International freight forwarding is a mutually beneficial concept because through it, both shippers and carriers are able to work together to extend their reach and offerings, as well as earn extra revenue. Industry regulations have softened over the years, thereby paving the way for free competition and revolutionizing the freight industry. When you're looking for the right cargo forwarder to partner with, be sure to use our fast and easy form below. By entering just a few details, you'll obtain up to 5 free quotes in no time!
Most of the time, shippers will not send their goods directly to air or ocean carriers, but rather, to a freight forwarder who will assume responsibility for and ownership of the items. This intermediary will manage the entire process, including researching and planning the most appropriate transport mode, consolidating smaller consignments, negotiating costs and contracts, arranging insurance and coordinating all payments. They specialise in Pick-up and Delivery (PU&D) services which guarantee that goods will be transported to and from any location such as an air terminal, warehouse door, shipping dock, etc. An independent Cartage Carrier (ICC) who offers this service is another example of a third-party vendor in the international freight forwarding industry. A forwarding cartage carrier will be informed if a shipment is being held on dock at its destination, where they will retrieve it and subsequently assume responsibility for it.
International freight forwarding industry participants are quite comfortable moving either full container loads (FCLs) or less-than-container loads (LTLs). Goods are shipped in two types of ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) containers: TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) and FEUs (Forty-foot Equivalent Unit). A temperature-controlled container is called a reefer, which comes in both sizes. Primarily used for food, plants, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, some can even get as cold as -60 degrees Celsius, while others can maintain very warm interior conditions. Gantry cranes are essential for loading containers onto the ships, particularly because they can be moved up, down, or side-to-side. Large ocean-going vessels can also move dry and liquid bulk cargo, which are poured or dropped into the bulk carrier's hold.
Sharp international freight forwarding companies stay on top of new freight forwarding software as it comes to market, changes in industry rules and regulations, news of mergers and acquisitions as well as trends affecting the industry and its players. Air forwarders should link up with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since they represent over 200 cargo and passenger airlines and set global standards for financial systems, safety procedures, environmental and industry regulations.
The European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistic and Customs Services (CLECAT) represents national and multinational organisations, freight forwarders and Customs agents. They'll touch nearly 100% of all air cargo plus a majority of road and maritime cargo, too. International freight forwarding rules and regulations can frequently change, therefore it's wise for third-party logistics players to become involved with organisations like CLECAT. Others include the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Airforwarders Association (AfA).