What to Expect From Your International Freight Forwarder

When your business starts shipping internationally, you may be uncertain about handling overseas shipping, particularly if you plan regular international shipments. This is when you should explore your options in overseas forwarding. Some international freight forwarders serve small businesses, while others only serve large businesses with a lot of freight to ship. Choose your overseas forwarder carefully and you can look forward to excellent service and confidence that your products will arrive at their destination safely and according to schedule. Here is some basic information about what international freight forwarders do on a day-to-day basis.

The Travel Agents for Cargo Shipped Overseas Your overseas forwarder is a critical link between importers and exporters, and can make life much easier for both. In today's world, numerous modes of transport may be used from producer to consumer, and the freight forwarder coordinates these complex transport arrangements as well as the paperwork and financial aspects of shipping. Some of the freight forwarder's activities include: Think of freight forwarders as travel agents for your cargo going overseas. International Freight Forwarders Advise Exporters Your overseas forwarding service should explain their responsibilities under their contracts with businesses like yours, and they should help you in negotiating rates for inland and ocean transport. They should also help you make the most cost-effective shipping arrangements. In addition to assisting in calculating the optimal way to ship products (air vs. ocean, or container vs. breakbulk shipping), they should explain the functions at every transition point in the journey, such as what the port functions are with regard to exports.

Freight forwarders should also advise you about possible problems you may encounter, such as problems due to improper packing. Freight Forwarders Book Products for Shipping Booking your freight for shipping involves custody and control of items in transit, choosing the right steamship line, and taking care of the mechanics of shipping, such as special handling needs and precise descriptions of the items being shipped for required paperwork. They also deal with paying for shipping. If you're a small business that doesn't ship large quantities overseas, look for an overseas freight forwarder that is able to negotiate favorable rates on your behalf. This may involve consolidation of shipments from multiple businesses to keep costs under control. They Handle Documentation for Overseas Shipping As you might imagine, there is plenty of paperwork and documentation involved in overseas shipping, and your freight forwarder takes care of this important task. They may certify and notarize invoices, prepare dock receipts and bills of lading, and take care of paperwork involved in purchase of cargo insurance. Packing lists, transmittal letters, export licenses, consular invoices, and export declarations all fall under the purview of overseas freight forwarders. If you expect to be shipping products from your small business overseas, research several international freight forwarders and compare the services they offer. Some forwarders specialize in helping smaller businesses ship efficiently and cost-effectively, and can make the process of overseas shipping less confusing.