Freight Forwarding Service - Consultation, Documentation, Process, Charges

Updated on October 09, 2023 12:57:57 PM

Freight forwarders play a crucial role when it comes to import and export of goods from one country to another country. Freight Forwarders help companies in streamlining the process of shipping goods from the place of manufacturing to the destination countries. Therefore helping the manufacturers and exporters in reducing their shipping costs and timely delivery of consignment by ensuring operational efficiency. Go through this page to know everything about the freight forwarding process, documents required, customs clearance, charges, and certificates required for transportation of goods from point of origin to the destination country.

As a Freight Forwarding consultant, it is their sole responsibility to manage the overall shipment and transportation tasks, document preparation, custom clearance, choosing the right shipping company etc. Freight forwarding plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth flow of goods across borders, continents, and oceans. It's the bridge that connects manufacturers, distributors, and consumers worldwide, making it possible for products to reach their intended destinations efficiently and cost-effectively.

Contact with our team at Professional utilities, to know everything in detail about the Freight forwarding process, charges and certifications required for the same.

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What is a Freight Forwarder?

Freight forwarder is a company that works as an intermediary between the shipping companies and businesses that need shipping services. Freight forwarders do not ship the consignment themselves, but they make all the necessary arrangements for the successful shipment of consignment from the source to destination.

Freight Forwarders are responsible for making arrangements like strategic logistics planning, execution and movement of consignment across international borders on behalf of the shipper. The most important responsibilities of a freight forwarder are warehousing goods, freight charges negotiations, custom clearance and documentation, consignment tracking etc.

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What does a Freight Forwarder do?

Freight forwarders are specialised logistics intermediaries who perform several tasks to send the shipment of goods from the point of origin to the destination. Freight forwarders help shippers navigate the often complex world of international shipping by handling tasks like booking cargo space, preparing documentation, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations.

They act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers or shipping companies. They are adept at selecting the most efficient transportation methods, whether by sea, air, road, or rail, to ensure goods reach their destination in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The services provided by freight forwarders are:

  • Warehousing Goods
  • Preparing Documents
  • Coordinating with Shipment provider
  • Shipment Booking and Cargo Reservation
  • Custom Clearance
  • Choosing mode of Transportation
  • Shipment Tracking & Monitoring
  • Shipment Rate negotiations with shipping providers.
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Process of Freight Forwarding in Logistics

The process of freight forwarding involves a series of activities to be followed by the freight forwarding company. Here is the list of steps to be followed for the stages and process of freight forwarding:

Step 1: Preparing Export Documentation

The first step in forwarding shipment from the point of origin to the destination is preparing documents required for export of goods. The necessary export documents are Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Bill of Export issued by ICEGATE, Proforma Invoice, Purchase Order, Certificate of Origin, Bill of Exchange, Letter of Credit, Quality check certificate and Import Export Certificate(IEC) and declaration of hazardous goods.

Step 2: Export Haulage

The next step is to transport goods from the shipper’s location to the freight forwarder’s facility. The time taken in completing this step depends on the type of goods, location and distance between the shipper and freight forwarder. Generally the goods are transported to the forwarding facility via road transport.

Step 3: Quality Check & Inspection

In the next step, the goods will be received at the freight forwarder’s facility for inspection and quality check, then final confirmation is given for the safety of the consignment.

Step 4: Custom Clearance

Before the cargo ship leaves the country with the consignment, it is very important to receive custom clearance from the place of origin. The process of custom clearance is generally carried out by the custom house agents. This part of freight forwarding procedure is also sometimes initiated by freight providers at times.

Step 5: Origin Handling

The freight forwarder may perform a range of duties during the initial handling phase of the operation. This process commences with the arrival and unloading of the shipment. Furthermore, the cargo undergoes a verification process against the booking details before it is provided with a cargo receipt from the forwarder.

Step 6: Import Customs Clearance

Customs authorities in the receiving country need to authenticate the import documentation once the cargo reaches its destination. The process of import custom clearance can start off even before reaching the consignment in the destination country. When the shipment finally reaches its destination, the freight forwarder or the appointed customs broker must have already wrapped up the clearance process.

Step 7: Destination Handling

Destination handling encompasses a series of tasks carried out at the freight forwarder's destination office. This process commences with the reception of documents from the origin office or agent of the freight forwarder, followed by a meticulous examination of these documents. Subsequently, the original carrier bill of lading is submitted to the shipping line.

Step 8: Import Haulage

In this step the consignment is transported from the warehouse to the final location or the desired destination of the ultimate consignee. The goods may be transported by the freight forwarding company or it may directly be collected by the consignee.

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Documents Required for Freight Forwarding Service

Freight Services

Here is the list of documents required in freight forwarding services:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Packing List
  • Exports and Imports Custom Declaration
  • Waybill (Airway, Railway, Seaway)
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Letter of Credit
  • Declaration of Hazardous Goods (If applicable)
  • Other Important Certificates (IEC, RCMC, ICEGATE, etc.)
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Charges for Freight Forwarding

The required charges and fee for freight forwarding depends on the quantity of goods and distance between the point of origin of goods and destination country. The charges that occur for freight forwarding are mainly due to the compliance of various documents and obtaining necessary documents required for Import Export Certificate and other certificates from DGFT and other authorities.

NOTE: Consult with Professional utilities to know about all the information about the fee and charges for freight forwarding and necessary certificates required for movement of goods.

