Freight Forwarders: What Do They Do?

How Do Freight Forwarding Companies Work? | Cargo Partners International

A business transporting products relies heavily on imports and exports. The challenge of shipping items overseas is greater than sending them inland, despite the positive business opportunities.

Freight forwarders are often mistaken for cargo shippers or supply chain managers. Although freight forwarders may undertake similar responsibilities, they are neither of these things.

This article will provide you with more information on what they do. Our discussion will cover the benefits of using a freight forwarder company as well as the differences between a freight broker and a freight forwarder.

What Is A Freight Forwarder?

It is the business of freight forwarders to arrange freight on behalf of shippers. Transport of goods is organised efficiently and cost-effectively by them. In the supply chain, there are a variety of services available, such as:

  • Freight by sea or air
  • The door-to-door delivery of road freight
  • Preparation of documents
  • Insurance and compliance with customs for cargo
  • Assurance

How Does Freight Forwarding Work?

Six key phases can be identified in the international forwarding process:

  1. A forwarder drops off the products at their processing warehouse and then transports them to their final destination.
  2. Goods are cleared for export when they are approved for export. Shipments must be cleared for prohibited items, such as weapons before they arrive at the port.
  3. In the unloading, inspection, and validation of freight, the arrival and handling process is involved. It is necessary to complete all pending paperwork.
  4. Authorities verify customs documentation for imported cargo during import customs clearance.
  5. Upon arrival at the destination office, goods are handled and transferred to the import distribution warehouse.
  6. From the import warehouse to the final destination, freight is transported by inland haulage.

Is There A Difference Between A Freight Broker And A Freight Forwarder?

Although these titles are often interchanged, they have different purposes:

Freight Brokers

Shippers and carriers are connected through freight brokers. Shipments are not handled by them. Due to this, the company is not responsible for claims related to damaged cargo or other issues.

Their assets are covered by insurance and registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

Freight Forwarders

On the other hand, freight forwarders are responsible for storing goods for customers and arranging the transportation of shipments. However, they become legally responsible for the goods they handle, even if they provide the same services as freight brokers. Preserving and protecting them is their responsibility. If any damage or loss occurs, as a result, they are responsible.

How Do Freight Forwarders Benefit You?

Freight forwarders offer the following benefits:


It is the responsibility of freight forwarders to arrange competitive pricing according to the needs of their customers. Consolidating the goods of multiple customers can result in lower prices through bulk shipments. Shipments and freight charges are reduced when containers are full.

Providing Specialised Services

They usually specialise in a particular service, mode of transportation, or market. By selecting the services they want to outsource, a business can gain more control over how shipments are handled.

A Combination Of Knowledge And Experience

Importing and exporting goods requires expertise and knowledge. A forwarding company will have access to the latest information regarding customs regulations since their work is accomplished through customs clearance. All documentation will be handled by them, and taxes and tariffs will be paid by them.

Ensured Arrival Time

There will be a guaranteed time limit for the arrival of your goods at a specific location when you work with a freight forwarder. To ensure your goods are delivered on time, alternate measures are discussed and planned strategically.

It’s The Freight Forwarding Companies Who Run The Show

It is common for people to be confused about what freight forwarding companies do. Importing and exporting goods involves a variety of companies and job roles, which leads to misunderstandings.

End-to-end operations are overseen by the freight forwarder. All checkpoints of the entire process are handled efficiently by them since they are legally responsible for the goods. As intermediaries between businesses and delivery services, they ensure that goods are delivered by the agreed date inland or internationally.

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