With the complexities of freight services escalating every day, the need for freight forwarders is more necessary than ever. Unlike before, when they were an option, forwarders are now a crucial part of the shipping industry.
If you are new in the import and export business, you must be wondering who a freight forwarder is, right? Well, this is an individual or firm engaged in the import and export trade as a third-party logistics provider.
The freight forwarder bridges the gap between the buyer and seller, and they serve several roles to make the shipping process flawless. These roles include:
Advice on costs
You need money to ship your products, and if you are new in the business or are shipping your products from a new location, you might not be conversant with the costs involved.
As your shipping partner, the forwarding agents should advise you on the charges you need to pay to ship your goods.
The agent should advise you on the port expenses, freight costs, export costs, insurance costs, special documentation costs, merchandise costs, and any other costs involved.
Remember that you are collaborating with the freight forwarder as you want them to eliminate stress and save you money, as you don’t want to be ripped off by some people that might try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge.
To feel safe when working with the agent and have peace of mind that they will not take advantage of you, take your time when finding the agent, do your due diligence, and ensure that the agent you hire has a proven track record of being honest and having high integrity standards.
Choose the correct freight.
It’s the agent’s role to choose the suitable mode of transportation for the client based on the type and size of cargo to be transported.
The freight forwarder must find the best air carrier if the client is shipping perishable goods or looking for fast service.
Is the client shipping bulk cargo of non-perishable goods? The freight forwarder should find the correct ocean freight.
The agent can also opt for trains or trucks if sending packages over a short distance.
To ensure that you always get the best service, work with a forwarding agent who has been in the industry for a long time. This way, the agent will readily tell you the suitable mode of transportation for your goods, depending on their nature.
You also should choose an agent with an extensive network of transport providers. This means the freight forwarder should know many reliable air carriers, ships, trucks, and trains.
This way, they can quickly contact the transport providers, compare the prices and use the one that provides the best service at the least cost.
Pack and store shipment
You might wonder why this is an essential service for a freight forwarder to provide, right? Well, unless you are shipping a single item, in most cases, your ordered products will come from different supplies, and they often deliver them at different times.
Since they don’t know or even don’t care where the products are getting shipped to, they don’t pack them appropriately. It’s the responsibility of the forwarding agent to pack the different products properly so they are safe during transit.
It would be expensive to ship an individual item once the supplier delivers it. To save you money, the freight forwarder should store the items from different supplies and ship them at once.
To ensure that your products are safe, ensure that the forwarding agent you hire has large warehouses where your products can stay safe until they are ready for shipping.
Prepare the documentation.
To stay within the confines of the law, you need to have shipping documents. The most common documents you need include:
· Purchase order
· Commercial invoice
· Letter of credit
· Export packing list
· Certificate of origin
· Dock/warehouse receipt
· Export license
· Insurance certificate
Different countries have different regulations, and it’s hard to stay on top of all the required documents and manage your business. As they say, you need to choose a hustle.
A freight forwarder comes in handy in such a situation as they help you identify the required documents, fill them out, and submit them to the relevant authorities.
The last thing you want to hear is that your cargo has been confiscated for lack of proper documentation. So, work with an experienced professional that knows all the documents you need and always fills and submits them on time.
Advise on cargo insurance
The worst nightmare that any businessperson can have is losing their cargo. Can you imagine spending hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on cargo, and then it gets lost?
For peace of mind, always insure your cargo against any dangers that might come about during transit. This calls for you to insure the goods against fire, accident, theft, abduction, etc.
An ideal freight forwarder should advise on the best insurance policy for your cargo. In the same way, the agent should have a large connection to transport providers, they also should have an extensive network of insurance providers.
Some countries even allow freight forwarders to offer insurance services. If this is the case, before you partner with a freight forwarder, find out whether they provide cargo insurance. You never know what can happen to your products during transit.
Whether you undertake local or international shipping, you must have a freight forwarder as your partner.
You want someone who will take away the stress of shipping products, so you should only work with an experienced agent.
Resources are vital in the industry. As mentioned above, ensure that the freight forwarder has enough warehouses to store your cargo safely.
Since you won’t be physically present at all times, you need someone that you can trust.
Whether you are undertaking light or jasa pengiriman barang, do background checks on the forwarding agent before hiring them. The last thing you want is to find out that the agent who is supposed to be your partner is swindling you.
Lucas Noah is the Founder of TrendyPort and he covers a variety of Content but has a special passion for Technology. He is being interested in Android Devices, Home Automation, Tech and gadgets, Tech Reviews for years.