(Updated: 9 May 2023)
When it comes to importing and exporting goods internationally, having a freight forwarding partner that knows how to navigate the complex global shipping network, can alleviate any burdens associated with your shipments. In this article, we will take a look at what a freight forwarder does and how partnering with a freight forwarder can benefit your business.
What is freight forwarding?
Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one destination to another via a single or multiple mode of transport such as road, rail, air, or sea. A freight forwarding company acts as the logistics partner that manages the transportation and customs clearance requirements of your cargo to ensure your products suffer no damage, theft, or delays and arrive in the same condition that they left in.
What does a freight forwarder do?
A freight forwarder handles all ancillary services, as well as any customs clearing, legal, and logistical requirements that are associated with navigating the international shipping industry. Freight forwarding services include the handling of:
- Inventory Management
- Customs Clearance
- Documentation Handling
- Payments and Order Tracking
- Legal Requirements
- Packaging, and so much more.
Freight forwarding services can be provided for large and small multinational businesses, consolidators, and individual shippers. Whatever the size and type of your load, you will have to follow similar shipping and customs procedures. The additional administrative and logistical services offered by a freight forwarding company, include:
- Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier Documentation
- Bills of Lading
- Warehousing and Storage
- Risk Assessment and Management
- Methods of International Payment
- Monitoring and Tracking
- And Most Other Logistical Support and Administrative Requirements.
What could become an unending frustration, turns into a simple, repeatable, and reliable process for shipping your goods internationally.
What are the benefits of using a freight forwarder?
A freight forwarder helps streamline a company’s import and export processes. With access to strategic and established relationships with various carriers, they are often able to negotiate best price estimates and help determine the most efficient route to transport your goods. Businesses who choose to use a freight forwarder often experience first-hand the numerous advantages their specialized services have to offer.
Here are some of the most significant benefits a freight forwarder can offer your business:
- Freight forwarders utilize their wealth of industry and supply chain knowledge to help guide you on the best mode of transport for your cargo based on deadline, budget, and cargo type.
- Freight forwarders handle unforeseen complications such as environmental changes (weather, economical, governmental etc.), cargo delivery delays, or route changes on your behalf.
- Freight forwarders can negotiate better rates for their transportation services due to their strong relationships with various carriers.
- Freight forwarders offer a wide range of services that cover all levels of shipping from consulting, planning, tracking, warehousing, packaging, customs, and delivery, making them an all-in-one partner.
- Freight forwarders manage the entire transportation process on your behalf, which allows you to focus on growing your business.
Why should I hire a freight forwarding company?
When it comes to the import and export of your cargo, you can choose to handle the entire process on your own. However, importing and exporting cargo involves a substantial number of documents and knowledge of regulations that vary between countries. By partnering with a freight forwarding company, you can rest assured that your goods are handled by experienced professionals from their point of origin to their final destination.
Some of the benefits of working with a freight forwarder include the following:
- Different Shipping Methods (Air, Road, Rail, and Sea)
- Risk Management
- Value-added Services (Warehousing & Abnormal Freight)
- International Partnerships
- Cargo Tracking
- Industry and Supply Chain Knowledge
- Industry Experience and Customer Service Focus
A great freight forwarding service can save businesses huge amounts of money and time, not to mention a range of headaches and hassles associated with the international shipping industry. Your shipments will be transported lawfully, safely and on time – and in a reliable and cost-effective manner.
Finding the right freight forwarding partner will be an invaluable asset to any company or individual moving goods around the world. Do not spend time and energy trying to become an expert in international shipping procedures, find a freight forwarder that is already embedded in the global transportation network and ready to support you.
M6T have been established as a trusted and comprehensive freight logistics partner for many years. We have a global network that spans across the international shipping industry and helps us provide world-class freight forwarding services for our clients. Contact M6T at our Johannesburg or Durban branch today for all of your freight forwarding needs.