Freight Services
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Types of Freight Forwarding Services

Here are different types of freight forwarding services:

Ocean Freight Forwarding

Ocean freight forwarding is a cornerstone of international trade and logistics. It involves the transportation of goods by sea using cargo containers or bulk carriers. This mode of transportation is ideal for businesses with cost-effective and flexible shipping needs, especially for international shipments where time sensitivity is not a primary concern.

Ocean freight forwarders play a critical role in managing the complexities of sea-based shipping. They coordinate everything from booking cargo space on vessels to overseeing the loading and unloading of containers at ports. These professionals also handle customs documentation, ensuring that shipments comply with import/export regulations. Additionally, ocean freight forwarders may offer door-to-door services, managing the entire journey from the origin to the final destination.

Air Freight Forwarding

Air freight forwarding is the expedited mode of shipping goods via commercial or cargo planes. It is the preferred choice for businesses requiring rapid delivery, such as time-sensitive or high-value cargo.

Air freight forwarders specialize in securing cargo space on aircraft, coordinating the movement of goods, and managing customs procedures. They are well-versed in navigating the complexities of air transportation regulations and ensuring that shipments meet safety and security standards.

Land Freight Forwarding

Land freight forwarding is the transportation of goods over land using trucks, trailers, or other vehicles. It is a versatile and often cost-effective option for both domestic and international shipments.

Two common categories of land freight forwarding are Full Truckload (FTL) and Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipments. FTL involves dedicating an entire truck to a single shipment, making it suitable for large quantities of goods. LTL, on the other hand, combines shipments from multiple customers in one truck, making it more economical for smaller loads.

Land freight forwarders manage various aspects of road-based transportation. This includes route planning, cargo loading and unloading, scheduling, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, such as weight limits and safety standards.

Rail Freight Forwarding

Rail freight forwarding involves the transportation of cargo using trains and rail networks. It's a mode of transport well-suited for long-distance shipments, heavy cargo, and bulk goods.

Rail freight forwarders specialize in coordinating the movement of goods via rail, ensuring efficient loading and unloading at rail terminals, and managing any necessary transfers between different rail lines or modes of transport, such as trucks or ships.

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Why Choose a Freight Forwarding Consultant?

By choosing a Freight forwarding consultant It becomes very easy to send your consignment from the point of origin to the destination country. You can count on Professional utilities as your freight forwarding consultant to ship goods from one country to another. We are top consultants for import export related services and we can also help you in custom clearance and Import Export documentation and complete transportation process.

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In Import and export businesses, there always arises a need for freight forwarding services to deliver goods from one location to another. Freight Forwarders work as an intermediary between the consignor and the shipping company. Freight Forwarders are responsible for all the tasks to ensure smooth forwarding of consignment from the point of origin to the destination place.

The process of import and export of goods involves various types of documentation and custom clearances in both ways while leaving a country and entering another country.

To Avoid all the complexities in the import export procedure, the owners of the consignment can rely on Professional Utilities for everything from the Documentation, certification, custom clearances to the complete freight forwarding services.

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FAQs on Freight Forwarding

What is Freight Forwarding in Logistics?

Freight forwarding is a service that involves movement of consignment from one place to another. Freight Forwarders act as an intermediary between the shipper and the carrier, they are responsible for coordinating the entire transportation of goods, including custom clearance, documentation, inland haulage, and local delivery of goods.

Who is a Freight Forwarder?

Freight Forwarders is an intermediary company who takes all the responsibilities of transporting freights from one location to another. Freight Forwarder is responsible for choosing the shipping company, negotiating freight charges, custom clearance, documentation etc.

What is a Freight Forwarding Example?

For Example, ABC Pvt Ltd is a spice manufacturer having their clientele spread across different states of USA. Someone introduced them to Professional utilities, a licensed freight forwarder. They will pick up shipments from ABC Pvt Ltd warehouse, carry out customs clearance, transport the goods from the destination, and deliver them to their new clients in different states of USA. The exporter was happy with the cheaper cost and efficiently managed delivery of goods from its warehouse to the clients in the USA.

What is the difference between a freight forwarder and a shipping company?

A freight forwarder is a firm that is responsible for strategic planning and execution of transportation of goods from source to the destination country on behalf of the shipper. They are responsible for everything from documentation to inland transportation.

On the other hand, a Shipping company is the actual provider of shipping service and only takes care of shipping the goods from one source port to the destination port. They are responsible only for shipping the goods from one port to another.

What are freight forwarding services?

Freight forwarding services include inland transportation of goods from warehouse to the port and vice versa, documentation, custom clearance, freight charges negotiations, import export handling etc.

What are the documents required for Freight Forwarding?

The documents required in Freight Forwarding are commercial invoice, packing list, export shipping bill, Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Letter of credit, Insurance certificate, Declaration in case of hazardous cargo, Import Export code registration, other RCMS Certificates (wherever applicable).

What is a Freight?

Freight means goods that are transported in bulk from one country to another via different modes of transport such as by Air, Water, Road. To transport freight generally a freight forwarding company comes into play.

Who is a Freight Forwarding Consultant?

A freight forwarding consultant can be a business or a company like Professional Utilities which specializes in Import export services and freight forwarding services. As a freight forwarding consultant they are responsible for arranging and coordinating with different stakeholders for smooth delivery of goods from point of origin to the destination

On the other hand, a Shipping company is the actual provider of shipping service and only takes care of shipping the goods from one source port to the destination port. They are responsible only for shipping the goods from one port to another.