Freight forwarding is the business that involves the transportation of containers, packages, and assorted goods across countries on behalf of exporters and importers by agents. These agents called freight forwarders do not necessarily have their own transport, but they engage different transportation modes to offer a transport solution unique to each client. These modes, which include road, rail, air, and water transport, enable the forwarder to transport the required merchandise from the provider to the consumer. They ensure that the merchandise arrives intact and in a timely manner by booking space in the various transportation modes.
==Types of Forwarders==
In order to transport the various merchandise correctly, forwarders need to ensure that the goods in transit are delivered in a safe manner and so arrange for such storage. Some forwarders may have their own road transport, meaning that they don’t have to outsource part of the journey to a third party. Freight forwarders are classified into either domestic or international agents. This classification makes the latter more suited to creating transport solutions that are useful to importers and exporters while the former has greater capability in domestic transportation solutions. International forwarders are able to move goods securely from port to port, ensuring that a client gets their merchandise on time.
A freight forwarder is also concerned with the documentation of the goods being transported, ensuring they are in correct order. This expertise makes them indispensable as they know their way around documents such as the customs documentation, the consignment note, bill of lading, air waybill, as well as insurance procedures both for goods in transit as well as themselves. Freight forwarders also utilize a commercial invoice, certificate of origin and inspection certificate, among other documents specific to the import and export countries. This then makes it vital to get a freight forwarder experienced in the regulations of the transit countries.