Freight Forwarding 101: Everything You Need To Know

Freight forwarding is the highly competent process of shipping various cargo from one destination to another by way of various transport carriers, including sea, air, rail and road. A freight forwarder like Stockwell International will be your go-to representative who speaks on behalf of the shipper to the shipper’s preferred transportation service carrier.

If you are a small or large business that manufactures goods, or have cargo larger than what is acceptable by standard delivery companies and you need domestic or international shipping, you will benefit significantly by learning about the advantages of using a freight forwarder, versus trying to go it alone. Engaging a forwarder like Stockwell International to import and export goods on your behalf will make the process much less stressful.

Benefits Stockwell International Offers

Stockwell International will support you on every level in the shipping process, including packing and storing, and including the rigorous customs procedures. Although we do not physically move cargo ourselves, here at Stockwells we have specialist expertise in logistics and getting your goods from point A to point B, foreseeing, and evading unnecessary snags throughout the journey.

Some of the major benefits offered by Stockwell International:

Here at Stockwell International we have successfully been moving freight for over 49 years, because of our experience in logistics we offer a strong network of business contacts. Your sales representative will help you to get the best rates for your individual shipping needs and ensure that your cargo arrives safely and securely in a timely manner.

At Stockwells we uphold an expert level of individual communication and customer service— Stockwell International wants to sustain a professional relationship in the long-term. It is in yours and our best interest to keep an open and authentic working relationship. We (or any freight forwarder) are responsible for handling your valuable goods: you need to ensure that you select a company you trust, with great customer service and established in the industry.

Additionally, to the primary service of shipping, Stockwells can assist you with further facets of the process, this can include packaging, storage, insurance, inventory organisation and the extensive documentation required. Always be sure to enquire about additional services as these may not be included in your original quote, it is always good to know for future reference.

Understanding the Shipping Procedure

Freight forwarding involves a great deal of paperwork, particularly when you are importing or exporting goods to and from overseas. If you are first time shipper, we will provide you with information about all applicable documents required and subsequent deliveries. This can include:

  • Export license
  • Export packing list
  • Certificate of origin statement
  • Customs declaration / commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading contract
  • Inspection certificate
  • Shippers export declaration document

Once the appropriate documents are ready, Stockwells will manage the logistical arrangements of your shipment.

To get a sense of how long it can take to transport shipments, you should be mindful of the vital steps of the freight forwarding process:

How to Handle the Unexpected?

Now with the understanding of the benefits of shipping with a reliable freight forwarder under your belt you may start to understand the fundamentals of freight forwarding. But what happens when things do not go according to plan? (which can happen easily and frequently in logistics) Some tips Stockwell International recommend knowing before you ship:

Not all cargo is good to go

Trustworthy freight forwarding companies must adhere to stringent regulations. Attempting to ship prohibited goods may find you facing hefty fines and legal consequences. Each country has its own list of banned import/export goods, but freight forwarders are generally restricted on:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs – illegal or pharmaceutical
  • Dangerous goods – flammable, biohazards, biological waste, toxic items
  • Weapons
  • Foods
  • Perishable items

If you already lawfully manufacture any of the above, you are already most likely aware of legalities surrounding transportation—but you should always double-check, as international laws can change!

Delays are unavoidable and expected

Freight forwarders are not responsible for shipping delays. Equipment can stall, overheat, and fail; weather can be ruthless and unforgiving; ports can develop major traffic and severely affect timetables. As with any mode of cargo transport, these unforeseeable events can surprise you and unfortunately, delays due to these events are not the fault of your forwarding company. Trust your forwarder when voicing frustrations: we do not want your deliveries to take any longer than planned— freight forwarders reputation, and repeat business, depends on it.

Keep records current

Before you hand over your goods to us, it is vital that all documents and transport paperwork is valid and current to dodge any unexpected delays. The last thing anyone wants is to experience an interruption at customs because of a something such as a simple missing signature.

In conclusion

Freight forwarding is an essential, indispensable professional tool that offers effectiveness and protects against traditional shipping processes. Creating a rapport with a freight forwarding company like Stockwell International that not only delivers on turnaround, but also knows your business needs and expectations is crucial to shipping success.

If you are planning to import or export goods then don’t forget that with a forwarder such as Stockwell International you can do it quickly and hassle-free, all with impeccable communication and customer service.

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