A freight forwarding company is a logistics and transportation agency that arranges for the transport of cargo from one place to another. They also handle documentation, booking spaces for the shipment and offer a range of other services such as freight consolidation, obtaining customs clearance, and managing insurance.
USA freight forwarding company shipping worldwide and the freight forwarding industry is one of the oldest and most specialized. It grew from the needs of businesses and trades that needed to ship goods from one country to another before reliable rail transport and steamships were available. The first freight forwarders were innkeepers in London who held and then forwarded the personal belongings of their hotel guests. In today’s global economy, freight forwarders provide crucial support to businesses who want to grow internationally.
Freight forwarders’ expertise in supply chain management enables them to act as shipping consultants that can assist with planning and procurement, especially for projects involving overseas production. Construction companies, for example, need to import materials that are not available locally and export products designed specifically for specific projects in foreign markets. Fashion brands also use freight forwarders to manage their international supply chains.
Many different factors go into choosing a freight forwarder, including price, reputation, and customer service. A well-established freight forwarder is likely to have good references and a solid track record, while also offering competitive pricing. Some forwarders have their own warehouses that harbor their customers’ products, while others contract space with conveniently located affiliates.
The freight forwarder’s most important job is negotiating air and ocean freight costs on behalf of their clients. The key is to strike a balance between the carrier’s needs for speed, flexibility, and credit standing against the client’s needs for cost-efficient transfer of their cargo. A good freight forwarder will be able to find the right balance for each situation.
In addition to negotiating prices, freight forwarders handle the logistics of moving and storing your goods. They also help you with documentation and customs clearance, both domestically and internationally. Documentation includes commercial invoices, bill of lading contracts, certificate of origin statements, inspection certificates, and export licenses. Most freight forwarders have customs specialists on staff who ensure that all documents meet the requirements of each country to which your goods are being shipped.
If you’re shipping to a number of countries, a freight forwarder can help you save money by bundling your shipments into one container or truckload. This is called LCL (less than container load) shipping and is an excellent way to cut costs and save time without having to deal with the hassle of arranging individual shipments.
The best freight forwarders are also AEO (Authorised Economic Operators), which means that they have the experience and resources to make the process of importing and exporting easier for their customers. They can also help you to defer payment of import duties if necessary. By taking care of all the complicated paperwork and negotiation with carriers, freight forwarders can give your business peace of mind that your shipments will reach their destination in perfect condition.