Freight forwarding services are a critical part of international transport and shipping for businesses and individuals. Whether you are importing and exporting large shipments or moving a household of goods to a new country, freight forwarding companies can help you coordinate all aspects of shipping your goods.
Their services include securing carriers, such as road, sea, or air freight, and assist in completing documentation, managing storage, and packing requirements. Freight forwarding may seem like a complex and complicated process if you are unfamiliar with international shipping, but these 10 facts should help simplify freight forwarding services.
- What is a freight forwarding company?
Freight forwarding companies are responsible for organising and arranging the transportation of goods from one destination to another. Freight forwarding services specialise in managing every step of international shipping, from booking freight transportation and filing documentation to storage and packaging. Many freight forwarding companies assist in the customs clearing process too. Acting as an intermediary between their clients, customs agencies, and transportation services; they secure the most economical, reliable, and fastest shipping options.
- Making importing and exporting goods a hassle-free process
Freight forwarders help companies and individuals ship goods easily and effectively. By utilising freight forwarding services, you can turn the international shipping of goods into a completely hassle-free and stress-free experience. These services support you at every stage of the supply chain, from packaging, warehousing, and delivering shipments to getting them cleared through customs.Their knowledge of the global shipping network makes finding the right carrier, for the right price, simpler than ever. Freight forwarding companies adhere to the strictest regulations and will not carry certain prohibited items and substances, especially by sea or air freight. Most restrictions will include dangerous goods (such as flammable and toxic items), drugs (prescription or recreational), alcohol, batteries, perishable goods and weapons or sharp objects.
- Freight forwarders provide many different services
Freight forwarding services are about more than simply moving goods from one place to another. They help you with every aspect of your shipment’s preparation, organisation, and administration. Freight forwarders can integrate your supply chain into their arrangements on various levels, such as: customs clearance, shipping documentation, insurance, packing, storage, delivery, and inventory management.
- Freight forwarding is advantageous to your business.
By hiring a freight forwarding company for transporting goods to your consumers, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits to your business. Using their skills, knowledge and expertise, freight forwarders help ensure that all of your business’s products are shipped safely and affordably, while arriving at the destination on time. Not to mention, freight forwarding services can help you ship massive cargo loads or large single items just as easily.
- Maintain a good relationship with your freight forwarding partner
A freight forwarding partner is responsible for your valuable cargo during the sales and purchasing processes, so it is important to maintain a good working relationship with them. You want to make sure that you are choosing the right partner and a company that can manage your shipments. You will be working with your freight forwarding partner often and for a long time, so ensure that they value you as a customer, and you trust their work.
- Making sure your paperwork is up to date
One of the most effective steps for reducing delays or undelivered items is to ensure that all of your shipments’ paperwork and documentation are accurate and up to date. It is an incredibly important step for reducing the risk of a bad shipping experience, such as customs not clearing your goods. Freight forwarding services can help you complete your paperwork and ensure that it is administered correctly, as they have seen these forms countless times.
- Freight forwarders will provide you with a range of documents.
As we just mentioned, freight forwarding comes with a lot of paperwork. This is especially true when shipping goods overseas and dealing with customs clearing agencies. Your freight forwarding partner should be able to provide you with all the necessary documentation, including a: commercial invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, inspection form, export license, export packing list and shipper’s export declaration document.
- The six stages of freight forwarding
The freight forwarding process may seem complex and complicated, however it can be easily understood through these six stages, which include:
- Export haulage – the transfer of goods from their original source to a freight forwarding company’s warehouse facilities.
- Export customs clearance – ensuring the necessary procedures and documents are completed to guarantee goods are cleared by the origin country’s customs clearing agency.
- Origin handling – the loading, unloading, inspection and authentication of the shipper’s cargo against its booking documents.
- Import customs clearance – customs clearance paperwork is needed for all international shipments, which is checked by the customs clearing authorities of each country.
- Destination handling – the handling of cargo once it reaches the destination country, including the pickup and transfer of the imported goods to a warehouse.
- Import haulage – the transfer of your cargo from the import warehouse and delivery to its final destination.
- The strength of a freight forwarders’ network is vital.
The best parts of having an experienced and capable freight forwarding partner is taking advantage of their incredible network of contacts, agencies, and carriers around the world. Access to this global shipping network means that your freight forwarder can help you find the best prices, safest services, and fastest routes for shipments. The bigger their network, the more shipping options you will be able to access and benefit from.
- Does your freight forwarder specialise in a particular cargo type?
Some freight forwarding companies focus on specific services and cargo types, while others have a wide range of services and ship many types of cargo. Finding the right freight forwarding partner means choosing a company that can deliver the services you need and can transport your type of shipments to any location. It is important to do your research before choosing a freight forwarding and logistics partner; making sure they are capable, affordable, and reliable.
M6T are an established and trusted freight forwarding partner for many South African businesses. We have a global network that spans across the international shipping industry and helps us provide world-class freight forwarding services to our clients. Contact M6T at our Johannesburg or Durban branch today for all of your freight forwarding and logistics needs.