What is a freight forwarder?

Freight forwarding is an important aspect of global trade. In the simplest of terms, a freight forwarder is a company that arranges the importing and exporting of goods for other companies. These firms deal with all the processes that would likely seem daunting to most of us: preparing documentation, tracking cargo, or filing insurance claims are just some of the things freight forwarding companies handle.

What do freight forwarders actually do?

Freight forwarders are not themselves carriers; they are the intermediaries between shippers and carriers, acting as a middleman so the international shipper doesn’t have to get caught up in all the logistics. Exporters hire freight forwarders to act as their shipping agent because forwarders have extensive knowledge of documentation requirements, regulations, transportation costs, and banking practices – and they can negotiate better deals to save you money. Different freight forwarding firms offer varying options, and some will let you pick and choose the services that make the best sense for your needs and your budget.

Advantages of working with a freight forwarder

For any company dealing in the global import and export of goods, a reliable freight forwarder can be a real asset, saving their clients a lot of time, headaches, and money. Here’s a look at some of the advantages.

Cost Savings

Due to the high volume of goods they ship, freight fowarders can negotiate lower terms than you could do yourself. They can also save you money by consolidating smaller shipments with shipments from other businesses to create a full load.

Customs Knowledge

Freight forwarders have specialized knowledge and the most current information regarding the customs regulations of other countries. They and can fill out all the necessary paperwork, pay the required tariffs, and handle other taxes.

Insurance Filings

Freight forwarders have extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of obtaining coverage for shipments and dealing with insurance should anything go wrong with a shipment.


Freight forwarders have the ability and resources to handle unforeseen circumstances and obstacles like rerouted shipments or delays at sea. Their flexibility and versatility can be a big advantage when it comes to meeting tight deadlines.
Freight forwarding services ensure that goods flow in a timely and proficient manner across borders and throughout the world. Freight forwarders have proven to be a huge benefit to international companies, reducing a lot of stress while providing reliable transportation for a variety of goods at reasonable rates.