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Imports and exports are important to many successful businesses. While
international shipping offers many opportunities for businesses, it can also be scary.
If you’ve never heard of the name “freight forwarder,” you may feel lost. Is this a
company that specializes in shipping? What exactly is a retail manager? Are you
looking for a partner in the import/export business? A business freight forwarder
does not perform all of these functions, but they do perform some. Here’s everything
you should know about hiring an international freight forwarder to ship goods
The procedures, paperwork and constraints of international trade can be
overwhelming. Nevertheless, you can ship items around the world without getting
lost in the details.
That’s precisely the role of a freight forwarder.
This article discusses the fundamentals about what a freight forwarder is, what they
do, why you would use a freight forwarder, and even discusses how to get a freight
forwarder for anyone concerned with international shipping, either import or export.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about freight forwarders and
What is a forwarder?
A company that manages the storage and delivery of things for its customers.
Tracking ground transportation, preparing shipping and export documents,
warehousing, reserving cargo space, negotiating freight rates, consolidating goods,
insuring goods and filing insurance claims are common services they provide.
Freight forwarders usually deliver their goods under their own bill of lading or air
waybill (sometimes called in-house bills of lading or in-house air waybills), and their
agents or partners (foreign freight forwarders) handle the delivery of documents,
deconsolidation, and collection of the goods at destination. A freight forwarder is
another name for a forwarder.
Let’s start with a basic explanation because this description is a bit wordy and
A freight forwarder is a firm that handles the import and export of your goods.
But what is a freight forwarder, in terms of activities?
What does a freight forwarder actually do?
When preparing an international shipment, there are several aspects to consider.
Although a freight forwarder controls the logistics of your international goods, it is
important to understand what a freight forwarder doesn’t do to understand what they
A freight forwarder does not manage the transportation of your goods.
They connect the shipper with various means of transportation, such as ocean
freight, trucking, expedited air freight and rail freight.
A freight forwarding service uses established relationships with carriers such as
airlines, trucking companies, railroads, and ocean liners to negotiate the best
possible price for the shipper’s goods via the most cost-effective route. This
negotiation is based on generating multiple bids and selecting the best one that
balances reliability, speed, and cost.
Freight forwarders handle the complex logistics of delivering goods from one
international location to another, which would otherwise be a significant burden to
In order to comply with export regulations and shipping documents, many exporters
use a freight forwarder to operate as a shipping agent. The freight forwarder helps
their clients choose the most cost-effective way to move goods from one point to
another. Many companies can benefit from a freight forwarder’s in-depth knowledge
of documentation requirements, rules, shipping costs and banking processes.
What are the advantages of using the services of a freight forwarder?
A freight forwarder is not required to import or export goods. Instead, many of the
most successful importers and exporters use a professional freight forwarder as their
logistics partner because importing and exporting can involve many formalities and
regulations, and these laws and required documents can vary from country to
Their job is to become familiar with the shipping industries, documentation and
customs procedures of many countries. You don’t have to worry about anything since
they are fully informed. This means that using a trusted freight forwarder service can
save you a lot of time and hassle, while ensuring reliable delivery of products at a fair
A freight forwarder is an essential tool for almost any company involved in the
international transportation of goods, and is especially useful when in-house
employees are unfamiliar with international shipping standards.
There are a number of advantages to using a freight forwarder. Here are some
- A freight forwarder is responsible for additional services that accompany the
international shipment, such as insurance.
- Customs documentation.
- Both consolidators and independent shippers can benefit from the services provided
by a freight forwarder:
- Documentation for common carriers that do not operate on vessels.
Risk assessment and management – Bills of lading – Warehousing – International
A freight forwarder must have a personal relationship and provide excellent customer
Regardless of the size of the company, or the lightness or weight of the item, the
freight forwarder will oversee the shipment from “dock to door” if necessary. This can
include, but is not limited to, proper filing of export documents, complete
transportation arrangements, packing, crating and storage requirements. This frees
small and medium-sized exporters from the many complexities associated with
export logistics. Freight forwarders also have access to discounts on shipping costs
and often charge a reasonable price for their services. This can be a good
investment, given the forwarder’s years of experience and ongoing attention to detail.
Can the freight forwarder handle business-to-business shipments?
DocShipper offers this and other services.
DocShipper is an international import/export company, but not only. We assist all our
customers in the whole process of procurement, logistics, and storage of their
Our experts can assist you during the entire sourcing process (supplier search,
product search, quality control, conformity checks, product packaging, etc.).
Our team will also assist you during the complete logistics process (transport of your
goods via sea, air, rail or road freight, customs clearance…). We will analyze your
needs in depth in order to determine the mode of freight that will suit you best
(budget, deadlines, size…)
You have questions, or you are interested in our services? Do not hesitate to fill out
our contact form on our website!