Freight forwarding is a popular method of international transport where you need to coordinate the shipment of goods from one place to another using various carriers, including ocean freight, air freight, road freight, and sometimes, railway freight. The forwarding process may seem daunting because it involves various steps, and hence companies use experienced freight forwarders to oversee the job.
Freight forwarding process
A freight forwarder has the following responsibilities:
• Negotiate freight charges with the ocean carrier on the shipper’s behalf.
• Book cargo space on ocean vessels.
• Arranging transport and labour.
• Arranging cargo insurance.
• Inland haulage of shipment from the warehouse to the port.
• Cargo consolidation.
• Preparing shipping and customs documentation.
• Providing temporary storage facilities if necessary.
Additionally, the forwarder may also need to liaise with government agencies depending on the type of shipment he is exporting. For example, he must take permission from various government agencies if he wants to send specific food products or restricted products.
The freight forwarding process involves various documentation of the type of shipment, shipment weight, what the shipment contains, and other paperwork. Although the format and name of the documents may differ, the information required is more or less the same as follows:
• Export shipping bill
• Commercial invoice
• Packing list
• Insurance certificate
• Bill of lading
• Declaration of hazardous cargo
• Letter of credit
• Certificate of origin
Make sure you choose an experienced freight forwarder who can oversee the entire process, including storage, packing, insurance, import documentation and international export, customs clearance, and inventory management.
Benefits of hiring a professional
It is best to hire a freight forwarder if you want to send a shipment to another country. A freight forwarder ensures that your goods arrive at the destination on time. You don’t have to worry about doing the paperwork. He will handle everything. All you need to do is check the details of the cargo and sign.
The freight forwarder gives you an idea about the shipping restrictions on various items, especially if you want to use either sea or air freight. For example, you can’t use freight forwarding on dangerous goods, such as toxic items and flammable liquid, alcohol, both prescription and recreational drugs, perishable items, batteries, and sharp objects.
It’s the duty of freight forwarding companies to oversee export and import haulage, customs clearance, origin handling, and destination handling to ensure that goods reach the destination safely and on time.