Shipping internationally is a complex process and it involves much more than simply moving your products from point A to point B. Be it contracting carriers, getting your paperwork right, or dealing with unexpected bottlenecks along the way, navigating the supply chain complexities on your own can be a daunting task. In this guide, we will walk you through the benefits of partnering with a qualified freight forwarder to help you manage your international shipping and documentary compliance needs across all modes of transport.
What is a Freight Forwarder
A freight forwarder is a specialist logistics service provider that acts as an intermediary linking cargo owners to carriers, port and customs authorities, and other vendors involved in the physical movement and handling of goods along the supply chain. Ideally, a forwarder serves as a single point of contact for all your logistics needs, from negotiating freight rates and managing space reservations to tracking your cargo from origin to destination and solving any issues along the way, all under one roof.
Top freight forwarders such as CargoPoint are deeply invested in relationships with major carriers through agency contracts, long term monetary deposits, and annual sales quotas, allowing them access to special shipping rates and priority booking. Forwarders pass on these benefits to your business as a cost saving.
Another cost saving comes from reducing outlay such as storage and avoiding potentially hefty customs fines due to sloppy paperwork. Some freight forwarders have in-house customs brokerage services that specialize in customs clearance and have a thorough knowledge of import and export regulations.
International freight is heavy on regulation. Forwarders often develop specialized solutions compliant with the latest industry standards and manufacturer’s product requirements. That means you can tap into your forwarder’s bank of knowledge and experience to ensure your shipment reaches its intended destination in a safe, timely, and compliant manner. Whether you are dealing with temperature-sensitive goods, time-critical shipments, or live animals, freight forwarders are experts in accommodating such requirements to a high standard.
Your forwarder’s know-how and expertise can also add value to your supply chain in multiple other ways, be it planning more efficient routes, optimizing your load, or combining different modes of transport to deliver time and cost savings to help your bottom line. Especially today, freight forwarders’ services extend beyond logistics, including customs clearance, warehousing, insurance, procurement, inventory management, etc.
Focus On Your Business
International shipping is not a linear process and more often than not you have to deal with supply chain roadblocks such as shipment delays, cargo loss, damage, or the resulting customer claims. For businesses, developing and maintaining in-house logistics capabilities can be a huge drain on resources. After all, your business was not built to handle logistics professionally. That’s where partnering with a specialist freight forwarder comes in handy. By outsourcing your entire distribution process to a freight forwarder, you can close productivity gaps in your supply chain, which allows you not only to focus on your core business, but also helps you develop a competitive advantage in the market thanks to reduced costs and improved customer service.
Freight forwarders bring together a host of disparate logistics services to create a single solution tailored to meet your distribution needs, all under a single contract. This saves you the trouble of having to contract and manage multiple vendors in different parts of the globe and deal with issues like delays or regulatory red tape involved in the shipping process.
Delegating your logistics to freight forwarders allows you to prioritize what's truly important for your business. You don't have to spread yourself thin trying to handle everything on your own. Your seemingly endless worries about issues you encounter when shipping are just another day at work for a freight forwarder, who is ready to take on the entire shipping process, from pick up, packing, labeling, space reservation to tracking or door delivery at destination.
When outsourcing your logistics to a freight forwarder, make sure that you work with a reliable logistics provider who plays by the rules. They can be IATA-certified cargo agents, members of international logistics networks such as WCAWorld, or carrier-appointed cargo sales agents such as CargoPoint. It is also important to consult your logistics partner on key issues such as managing risks or accelerating your RFQ process. You can explore our Ultimate Guide to Getting Fast and Accurate Freight Quotes or 10 Strategies to Managing Shipping Risks to that end. You can always contact our experts for a no-obligation consultation if you have any additional questions or require assistance with international shipping.
At CargoPoint, we connect Central Asia to the rest of the world through our freight forwarding and logistics solutions. We combine our global presence, industry expertise and world-class service to help businesses reach international markets with speed and efficiency. We offer a complete range of services in international shipping, logistics and customs clearance to meet your supply chain needs, regardless of your industry, business size or location. Contact Us if you require assistance with shipping and/or are experiencing any logistical issues that need to be addressed.