A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or other companies and may also act as a carrier. A forwarder is often not active as a carrier and acts only as an agent, in other words as a third-party (non-asset-based) logistics provider that dispatches shipments via asset-based carriers and that books or otherwise arranges space for these shipments. Carrier types include ships, airplanes, trucks, and railroads.
Freight forwarders typically arrange cargo movement to an international destination. Also referred to as international freight forwarders, they have the expertise that allows them to prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to international shipments. Some of the typical information reviewed by a freight forwarder is the commercial invoice, shipper’s export declaration, bill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import, or transshipment. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment.
The FIATA short-hand description of the freight forwarder as the ‘Architect of Transport’ illustrates clearly the commercial position of the forwarder relative to his client. In Europe there are forwarders that specialise in ‘niche’ areas such as Railfreight and collection and deliveries around a large port. The latter are called Hafen(port) Spediteure (Port Forwarders). A forwarder in some countries may sometimes deal only with domestic traffic and never handle international traffic. (see also Forwarding Agent).
History of freight forwarding
The original function of the forwarder, or spediteur, was to arrange for the carriage of his customers’ good by contracting with various carriers. His responsibilities included advice on all documentation and customs requirements in the country of destination. His correspondent agent in far-away lands looked after his customers’ interests and kept him informed about matters that would affect movement of goods.
In modern times the forwarder still carries out those same responsibilities for his client. He still operates either with a corresponding agent overseas or with his own company branch-office. In many instances, the freight forwarder also acts as a carrier for part of a movement it can happen that in a single transaction the forwarder may be acting either as a carrier (principal) or as an agent for his customer.
Freight forwarder roles in different countries
Referance : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freight_forwarder
Originally posted on June 5, 2015 @ 9:45 am