Freight forwarding companies liaise with shippers and carriers to facilitate the transportation of goods. These third-party logistics providers will suggest the best transport mode (using roads, railroads, airplanes or waterborne vessels) for the consignor. To find the right company for you, fill in our practical form below and you'll receive quotes from up to 5 service providers!
These non-asset based providers have contacts with hundreds or thousands of carriers and shipping companies worldwide. But how did they find them and how well do they know them? You might want to work exclusively with freight forwarding companies who have personal contact with a strong, tight network of partners. Be sure they put your agreement in writing in the bill of lading, which functions as a contract for services rendered. Freight forwarding companies will also guide you through the red tape that Customs authorities can sometimes hassle you with. For instance, they might be able to arrange In Bond air freight. This means that Customs will clear the cargo later, after it has been moved away from the arrival airport which is usually congested and slow. The air carrier will assume responsibility for the goods whilst they are In Bond and later release them at an inland Customs point.
The International Union of Combined Road-Rail Transport Companies (UIRR) is a vital organisation for those engaged in intermodal transport. Combining various methods is not only beneficial for the environment; it also adds flexibility and efficiency. Responsible, well-connected freight forwarders utilize road carriers when they need to send goods to smaller, regional areas but will approach sea freight companies when the consignment can pass through small bodies of water to reach a port city. Freight forwarding companies will ensure that the unit loading devices (ULDs) make their way from the departure point to the arrival destination without unnecessary delays. This is why freight forwarding is so valuable, since this kind of door-to-door service is customary for them. When moving goods by road, truck freight companies will use unaccompanied Combined Transport (CT) an estimated 80% of the time, which consists of single containers, semi-trailers and swap bodies. The less popular accompanied CT (also known as rolling road) enables the vehicle and its motorist to drive onto a special wagon which is then transported further via rail or ferry. Note that in continental transport, various kinds of ULDs are in play, whereas in maritime transport, only containers are moved via unaccompanied CT.
If consignments do not make it to their final destinations in a timely fashion, freight forwarding companies will consider a Storage-in-Transit (SIT) option. If the receiver cannot accept delivery even though the date of delivery was agreed in advance, then the forwarder can place the items in temporary storage without notifying the shipper. The warehouse costs and any other additional fees will be passed on to the consignor. Conversely, if unforeseen circumstances cause the shipment to arrive early and the receiver is not prepared or not willing to accept the goods, SIT charges will be paid for by the mover and the forwarder must inform the shipper of these scheduling changes.