Importers and exporters have many challenges to deal with in the day to day running of their businesses and that is before they even have to take into account the complex procedures and paperwork needed to move their goods from supplier to consignee.
This is where a freight forwarder’s knowledge, connections and expertise comes in and manages the logistics of the shipment based on the Incoterms (which we will explain in a future post).
A freight forwarder will have experience of all available modes of transport - sea, air, road and rail and they will be able to advise on the most cost effective, efficient solution for each individual shipment.
The freight forwarder will:
Book space on a flight or sailing which will get the goods to the consignee on time.
Arrange for the shipment to be picked up from the supplier and transported to the port or airport in good condition and in time to meet the booked sailing or flight.
Ensure that the shipment sails or flies as booked and mitigate any delays or issues that may arise
Ensure that all required documentation is collected to facilitate a smooth customs clearance on arrival in the destination country
Arrange delivery to the required destination following customs clearance and devanning (if appropriate)
Keep the client informed at all stages of the process
A freight forwarder is invaluable as they understand the laws and rules governing importing and exporting to different countries and the common problems that can crop up in different parts of the world. This can save time that would otherwise have been taken up in research or fire-fighting issues that a freight forwarder would have been able to consider in advance.
Freight forwarders also have access to a tried and tested network of agents around the world with the ability to secure space on scheduled flights and sailings as required.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that so many parties are involved in moving a single shipment, many things can go wrong during the shipping process, but no matter how awkward the supplier is, how full all the vessels are, how complicated the customs clearance process is and how little availability the hauliers have to deliver the good to destination, a good freight forwarder will always have a solution!