A Complete Guide: What is Freight Forwarding?

You may already know a little or a lot about logistics, shipping carriers, and fast shipping programs. But what does a freight forwarder do?

Direct import is one of the fastest and affordable methods to buy products from China, India, and other manufacturing countries. Getting goods from manufacturers also makes eases the costs on general items for eCommerce sellers of any size to sell private label goods, which is increasingly popular trend to stay ahead in the market.

However, importing on your own is extremely complicated and a lot can go wrong you need the right resources and infrastructure to import on your own, causing major hassle in the form of logistics processes, paperwork, regulations and additional costs.

This is where your freight forwarder steps in to take this process out of your hands by acting as an liaison between suppliers or manufacturers, shippers and transport, and customs, by using a professional to help you move your cargo it will amount to getting your goods as quickly and as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

This blog is a complete freight forwarding guide to help you understand what it is a freight forwarder does.

What is freight forwarding in shipping?

Freight forwarding is the process of transporting your cargo from point A to point B. This requires the use of several carriers and shipping methods, such as ocean, air, road and rail.

For example, freight forwarding leather shoes from Europe could involve transporting them to the UK by train, shipping them to New York via ocean vessel then flying them to Los Angeles.

What does a freight forwarder do?

A freight forwarder can coordinate the entire shipment course for you, from start to finish. Here at Stockwell International this includes planning the journey, contracting shipping carriers, and complying with local laws. Using Stockwells as your freight forwarder, we will complete this process and bring you significant benefits. This includes:

1) Providing knowledge and expertise
Freight forwarders are experts in the field, we know the fastest, most reliable, and cheapest way to forward your cargo at any point in time. We are also equipped to handle emergency situations, like delays, re-routed shipments, adverse weather, or damages so your delivery will endure minimal impact.

2) Ensuring compliance
Moving goods internationally has a strict set of requirements and different rules and regulations to adhere too. As a freight forwarder Stockwells ensures that you are completely in compliance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, Import Security Filing, local customs documentation, taxes, and any other shipping restrictions you will face. This will help you avoid fines and possible legal action.

3) Share networks
With over 49 years of experience here at Stockwell International we have a large international network, working with numerous different carriers and storage providers. We can help you find a reliable solution at a competitive price.

4) Support growth
Ultimately, a freight forwarder can help expand your eCommerce business, without hiring an international logistics expert. You can reduce your merchandise prices by sourcing items internationally and increase your reach by breaking into a global market – with the support, knowledge, and connections of your freight forwarder.

Benefits of using a freight forwarder

Freight forwarders work as intermediaries, taking most import processes off your hands. There are several benefits to this, including that sellers no longer have to handle customs paperwork and import regulations.

1) Better efficiency

Even a freight forwarders standard services are likely to offer significant savings of both time and money. They have the experience needed to make smart, quick choices, will look after paperwork, pay fees, and deal with any issues that might come up.

At Stockwells, we will handle risk assessment, management, warehousing, and communication with your supplier or manufacturer. This all promotes the speeding up of the process.

2) Your freight forwarder will handle all additional services involving paperwork for:

Cargo Insurance
Customs Clearance & Paperwork
Non-vessel operating common carrier documentation
Bills of lading
Warehousing documentation

3) Get cargo insurance to protect yourself against damaged goods
Insuring your goods before import protects you and the freight carrier. While it’s often difficult and expensive to insure goods on your own, most freight forwarders include complete insurance as part of their standard package deal.

4) Achieve faster warehousing
Stockwells will move your cargo from your manufacturer directly to our warehouse or your business address, handling all the details in between including trucking, warehousing and packing/unpacking. Because of our established connections and existing relationships with every party involved, we are able to cut days or even weeks off the import process.

Freight forwarding – final thoughts

Freight forwarders are able to save you a substantial amount of stress, making imports from cheaper manufacturing countries within reach for eCommerce sellers. With large global logistics networks, a deep knowledge of the industry, regional legal restriction and compliance issues, and the capacity to leverage networks to reduce costs and time of delivery. Stockwells will prove to be the best and most efficient way to import goods, enabling you to grow profit margins, customers, and brand recognition.

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