A freight forwarder is a logistics professional, who organizes space across various mediums to ensure that the goods reach their destination in the most efficient manner. In other words, this could be an agency or an individual, who is in the business of freight forwarding, basically, a third-party freight forwarder who is responsible for guaranteeing that the products from their customer is delivered to their final distribution market using the different modes of transport such as trucks, flights, ships, or trains that will ensure the goods reach on time without compromising cost or quality.
You also have international freight forwarders who handle only international shipments across countries, which requires a thorough knowledge of the documentation required to ensure that the shipment is cleared by customs. It is evident that the whole process of transporting goods from its point of origin to its final destination point is far from simple and involves a number of steps, which requires careful planning to get through every milestone and deliver the final shipment.
Things to do before starting the shipping process
A freight forwarder has a number of things to accomplish before the actual shipping process can commence. First and foremost, the shipper’s company must be registered in compliance with the law and also understand whether they are registered corporation, or a limited liability company and similar. Between the shipper and the manufacturer, it is critical to have a well-established, clearly detailed contract about the number of goods or consignment that has to be shipped. Remember that only the number of goods or cartons is checked as opposed to the quantity of the shipment.
All consignments must have a clear label with all the important information neatly printed. This can include the basic information regarding the supplier and the consignee, such as first and last name, address, letter identification of the destination, along with the invoice for the goods for customs clearance. Any discrepancy in the information furnished can cost both parties dearly in terms of time and money. If there is a need for any information, the shipment can be held at customs until final clearance is received. Depending on the nature of business, some organisations have a tie-up with a third-party freight forwarding company to handle all their shipment.
The advantage in handing over the responsibilities to a professional shipment agency is their knowledge of the required documentation as well as customs clearance requirements in every country that provides a smoother passage for on-time delivery of goods at their intended destination. Once you have the final details of your shipment such as origin, destination, size or dimensions, the next step is to collect quotes from different freight forwarders.
Make sure you also mention any special shipment cases such as a hazardous good, or a need for a liftgate it is a residential delivery. After you have zeroed in on the company with the best quote, start getting your documentation in order. Following confirmation of the shipment information, then you are all set to being the shipping process by booking the order.