Importers and exporters who need to move goods through the supply chain can employ freight forwarding companies. To ensure the cargo reaches its destination, the forwarder works with carefully chosen shipping companies. These firms then transport goods onward to the recipient.
Freight forwarding is complex and involves using sea, air, road, rail, or a mixture of all. Whether conveying goods by land or sea a freight forwarding company will offer numerous services to help clients get their cargo across international borders without delay.
Drawing on their experience, logistics firms will know which shipping routes are optimal and arrange the right transportation methods to ensure timely delivery. Let’s explore how it all works…
What is the role of a freight forwarding company?
A logistics company will transport goods domestically and internationally. Although moving cargo expediently through the supply chain is its primary aim, goods will also be stored at key points throughout the journey. Forwarders will also work closely with exporters and importers to ensure the goods have accurate documentation so they can achieve customs clearance.
The term freight forwarding is misleading, though. Such companies don’t actively transport goods. However, they do know how to get products to market cost-efficiently– especially in cases where businesses need to transport large volumes of goods.
Freight forwarding companies transport goods from the point of origin – which could be a warehouse or factory,
complete all documents, including licenses prior to goods being exported. In addition, they will find, negotiate and book with the best sea or air freight partners on the client’s behalf, as well as coordinate haulage and onward delivery to the agreed destination.
More generally, they take ownership of a client’s shipment to ensure it reaches its destination in the fastest and most affordable way.
Five reasons to use a freight forwarder
As you may well know, exporting and importing goods is complex. A single mistake on a document could result in a delay that’s time-consuming and expensive to fix (and could even damage the relationship with the end-client). Hiring a freight forwarding specialist to oversee the process will save time, stress, and money.
Here are the top five benefits:
1. One point of contact
You could try and save money by instructing several freight and haulage companies to transport your goods. But wouldn’t you prefer to pick up the phone and speak to one person in the event of a time-critical emergency?
2. Import/export knowledge
Freight forwarders know which documents to complete and how – without the risk of error. Do you or your in-house teams have in-depth knowledge of import/export processes or would you rather trust the experts?
3. Local and global connections
A logistics company will draw on the strength of its network to find service providers that best meet their client’s requirements. These connections enable them to complete the shipment optimally.
4. Experts in negotiation
Freight forwarding companies have arrangements with shipping, haulage, and warehousing firms worldwide and will draw on the strength of these connections to negotiate favourable rates on your behalf.
5. Peace of mind
If things don’t go to plan, would you have the expertise to fix the problem? Hire a specialist and you’ll need only pick up the phone and ask for help.
Are there any downsides to hiring a freight forwarding company?
Overall, the cost of your shipment will be more expensive. But you need to weigh this expense against the potential cost of something going wrong. The issue of trust is important too. You’ll be handing control of your shipment to a third party, so it’s important to choose a logistics partner that:
(i) is fully regulated
(ii) has a strong track record of success helping clients in your sector
How do service providers calculate freight forwarding quotes?
Your freight forwarding firm will quote you one price for transporting your shipment to its destination. They will itemise the costs to give you a breakdown of the individual elements in place. This will help you compare quotes to see which firm offers the most comprehensive service.
When reviewing your quote you should see charges for transport, product costs (do you need a crane to lift heavy goods?), palletisation, storage, and the cost to prepare paperwork. This list isn’t exhaustive, and you should take care to review your quote carefully before signing a contract.
You’ll be in safe hands when you choose AMCO
Are you looking for affordable, effective freight forwarding services? Using our in-depth knowledge of worldwide logistics, we’ll get your product to market in the fastest and most cost-efficient way.
Find out what our customers have to say or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements in more detail. You can also get in touch for a quote.