A freight forwarder is an agent that takes on the responsibilities of exporters, importers and other companies in handling and transportation of goods. This party has to see to it that the goods are in safe condition right from the time they take charge until when they are transported to their destination. This requires constant communication when the goods are on transit.
The freight forwarder has a mandate to look and arrange for the suitable means of transporting the freight to its destination. When doing this, the agent has to take into consideration the goods in question as well as the delivery specifications placed by the customer. The means could either be road, sea, or air transport, depending on the type of goods and the needs of the owner. There are freight forwarding companies that have their own delivery system. This makes the work much easier and simplified, therefore saving a lot of time and resources.
The freight forwarder companies are unique in their own way. There are those that deal in a given line of goods, others operate at a multinational level and others will operate within a given geographical area.
The packaging of the items is also in the hands of the forwarder. This is done according to the weight, warehousing, climate, cost and the general nature of the goods. Also, the agent will oversee the negotiation of the handling and transportation costs.
After the goods are ready, the agent has to prepare the necessary documentation that meets the custom requirements of the particular country. The representative has to coordinate with the customer so that the goods are insured before transportation. Other key functions are paying for the freight, tracking of the goods, charter arrangement for large volume of goods, and putting mechanisms to transport urgent and highly perishable goods.
The role of a freight forwarder is crucial in making sure that goods are exported and imported successfully. Their knowledge in custom matters saves the customers the trouble of having to go through the entire process by themselves.
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