Our global economy depends on the import and export of goods to other countries. In fact, the cost of logistics in America accounts for 10% of national GDP. Logistics is undoubtedly one of the top industries driving our world economy. Much of logistics consists of managing a variety of air, land, and sea cargo carriers, as well as complex customs requirements. Enter the Air freight forwarder: how they help make global business work.
Many people underestimate the complexity of shipping goods or belongings overseas. Whenever you initiate a shipment, a network of carriers will relay the cargo from your door step, to the nearest air, land, or sea port, across oceans and mountains, to the receiving country, and finally to the shipment’s ultimate destination.
At every step of this process your shipment requires a unique set of paperwork outlining what the shipment contains, who it is being shipped to, where it is coming from, and any parties claiming the shipment. Shipments must be claimed at every relay point in the supply chain, the customs process must be navigated, and any tariffs handled.
This is the role of the air freight forwarder. Officially, an air freight forwarder is a professional or organization that organizes and oversees shipments for individuals and companies alike. An air freight forwarder serves as a third-party to manage the relationship between shippers and the various freight carriers who physically transport the goods.
Shipments are bid on in a marketplace of freight carriers. It is possible for a company or individual to request bids for shipments themselves, but unless they have a very large volume of freight, they are often at the mercy of the carriers in terms of cost and terms. Air freight forwarders, on the other hand, can batch multiple shipments to gain bargaining leverage over the carriers, achieving the best terms at the lowest cost.
This process happens at every leg of the shipment. Some carriers can handle more than one leg of the journey, but a select few (often the most expensive) handle comprehensive door-to-door shipment. Freight forwarders negotiate on the client’s behalf at every leg of the journey.
Air freight forwarders serve as transportation brokers, negotiating the best possible rates and shipment terms for their clients. Unlike brokers in other industries, once a shipment has been successfully brokered the air freight forwarder prepares all necessary documentation, and oversees the goods during transport, ensuring the fastest, most efficient shipment, delivery, and route of travel.
When companies and individuals are able to ship goods quickly, at minimal cost, they are better able to grow their business. By effectively outsourcing their logistics operations, they can focus their budget and attention on their core competencies. This leads to higher quality goods and services, at lower cost. It also often means more jobs.
There are a lot of factors driving our global economy, but it cannot be denied that the movement of goods is a critical one. Air freight forwarders serve as an agent to lower the cost and difficulty of shipping. This allows companies to ship more goods, bringing entrepreneurs and employees alike greater wealth and greater opportunity.
Originally posted on August 10, 2015 @ 9:59 am