Freight Forwarding is a very important part of our global economy. Importing and exporting plays a crucial role in many successful businesses, but international shipping can be very overwhelming, especially in today’s political climate.
If you are importing or exporting goods, you have probably heard the term “freight forwarder”, but may not completely understand what they do and why you may need one. A commercial freight forwarder takes on many roles within the logistics industry. They can act as a shipping company, a distribution manager, a customs brokerage, an importing and exporting partner, and a supply chain manager to name a few roles. You could say that a freight forwarding company acts as a travel agent for your cargo. They help to make sure your cargo gets from one place to another, making all of the arrangements along the way on your behalf.
What do Freight Forwarding Companies actually do?
A freight forwarder is an agent who acts on behalf of importers, exporters or other companies to organize the safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of goods. Freight forwarding companies, like Mach 1 Global Services, provide a wide range of services including: tracking shipments, preparation of shipping and export documents, warehousing, booking cargo space, negotiating freight charges, freight consolidation, cargo insurance, and filing of insurance claims.
A freight forwarding service makes the confusing world of domestic and international shipping simpler, more economical, and more reliable. They have well established relationships with shipping companies, and are experienced in the required documentation and customs laws of various countries so that you don’t have to be. They work with various transportation services whether it be trucking, railway, ocean shipping via cargo ships, or expedited shipping by air , so they can help you ship your merchandise using the method that will fit your needs.
Freight forwarders are also experts in shipping for speciality industries that may need to move materials or equipment that requires special handling or arrangements. Whether it is shipping large equipment for the farming, aerospace, or construction industries or materials that need special handling for the pharmaceutical or medical industries, a freight forwarding company knows how to do it so you don’t have to.
Why use a freight forwarding service?
Although using one is not required to import and export goods, they do provide significant benefits to both small and large companies that need to transport merchandise.
- Cost effective: Freight forwarders can use their well-established industry relationships to negotiate shipping rates on your behalf. Additionally, there is a huge cost-savings when needing to ship materials that do not fill an entire truck or shipping container. This is known as Less Than Truckload and a freight forwarder can assist you with freight consolidation which is much more economical.
- Assists with documentation and Customs Brokerage: A freight forwarder is experienced with documentation, classification codes, insurance and customs requirements. They can help you identify and complete the necessary paperwork, so you are not left guessing. Errors in documentation can result in unnecessary fees and delays.
- Supply chain experts: Freight forwarding companies offer services at every step of the supply chain. They are familiar with best practices when it comes to warehousing, consolidating, bills of lading, risk assessment and management, receiving and sending international payment, among other services. Knowing that your precious cargo is in the hands of experts helps to reduce the stress associated with shipping.
How to choose a freight forwarding service?
When you are trying to find a freight forwarding company to work with you should consider these 3 key attributes when making your selection:
- Longevity: You want to find a company that has a long history. This insures they have deep-root connections in the shipping industry and a vast knowledge of industry procedures. It also means that they provide excellent customer service since they have been in business for a while.
- Industry leader: The logistics industry recognizes its best and most promising companies. Finding a freight forwarder that is recognized by its peers as one of the best lets you know that you are in good hands.
- Multiple international offices: Using a freight forwarding company that has offices around the world lets you know that they have established international industry relationships. It also insures they are very familiar with international shipping requirements and the ever-changing global ecommerce climate.
Mach 1 Global Services, the website you are currently reading this article on, is a freight forwarding company that meets all 3 of these attributes. They have been in business for over 30 years and have won multiply awards from X2 Logistics Network, AZ Business Journal, and Inc Magazine to name just a few. In addition to 18 locations in the US, they have offices in India, Mexico, China, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
The next step? Contact a Freight Forwarder!
You are probably reading this article, because you are either ready to ship or will be in the near future and are considering using a freight forwarding service to move your goods. Contact the experts at Mach 1 Global Services to discuss the next steps in planning your business to business shipping solution. Call (800) 553-7774 or get a quote by clicking HERE
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