Freight Forwarders - The Beginners Guide

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By DUNCAN FROOMES

Are you new to the world of international shipping or cargo handling? You may have come across the idea of freight forwarding before but might not be sure where to start. What on Earth does a freight forwarder actually do? Do you have control over your cargo, or is it all delegated to a professional?

Reliant Couriers & Haulage are always pleased to help business owners and cargo managers across the UK and into Europe. However, before you look into hiring us for freight forwarding, it makes sense to learn a little bit about the process and what it all means for you and your customers in the long run!

What is Freight Forwarding?

Freight forwarding is the process of arranging cargo from one end to the other. In fact, a freight forwarder will work on behalf of shippers and recipients at either side of the chain.

Specifically, freight forwarding companies and specialists will take the reins when it comes to general logistics. This means that they will oversee all of the nitty-gritty that goes on behind the scenes.

Effectively, you might see freight forwarding as a mediatory process. Forwarders don’t actually take full care of the shipping themselves unless they advise as such. They oversee the administration and logistics to ensure the right cargo gets picked up at point A, and delivered to point B, to the demands of all parties in the chain.

What Does a Freight Forwarder Do?

A freight forwarder will normally oversee and represent all of the mid-points in the cargo pickup and delivery chain. This means that they will link the various bodies and companies involved in the chain that ensure complex or larger deliveries take place as and when necessary.

Freight forwarders are adept at finding practical, affordable and scalable solutions for companies and shippers looking to make the chain as smooth and as straightforward as possible. This means that a talented forwarder will often look for the most economic, secure routes for dispatch.

It’s a fact that shipping freight internationally can be very complex. Therefore, many people use freight forwarding to ensure that all necessary paperwork completes.

While forwarders may not always be involved in the direct shipping or handling of goods, you can rely on them to connect the dots. This is increasingly important in a world where so many businesses are taking on more complex demands.

You can depend on a forwarder to prepare documents and to ensure that all cargo books in as expected. What’s more, forwarders will be responsible for arranging and implementing any necessary insurance that will apply on route.

Benefits of a Freight Forwarder / Forwarding Service

The benefits of freight forwarding are numerous! Even for those companies and shippers who have more than a little experience in the cargo chain, it’s clear that a forwarder or forwarding service could save a lot of stress and aggravation from one end to the other.

Here are just a few benefits of freight forwarding regardless of your cargo shipping or handling needs:

– You can choose from a huge variety of shipping and handling companies without having to search and compare any services yourself. A freight forwarder will use their own leading connections to choose the best local fits at either end of the chain.

– You can rely on freight forwarding services to take care of the whole process for you. This means there is no need for you to worry about muddling around with different points or parties along the way.

– Paperwork and administration for cargo handling and shipping can be complex! Thankfully, experienced forwarders can fill in, file and arrange all of the finer points of red tape for you. That’s less administrative hassle for you in the long run!

– You’ll only ever have one contact to worry about. That means less concern regarding who to pay, who contact when, how and where. It makes time management on all sides that little bit easier, too!

– This also means that you will always have one point to rely on for all cargo concerns. For example, if you are unsure how you are covered via insurance, or if you need to know more about what happens at each stage of the chain, a forwarding team can give you the full breakdown.

Freight Forwarders vs Freight Brokers

What are the differences between freight forwarders and freight brokers? You may well have come across both while looking for help with cargo shipping and handling. Which option is likely to be best for you?

The fact is both forwarders and brokers overlap in terms of the services they supply. Forwarders cover the entire process, while brokers largely help to connect customers with logistics suppliers. In addition, freight brokers can often cover the customs side of things.

The services offered by both freight forwarders and freight brokers can differ from firm to firm, meaning it is extremely important to compare services and standards between different teams and brands!

If you are completely new to cargo forwarding in any shape or form, it is a very good idea to keep an open mind and to look carefully at options opening up to you. At Reliant, we strive to cover all bases for you – but we understand that our customers are discerning when it comes to hunting down the perfect deal!

Need to Arrange Freight Forwarding in Europe?

Now you know a little bit more about the benefits of freight forwarding, now is absolutely the time to get in touch with talented local experts who can help you. Reliant’s years of experience in handling and arranging cargo across Europe means you can always be sure you’re getting from point A to B with the most practical, affordable parties in the chain.

If you’d like to know more about cargo and freight forwarding and why Reliant may just be the best choice for your cargo chain, why not call our team now for more details? No matter what you carry and no matter where you want to deliver to and from, we’re here to support you every step of the way.


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