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A freight forwarding company is a firm that collects, stores, and ships cargo on behalf of importers and exporters. Freight forwarding companies usually offer a wide range of services, including collection, preparation of shipping documents and paperwork, booking of cargo space, arranging for cargo insurance, negotiating shipping costs on behalf of shippers, filing insurance claims, and freight consolidation. According to Accenture Freight & Logistics group experts, freight forwarders arrange for shipments under their own unique bills of lading or as provided for by their shipping agents. They also ensure that all documents are delivered on time.
According to Export.gov, a governmental organization that facilitates exports and imports, an international freight forwarder refers to an agent who acts on behalf of exporters to move cargo to overseas locations. These are experienced companies that know the laws of all countries participating in foreign trade, as well as local export and import regulations. They are licensed agents approved to handle air and maritime freight.
How Freight Forwarders Assist Businesses
With the growing demand for businesses to expand their markets overseas, freight forwarders have become a salient feature in international trade. Businesses involved in international trade are faced with the challenges of preparing thousands of quotations, and freight forwarders facilitate trade by helping to determine appropriate freight charges, consular fees, and expenses for special documentation, while also handling all insurance matters.
Freight forwarders also assist in assessing the quality of available packaging and they can recommend the best packing techniques to offer maximum cargo protection while it is in transit. They can also have goods from business premises moved and containerized at a port before they are exported. If desired, businesses can rely on freight forwarders to book sufficient space to avoid delays or inconveniences that come with exporting large cargo to distant destinations. They also work with customs brokers overseas to ensure that any cargo meets the export documentation regulations.
Freight forwarders also help make bank payments. Delays in making bank payments can disrupt the smooth flow of cargo from the exporter to the importer. A freight forwarder in collaboration with licensed brokers can make payments on behalf of their clients, since they are licensed to facilitate e-payments. This helps businesses conduct trade with minimal hassle.
Businesses That Will Benefit Most From Freight Forwarders
As firms enter new markets, particularly in foreign economies, they demand more sophisticated transportation and warehousing systems than conventional modes of transport. These are the services provided by a freight forwarder as a third party logistics provider. Businesses attempting to enter new overseas markets will benefit most from using freight forwarders, as they will need to prove their value-added services, such as logistics management, customs and insurance brokerage, and returns management in a new setting.
In simple terms, businesses can benefit by employing freight forwarding companies. According to analysts at Accenture Freight & Logistics group, large companies that have ben unable to beat the market in overseas countries can rebound by allowing freight forwarding firms to handle all of their shipments in a hassle-free and cost-effective manner.
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