When we talk about freight, we are talking about the international transport of goods, generally to import or export products. Imagine you have your own brand of t-shirt, you had them made in China. You must now send a container filled with a t-shirt to your warehouse in France to start selling them. From شركة نقل عفش بالرياض you can find the best bit.
- A freight forwarder (or freight forwarder/freight transporter; it’s the same thing) is a company that helps you manage part or all of international logistics transport. These range from the removal of goods from your supplier, storage in its warehouses, booking of sea freight with the transporter, transport by truck to the port and loading on the boat, handling of customs formalities in China and EU and of course delivery to the destination of your choice.
Working with a freight forwarder makes your life easier
You will only receive one invoice in exchange for all these services, which will have saved you a lot of time and avoided a lot of errors.
A freight forwarder does not only manage t-shirts; they can handle almost all the goods that exist on Earth and that need to be transported to the country of your choice. The quantity is not a problem, the freight forwarders manage as many quantities lower than a container as a whole container, even tens of containers if necessary.
Can anyone become a freight forwarder? Is it a regulated profession?
Most countries require some form of license to practice this trade. The legislation is more or less strict depending on the country.
In Europe, it is compulsory to have a license issued by the authorities to exercise the profession of freight forwarder.
Choose your freight forwarder: Beware of scams
Following the resurgence of freight forwarder scams in China, read our article to avoid falling into the trap. Do we have to go through a forwarder to organize transport by sea freight? Can we just rent a container on a boat?
No, you do not have to request a freight forwarder to use a sea freight service. You can manage the reservation yourself directly with the masters of sea freight (CMA-CGM, Maersk, etc.) but they very rarely offer grouping services (LCL: Less than a Container Load / Shipments which represent less ‘a container) independent of forwarders. Grouping consists in grouping the goods of several importers in order to optimize the space in the containers, and thus pay less for transport. The big shipping companies do not bother and let the forwarders manage for them the grouping (Consolidation in English) then simply take care of transporting the containers.
To find out how to import small quantities while minimizing the cost of transport, click here to read our dedicated article. Imagine that we have to send 5 pallets of goods from Shenzhen, China, to my garage in Lyon, France.
What are the steps and what information do we need?
Gather all the information on the shipment, volume, weight, nature of the goods, exact addresses for pick-up and delivery, purchase agreement, transport responsibility (INCOTERM: EXW, FOB, CIF, etc.), what you need to pay, desired delivery date (to choose between air or sea freight).
On the basis of all this information, you will have to determine whether you will organize the transport yourself or go through a forwarder. If you decide to manage the transport yourself, you will have to immerse yourself in lengthy research to become familiar with regulations, practices, and contact agents in the country of origin and destination. If you choose a freight forwarder, search online for providers to compare offers and choose the most suitable.