Freight forwarding and shipping

21 December 2009 authored by Alice Shown – Freight forwarding service provider may or may not be directly involved in the movement of the goods. But, its main duty is to act as an intermediary or point of contact between the client and the…

Freight forwarding service provider may or may not be directly involved in the movement of the goods. But, its main duty is to act as an intermediary or point of contact between the client and the transportation services involved in the transport of goods.

Freight forwarding assumes significance in view of globalization. As competition heats up between companies and more and more companies cling desperately to their market shares, many companies have taken up export and import of goods. In this scenario, the timely and seamless transfer of goods assumes great significance.

When products are moved from one place to another, a number of legalities associated with transportation and carriers have to be taken care of. The process may be undertaken by a single carrier or a number of carriers. The route could be single or a more complicated route. Thus, there are too many variables to be taken care of and businesses prefer to let experts handle the transportation of goods. Freight forwarding and shipping agencies handle the transportation of goods for the client, which would otherwise have been a harrowing experience for clients.

Reputed freight forwarding and shipping services offer a guarantee that products that are being transferred will move to the destination on the right date and in good condition. To facilitate this, freight forwarding and shipping agencies have great working relationships with all kinds of carriers, whether they are trucking companies, air freighters or rail freight companies. Before shipping the goods, freight forwarding companies will negotiate the price for the movement of the product along the most economical routes. They work on various bids and choose an option that has the right balance between cost, speed and reliability.

But freight forwarding is more than just liaising with transport agencies. Most freight forwarders undertake to transfer goods to a particular destination before a particular date and in good condition. When needed, they also provide clients with necessary advice regarding routes and services. Often, they will also make an estimate of the costs involved, taking into account a number of factors like the distance between the two places, the kind of transportation and the manner in which transportation will take place. In case of special considerations like refrigeration or careful handling, the price will go up. Once the client agrees to the estimate given by the company, the freight forwarding and shipping service gets into action.

The advantage of freight forwarding and shipping services is that they handle ancillary services that are a part of the shipping. Thus, they take care of documentation like maintaining the bill of lading, warehousing and methods of payment. In short, they act as the arm of the business that actually transfers raw materials and/or finished goods between destinations.

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