The freight forwarding process is the flow of shipment and goods from two destinations carried out by a freight forwarder. Businesses that want to grow and expand should consider trading on an international level. Shipping items in and out might present an opportunity to expand customer-base but can become very complex very fast. Logistics for international trade can become complicated, thus requiring the need for freight forwarders to help.


How Freight Forwarders Help with the Freight Forwarding Process

Freight forwarders are the people in the middle responsible for the facilitation of the shipping. Although they do not do the shipping themselves, freight forwarding services are much more specialized to the process. It’s important that they understand international trade, the regulations of trade and how to ship on behalf of a company that requires shipment throughout the world.

freight forwarding process process

Freight forwarding agents do not ship cargo directly. Rather, they employ transportation companies to aid and assist in this procedure during the logistics process.

These freight forwarding firms employ agents that can handle paperwork and documentation for shipping and receiving logistics. Their objectives are to ensure a company’s goods are properly shipped and arrive by the specified date. They will handle everything from cargo manifests to insurance claims and even ship items on internal bills of lading.


Stages of the Freight Forwarding Process

Stage 1 – Export Haulage

The movement of items from a shipper’s location to the freight forwarders warehouse is called export haulage. This usually requires the help of a truck or train to move the them. How long it takes depends on the distance, geographical location and what the items are. This first stage can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.

freight forward process steps

The first step in the freight forwarding process is to transport the cargo to the freight forwarding firm’s warehouse.


Stage 2 – Items Checkpoint

Immediately following the export haulage stage, freight forwarders receiving the goods will check to see and ensure everything was transported without incidents.


Stage 3 – Export Customs Clearance

Before items can be shipped off it requires clearance from the country of origin. This process is performed by customs brokers. They are required to submit details about the cargo and any supporting documents that are needed. Usually, an agreement is established between the shipper and consignee who is responsible for this process. If a freight forwarding company does not offer this service, it is required to find a third-party customs broker service.


Stage 4 – Import Customs Clearance

Once the shipment arrives, authorities in the destination country are required to check import customs documents. The secret to this stage is that it can begin before the cargo even arrives. It is the responsibility of the freight forwarder or nominated customs broker to perform this clearance by the time the cargo arrives.


Stage 5 – Destination Arrival and Handling

This stage involves a number of different processes once the cargo arrives. At this point, freight forwarders will receive all documents for the cargo, including outstanding documentation, carrier bills and more. This process is always taken care of by the freight forwarder.

freight shipment handling and checking

Once the cargo arrives at the destination, freight forwarders will transport and handle all items to ensure no incidents occurred during transport.


Stage 6 – Import Haulage

Almost identical to export haulage, this process transports the cargo from the warehouse to the final destination of the intended receiver. This process can be facilitated by freight forwarders or the consignee can choose to collect the cargo themselves.


Freight Forwarding Process Helps Create Success for Businesses

The steps above are the general outline for the freight forwarding process that most companies will undergo for international trade. The freight forwarder roles also include charting out proper routes and finding the best travel options for the consignee. This may include routes by air travel, ground travel, and by sea. Depending on the kinds of goods and cargo being shipped will determine the freight forwarding services needed for the success of businesses.


At Mach 1 Global, we work with companies to provide them with the best options when it comes to freight shipping. Learn more about our freight shipping services and get a quote for your next shipment today!


Ready to ship?

Get started with Mach 1 Global Services today!