A global forwarding company is a shipping business that offers various logistics services to businesses and individuals. These companies are third-party logistics providers (3PLs) or international freight forwarders.
Many of them also provide consolidation services for shipments, re-packaging and formatting for import/export compliance purposes to ease the shipment process between countries.
Global forwarding companies offer consolidation for businesses and individuals. Consolidating the goods that will be shipped reduces the cost of each shipment. It also can provide faster delivery depending on how many shipments are combined into one container. Since there is less handling of documents, it also helps to reduce errors and additional costs associated with missing documents (i.e., commercial invoices).
Freight forwarders make sure all documentation is appropriately prepared before shipment making sure all international trade regulations are followed while in transit. Documents provided by a customer include commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, health and safety inspection certificates (if necessary), import/export licenses (when required) and export declarations (when required).
Global tracking and tracing
Global tracking and tracing services determine the shipment’s current location in transit from the initial location from when it left a warehouse to its destination. It is an essential service for businesses since they can keep track of their product during transport. Additionally, receiving customers can monitor their order status online, which schedules delivery times more efficiently.
Freight forwarders provide insurance coverage while a shipment is in transit between countries, depending on what has been requested by the customer. The freight forwarder will work with carriers to get quotes for insurance rates and then relay that information to the customer. Customers typically have three options to choose from:
- No cargo insurance (no extra insurance costs).
- With cargo insurance (insurance provided by forwarder or carrier).
- Freight all risk (Customer purchases their insurance).
An international freight forwarder will always recommend the latter option since it provides more coverage for customers.
Warehousing and distribution services
Freight forwarding companies store products in their warehouses in different locations worldwide, depending on where they pick up and drop off shipments. The benefit to this service is that when an order is received, the company can pick it up from one of its warehouses, saving time and money versus having the customer drive it to a distribution centre or airport. Customers typically pay according to how much space their goods take up in storage units.
Packing and crating
Packing and crating services help customers secure their goods before shipment, preventing damage while in transit. This service is beneficial for customers with a high-value product since it provides a higher level of security in an accident or mishandling by a carrier.
Customs brokers work with global forwarding companies to clear shipments through customs when they arrive in port at their final destination point. Customs brokers can handle all documentation required by the country’s customs department for importing/exporting products and other necessary charges such as duty and taxes. In many countries, this is mandatory when importing/exporting goods from one country to another.
When a customer’s shipment requires special care or handling, forwarders employ accessorial services that help comply with government regulations imposed on the shipment, such as temperature-controlled trucks and hazardous materials cargo. Customers can add these charges to their original transportation costs when making an order depending on what level of service they need.
Full truckload (FTL)
Full truckloads are when an entire truck is reserved for a single customer to transport their shipment. Customers are guaranteed the full truck for the duration while their product is shipping.
Less than truckload (LTL)
Less than truckload services are when multiple customers share one or more trucks to transport their products. Each customer is responsible for loading and unloading their shipments, while the global forwarding company will consolidate all shipments together before loading them onto a truck.
Let’s sum it all up
By understanding the comprehensive list of services offered by global freight forwarding companies, business owners can make informed decisions about which provider will best suit their needs.
Shipco Global is a trusted logistics company with over two decades of experience in the freight forwarding business. They have an extensive range of customised services to fit each client’s unique requirements, ensuring that they receive the best choice of solutions for their shipping and logistics needs. They also offer free consultations if you’re looking for expert advice to help your business grow internationally.