What is a Freight Forwarder?
A freight forwarder is a logistics specialist, that helps businesses and individuals navigate the often complex world of transport and logistics. Additionally referred to as a forwarding agent or third party logistics provider (3PL), freight forwarders help to arrange the movement of goods between the shipper (business or party sending the goods) and the carrier (or transport company).
Known for their extensive industry and regulatory knowledge, freight forwarders specialise in transport optimisation, ensuring goods are safely delivered to schedule, while minimising associated costs. Additional services can include consultancy, processing documents, customs clearances, freight packing (containerisation), cargo tracking, insurance and more.
International freight forwarders commonly utilise an agency network (or alliance), sourcing local freight forwarders in other countries to better manage the delivery of goods to final destination. Variances in the local language, government regulations and other considerations specific to the region might otherwise hinder importers and exporters who go it alone. A good freight forwarder will build strong agency networks across the globe, over many years, providing cost-effective seamless delivery, while eliminating stress, resources and time for the shipper.
Why Use A Freight Forwarder?
It isn’t long before first-time importers or exporters realise the world of international logistics is paved with potential pitfalls that can cost time, resources and money. Regulatory obligations, carrier specific needs and industry jargon (amongst other considerations) are best handled by a logistics expert who can avoid potential fines, secure the best transportation rates, provide consultation/advice and increase overall efficiency.
A good independent freight forwarder is not locked into a singular contract with just one transport company, but can hunt around for the best freight rates from origin to destination. This reduces costs and improves flexibility, offering a greater variety of transport schedules to match the customer’s needs and budget.
A freight forwarder’s buying power ensures a greater transport cost efficiency, negotiating the best possible rate backed by a greater business portfolio. Even larger importers and exporters can achieve significant transport cost savings utilising the services of a reputable freight forwarder.
Unplanned transport expenses, such as fines, can quickly mount up and can cost significant amounts of money. Through their experience and expertise, a freight forwarder can reliably avoid needless fees and charges, managing the seamless delivery of freight without the stress. For example, if a consignment arrives at port before the consignee (cargo recipient) is ready to pick-up, it can accrue terminal detention fees. A freight forwarder will manage the handover, coordinating pickup to coincide with port delivery.
The processing of accompanying freight documentation has a reputation for complexity and need for accuracy. Errors can result in carrier or regulatory fines, delivery delays and needless stress. Freight forwarders are best positioned to ensure all documentation is correctly processed, in accordance with local and international laws.
Other services commonly offered by freight forwarders are designed to further streamline the movement of freight and can save businesses time, money and resources. This extends to customs clearances, freight packing, cargo tracking and more.
As an independent international freight forwarder, Champion Freight offers the full array of transport management services to ensure the reliable delivery of your goods across the globe at a cost-effective price. Whether you need land, air or sea freight delivery, contact Champion Freight for a free no-obligation quote and consultation.