Freight forwarders are intermediaries who work on behalf of shippers to arrange the transportation of goods. Due to the rise of global trade, these agents are becoming more and more popular in order to facilitate global ties, extended services and greater returns. It's essential that you find a forwarder who will move your consignments safely, securely and on time. Use our convenient form below to begin your search and receive up to 5 free quotes from companies around the globe!
In the air freight industry, they are called air freight forwarders or indirect air carriers. In the ocean freight industry, one is known as an ocean freight forwarder or non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC).
They arrange space for shipments inside containers when consolidating pallets or (less-than-container loads) LCLs on vessels or in the cargo holds of airplanes. In the case of full container loads (FCLs), they ensure that the truck or vessel can carry them. They will also coordinate door-to-door and door-to-(air) port pick-up and deliveries (PU&D) because they can assemble and disassemble consignments as needed.
These agents must be licensed and well organized to handle all of the documentation including bills of lading (air waybills). You bill might include a Joint Rate, which is one fee for transporting cargo between two or more air freight companies or between air and ocean, sea, road or rail companies. Or, if freight forwarders need to hire an airplane or boat temporarily, you will find a Charter Rate incorporated into your bill. The two parties must agree on a price for this service, which is known as the charter rate. They do not operate the ships or planes and do not hold title to the goods, but they do assume responsibility for the items.
The European Union has the greatest concentration of ports in the world. Every year, nearly 70% of the population in Europe (more than 350 million people) travel via European seaports. People are only one element in the mix. Ports have always been known to be a major hub of commerce and activity and these days they are becoming even more industrial and technically advanced. These maritime gateways link the sea with rivers, canals, roads and railways, making intermodal transport an ideal way to move goods further inland. Freight forwarders might come together with shippers, transport operators and Customs at a logistic centre, which could also be located in or near a bustling port city. They might also find storage, maintenance and repair facilities here, too. This hub is a useful place for making connections in the industry. This way, if a shipper doesn't service a certain location, he can find a freight forwarder or another shipping company or carrier to partner with, thereby increasing his services to the public and his revenue.
Freight forwarders who want to stay on top of industry news and trends probably read trade journals such as Logistics Management or Supply Chain Management Review. They will also probably be members or various organisations such as the European Freight Forwarders Association (EFFA), Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF), Federation of Asia-Pacific Aircargo Associations (FAPAA), or the Universal Freight Organisation (UFO), which is a network of over 100 privately-owned independent freight forwarders around the world.