An international freight forwarder will manage the supply chain to find the most appropriate and most cost efficient transport method for his or her clients. Finding the right intermediary can be easy if you just follow our three simple steps: 1. post your request; 2. get quotes; 3. choose the right freight forwarder to suit your needs. Use our form below for a fast, free, no-hassle way to obtain up to 5 quotes!
There are several benefits you will see when working with an international freight forwarder. For one, he or she is a third party logistics (or non-asset based) provider with the expertise to administer paperwork like the Shipper's Export Declarations (SEDs), bill of lading (or air waybill), insurance, Customs red tape, contract negotiations, reporting, etc. In addition, they are unbiased and will therefore suggest the best transport mode for you, whether it be via ocean, sea, rail, road, air or a combination of two of more methods (known as intermodal). They will also be able to source a small and specialised carrier or a large international one, depending on your needs.
The European Intermodal Association (EIA) encourages industry players to use more than one method of freight transportation, consequently taking advantage of the perks each method provides. For example, highly perishable items should be sent via air in order to be sure they arrive in a timely fashion, whereas raw materials can be shipped via ocean vessels such as container ships, dry bulk carriers (for coal, steel or iron) or tankers (for chemicals, petroleum, etc.). An international freight forwarder will enlist the services of truck freight companies when goods need to travel across borders in sealed containers without incurring the hassle or delays of Customs and border control along their routes (a privilege of the TIR system or Transports Internationaux Routiers / International Road Transport).
The European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistic and Customs Services (CLECAT) represents national and multinational organisations, freight forwarders and Customs agents. On a broader scale, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents over 200 passenger and cargo airlines and sets global standards for safety procedures, environmental regulations and financial systems. They also host a variety of events around the world throughout the year; their Annual General Meeting is one that every international freight forwarder should attend. The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the United States of America will grant licenses to third-part logistics providers who play in the international ocean freight arena. Freight intermediaries in the United Kingdom don't need to be registered; however, it's advisable for them to join the British International Freight Association (BIFA). Finally, the International Freighting Weekly (IFW) newspaper is a vital information source for the logistics world. An international freight forwarder would be wise to register and subscribe to it.
Given the fact that the air cargo industry now brings in an estimated $50 billion each year, air freight forwarding is a strong market owning $17 billion of that total amount. Indirect air carriers (IACs) will loads goods either into the cargo hold of a passenger plane or onto a special plane designed to transport solely cargo. These unique planes have higher wings and tails, a larger, rounder fuselage and more wheels. The windows, flooring and doors of regular passenger planes can also be adjusted to make it easier to move pallets in and out and provide ample storage space.