WHAT A FREIGHT FORWARDER ACTUALLY DO?
There is a lot that goes into arranging an international shipment. Just to move a single pallet of goods from your supplier to your home, there will probably be at least 5-6 companies involved. The freight forwarder job is to coordinate all of this and make sure that all of the necessary documentation has been made. While the freight forwarder handles the details of a shipment, it is important to have a clear picture of what the freight forwarder actually does and does not.
A freight forwarder does not actually move your freight itself, but acts as an intermediary between a shipper and various transportation services such as ocean liners, air liners and trucking.
A freight forwarding service utilizes established relationships with carriers, from air freighters, trucking companies, and ocean agents across the globe, in order to negotiate the best possible price to move a shippers’ goods from point A to point B, along the most economical route that is reliable.
In other words a freight forwarder handles the logistics of shipping goods from one destination to another, a task that would otherwise be a formidable burden for their client.
Export.gov puts it this way:
To comply with export documentation and shipping requirements, many exporters utilize a freight forwarder to act as their shipping agent. The forwarder advises and assists clients on how to move goods most efficiently from one destination to another. A forwarder’s extensive knowledge of documentation requirements, regulations, transportation costs and banking practices can ease the exporting process for many companies.