can easily be supplied – search for a trusted logistics company that will co-ordinate an effective supply chain with multi-modal freight shipping – handpicking the services for the ideal solution to your particular business needs. You’ll find that storage solutions and warehousing are a key part of these services and that they’ll be set up to ensure you’ll get the best deal on the most convenient options.

Transportation to and from any global destination will be carefully handled on your behalf, and you’ll be able to get a quote upfront to make sure it suits your budget. Using a freight forwarding company will leave you free to focus on expanding your business further, knowing that your shipments are in safe hands.