Freight forwarders are an important part of the shipping industry

Many people who are first starting off in international freight shipping think a freight forwarding company is used only for large companies who handle multiple shipments every week. They might not see the reasons for using another company to move their goods internationally though it is much more than that.

When a person first begins shipping, he cannot always see the world wide picture and may miss many of the nuances that freight forwarders take care of as a matter of their services. A forwarder is a global shipping company. Not only do they have the connections and agents abroad that can track cargo for shippers, but they also have the leverage to get the best shipping rates from carriers.

This is especially important for smaller companies since they can easily get brushed aside with shipping carriers. Like other companies, shipping lines are looking to make money. Their sales teams are automatically looking for the big fish companies, companies that are going to ship hundreds of containers every year. This is where a freight forwarder can really help a small company. With several accounts coming out of the same areas of the world, forwarders can use the leveraged buying power to get much better ocean freight rates for smaller companies as well as their larger accounts. In addition to this, a forwarder will handle all of the tracking and paperwork along with this which ultimately allows for a smoother international shipment.

This can be especially important if the shipper is not closely tied in with their own suppliers or agents overseas though it can also cause a problem if there are any contradictions in the paperwork. It can create a situation much like the telephone game children play. One person contacts the next who contacts the next and ultimately the information is misinterpreted. This is why many people do not want to include a third party in their shipments if they are only sporadic. The other side of this is that with a forwarder comes another agent abroad that can develop a real relationship with suppliers, etc.

This can help solidify the supply chain for a new company and can strengthen the connection between the two sides. With a larger company, a freight forwarder can be an asset as well. They may not be as involved in rate negotiations, but keeping track of where all of the containers are throughout the world can sometimes be the biggest part of forwarding for a large company. This is also one of the biggest selling points that a forwarder will push to get a company’s business. The angle that companies should be worried about making their products or selling those products, not worried about moving cargo around the world can be just what people want to hear.

It is no secret that companies are in it to make money and having someone else handle the logistics can give great piece of mind. As much as people want to think they do not need to have another part to their supply chains, freight forwarders are very active and important parts of the international shipping processes.

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