Nowadays, in the logistics market, the role of a freight forwarder is questioned increasingly. Whereas some businesses have their own logistics department, or a trusted logistics company next door, others are seeking the lowest priced solution, which is the right choice for them. Also, they understand the requirement of the best supply chain for their organization and how to save more on freight.
Moving on, who is a freight forwarder? A freight forwarder or forwarding agent is someone who plays an important role in commerce and the international carriage of goods.
Traditionally, the freight forwarder used to act as a link between the carrier and the owner of the goods/packages and provided forwarding as well as clearing services. However, today, freight forwarders have adopted new and different roles apart from assisting the owner of the goods and the carrier-like businesses have adopted technology like shipping applications for their freight. For example, they have started transporting the goods by their means or by contracting other transport providers. And, even with this role, freight forwarders do not take any kind of ownership of the packages. They only take the declarations made by the owner of the goods of what the goods are, their weights, dimensions, and the purpose of the freight.
Basically, freight forwarders have different roles depending on the type and size of their client: business, organization, etc.
Here are a few important roles of a freight forwarder that are done in the logistics market:
Offering Advice to the Shipper
Mainly, the forwarding agent advises and helps clients transport their goods more effectively from the buyer to the seller. Moreover, forwarders inform the client beforehand about the potential challenges of freight transportation. And also, most forwarders negotiate with transport agents to reduce the cost of the shipping.
Not to mention, the knowledge of shipping that freight forwarders have helps them easily do the banking practices, and reduce the transportation costs for the shipment process.
Reserving Freight Space on the Modes of Transportation
Apart from their fundamental roles, the freight forwarders are responsible for booking cargo space on airplanes, ships, trains, or other means of transportation. Several freight forwarders have expertise in a certain field and extensive networks to make their clients import or export from particular countries.
Packaging, Warehousing, and Distribution
Before any shipment or after the goods arrive, the freight forwarders are the one who processes them for packaging, warehousing, and distribution. Additionally, the forwarders can store the goods before export or import while waiting for transportation or distribution. Also, sometimes a contract of transportation includes storage services before and after delivery of the goods while awaiting customs clearance.
Providing Insurance Services
Contrary to cargo agents, some forwarders provide cargo insurance for a service fee for their clientele. Also, most freight forwarders suggest their clients buy insurance cover for their cargo and various kind of freight management software as well.
Perform Documentation and Custom Clearance
The role of the forwarding forwarder is to export documentation and shipping needs. The freight forwarding agent prepares and submits documentation for the export and import of all the packages, working side by side with the legal and customs needs and the sales agreement.
The forwarder represents the client through payment of duty, customs procedure, and taking the freight and the documents from customs after clearance.
In a nutshell, freight forwarders or freight forwarding services play a critical role in the global freight shipping industry. And with the rapid growth of complexities of the intermodal transport system, the role of freight forwarders is becoming even more crucial in the Logistics market, and export and import business.
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