In its simplest form, freight forwarding is combining freight types and composing shipments bound for international destinations. Transportation of shipments generally involves: trucking, air cargo, and ocean-going ships to reach faraway global sites for deliveries. Often, the shipments will include many different products from multiple suppliers of anything from foodstuffs to household goods, to manufacturing supplies and components.
For example, a truck may load a shipment at a freight forwarder’s warehouse in Toronto, Canada and drive to the docks at Miami Florida in the United States and offload the trailer contents onto a ship headed for multiple stops in South America. From ports, individual shipments are dispersed by trucks going to various warehouses at country locales, then trucked to individual delivery points for distribution.
Much planning must go into the logistics required to arrange a successful delivery of goods to a list of delivery locations and times, which means much training must be available for prospective forwarding agents. The good news is training is available. For more information on courses go to CIFFA | International Freight Forwarding Courses.
Freight forwarders must undergo extensive training to make them proficient in all aspects of transportation, necessary customs documents, transportation routes and modes, and timing of deliveries. and preparing all documents needed for transportation to destinations. Sales training is also an asset.
Forwarders provide any and all documents required for importing or exporting materials, choosing transporters to move goods to their destinations, negotiating freight rates to save money for their clients, assembling tight shipments to reduce the overall number of shipments, overseeing inventory during storage and transport, and filing insurance claims if needed.
A freight forwarder maintains a warehouse to store goods brought by trucks to be assembled for an upcoming combination of a domestic or international shipment. This step is known as Export Haulage. Customs agents in the country of origin must approve the transport of goods out of the country. This step is known as customs clearance and many forwarders farm it out to expert customs brokers.
At the items checkpoint, warehouse hands inspect the goods and ensure they match documents of the goods. Warehouse personnel also check for goods restricted by foreign countries. Such articles as flammable liquids must be checked for acceptable shipping to foreign countries. Some pharmaceuticals may require climate-controlled shipping that must be arranged. Also, alcohol, sharp objects, and perishable goods must be handled with care to ensure legality in destination countries.
Freight forwarding requires extensive knowledge and a network of supporting contacts to accomplish assembling foreign shipments and delivering them in good time. Such work is essential to the global supply chain. Goods we receive come from all over the world by truck, rail, air, or ship. Freight forwarders take the wrinkles out of supply chain management and provide numerous advantages to shipping goods worldwide. In fact, freight forwarders play a major part in sustaining the supply chains!