Freight brokers act like freight forwarders to manage the whole shipping process from start to finish. They arrange the best transportation method for their clients as well as the necessary paperwork. It's essential that you find a broker who will coordinate your shipment in a timely, secure and safe manner. Use our convenient form below to begin your search and receive up to 5 free quotes from brokers around the world!
Freight brokers are not to be confused with shipbrokers. The later is someone who handles the buying and selling of ships. These middlemen know the ship market inside and out, and must act as advisors throughout the brokering process. Some shipbroking businesses have internal research departments that can offer highly specialised information on trends, developments, supply and demand.
Independent companies, freight brokers and groups who are dealing with freight transport such as shippers, freight forwarders, transport operators and Customs will all come together at a logistic centre. They might also find storage, maintenance and repair facilities here, too. Such hubs allow broker to formulate a strong network of freight carriers and shipping companies, as well as a firm knowledge of (air)ports, schedules, timetables, Customs procedures, etc.
Third-party logistics has become a whopping $162 billion industry. How did this explosion occur over the last ten years? Shippers have realised that outsourcing non-core business activities (like transportation arrangements and its heavy documentation processes) is more beneficial to their productivity and bottom line. Fortune 100 companies around the globe rely on third-party logistics providers, who in turn count on their network of hundreds of shippers and carriers.
With so many freight brokers out there today, how can you be sure you're working with one that is trustworthy, reliable and responsible? Check to see if they are members of high standing associations. The European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA) is a sub-committee of the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA). They pay particular attention to safe shipping, vessels and ports, regulations and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) such as freight forwarding software. Each country has one representative. The FONASBA acts as a consultant for many other well known organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Customs Organisation (WCO), Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo). Freight brokers can also get listed in BIMCO's directory and enjoy all the membership benefits offered.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) represents freight brokers, ship managers and agents around the world. They specialize in education, training, conferences, seminars, events, journals, manuals, and bespoke training materials for your company. Exams to gain qualifications are held worldwide annually in April. Being a member puts you in the upper echelon of the industry and gives you access to their database of information and networks. The Australian Maritime College (AMC) is another prestigious course provider.
The North American Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) and Customs Brokers & Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) are good information sources for freight forwarders and freight brokers who hosts conventions, trade shows, conferences throughout the year.