In today's world, most businesses and individuals are involved in foreign procurement and shipping, especially with the proliferation of e-commerce. As a result, business owners are seeking ways to grow their enterprises through foreign procurement. However, some companies argue that the services of freight forwarders are unnecessary and will instead go through the procurement and shipping process by themselves. Doing it themselves incurs even more cost and wastes time. Freight forwarders contribute immense value to a business, not only to its clients but also to the global supply chain.
This article will consider the benefits businesses will derive from working with freight forwarders.
WHO IS A FREIGHT FORWARDER
A freight forwarder is a person or a company that for a fee, organizes shipments for the shipper by liaising with carriers. They serve as an intermediary between companies that import and export goods and the businesses that need them and use their trusted contacts with partners, from air transport specialists and trucking companies to transoceanic lines, to negotiate the best prices.
Freight forwarders manage every aspect of transportation, from storing goods before shipment to ensuring they make it through customs. They don't handle the movement of the goods themselves; however, they establish relationships with the companies that do so and plan each step of every shipment on a client's behalf.
They offer varying transport modes, such as sea/ocean freight, rail freight, road transport, and air freight. They can also choose to use a variety of shipping modes for a single shipment.
Some benefits of using a freight forwarder include:
Access to Network of Global Partners: Most respected and experienced freight forwarders have access to a vast network of partners, thereby giving them access to wider routes rather than concentrating their efforts on a smaller number of routes. This way, forwarders can provide services to their customers wherever they are based and open their clients up to opportunities in different parts of the world.
Operational flexibility: When working with a freight forwarder, a business owner does not have to fret about negotiating the often-complex intricacies that are involved in the shipping process because there is a professional freight forwarder to handle that, point them in the right direction and allocate the right resources to that department. As a result, they can go about their other business activities knowing that shipping is handled.
Cost Effective: The use of freight forwarding services saves money on shipments for shippers because of the discounts offered on bulk cargoes. In other words, forwarders leverage volume to reduce cost. Only some shippers on their own may have what it takes to bring ship bulk items, and so, will not be able to access the discounts meant for bulky shipments. However, if they are working with a freight forwarder, they can access these discounts through the freight forwarder because the freight forwarder will pool all clients' shipments together, making it bulky enough to access the available discounts.
Less Hassle: Freight forwarding is a complex and dynamic process requiring complete involvement. If too much time is spent dealing with freight forwarding issues, a lot will not get done. For someone who does not have a freight forwarder, engaging in freight forwarding activities will bring about stress and negligence of other aspects of their business due to the time spent on freight forwarding. The freight forwarder handles all the documentation and procedures involved.
Compliance: International shipping is a complicated process with legal and regulatory standards from multiple bodies or jurisdictions. Total compliance is required from every shipper, as failure attracts grave consequences. With this, accurate documentation and administration are necessary for proper process compliance. Many documents are needed in freight forwarding, such as bill of lading, incoterms, document delivery, letters of credit, and customs declarations. A freight forwarder already knows the required documents and will make them available at the right time to ensure total compliance, but an individual shipper may need to be more familiar with all these and, as a result, may experience delays.
Use of Technology: Modern freight forwarders incorporate innovative technologies into their operational procedures. Cargo tracking technologies push boundaries and transform how forwarders work with their clients. Shippers will always want to know the current location of their goods, the expected arrival time (ETA), and the overall cost of the process. Forwarders who can respond accurately to these questions are respected and trusted by their clients, and technology has made it possible for forwarders to respond to these questions in a matter of minutes.
Accurate documentation: Such documentation varies from country to country. The two countries engaged in the business transaction may or may not adhere to the same set of laws and regulations involved in international shipping. For business owners, shipping to a foreign land can become challenging if their transporter shows any disparity in legal documentation. Inaccurate documentation is one of the most common causes of long delays, fines, and goods being held at the port. Freight forwarders help to manage the process documentation process.
Many companies, at present, need help with challenges in their supply chain, including high costs, compliance challenges, and lack of transparency. Business owners already have a lot on their plates, so they need efficient freight forwarders. Freight forwarders play an important role in the value chain industry as they help companies streamline the processes of shipping goods. Importing and exporting can quickly become costly and time-consuming for businesses with shipping needs, and freight forwarders enable companies to decrease costs and increase operational efficiency.
At SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED, our freight forwarding services are unique to each client as we remain committed to solving every single-issue their company may have concerning freight.
Visit our physical office space at 3, Fatai Irawo Street, Ajao Estate, Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria, or any of our warehouse touch point locations across the world to get more information.
Our 247-email correspondence is firstname.lastname@example.org
We are equally social and you can find us @SaraProcure on your favorite channels, Twitter, Threads Facebook & Instagram.