Posted by on July 8, 2020

Ocean FreightShipping in its original sense meant the transit of trade goods via sail ships in the colonial era. The business has evolved today into a multinational industry which today includes ‘transit architects’; companies which handle a multitude of tasks involved with the loading, transit and delivery of import/export goods all over the world. Ocean freight is the transportation of goods to worldwide destinations, loaded upon cargo ships and transported from port to port.

Ocean freight services help exporters and importers by providing services to manage some or all of the aspects related to international shipping and often guarantee the arrival of goods to the target location as well.

What does an Ocean freight forwarder do?

A freight forwarder is a third party logistics provider who manages the transportation of goods from end-to-end. A forwarder is a transportation expert who is well informed of the state of the shipping industry and the regulations that govern it. Such a forwarder has a long list of business partners; carriers, agents, business contacts, real-time information on the status of shipping availability (for their specialized area) and a vast array of ocean shipping-line maps updated in real-time. Forwarders use these resources to provide their clients with the best possible fit (against specified requirements) in terms of cost, transit time, best/economical routes, carriers (transporter services), container bookings and shippers insurance; economies of scale (the large volume of goods that forwarders transport) gives them an economical and logistic advantage over carriers or businesses that ship individually.

Forwarders also provide clients with arrangements to receive (from production), store, pack & load goods along with in-land transport arrangements (to enable door-to-door solutions).

All round services

The following is a listing of the services provided by ocean freight forwarders relating to international import aspects, international export aspects and the transportation itself;

Services related to transit-transportation:

  • Coordination of domestic and international transporters (carriers)
  • Inland pickup and delivery to/from port
  • Providing arrangements and coordinating customs for Bonded Warehousing: This is applicable where the duty on import goods is unpaid cargo is stored in the joint custody of the importer and customs officials.
  • Container loading and arrangements for the management and loading of break-bulk (individually loaded) cargo
  • Locating space and availability and transporting to free ports or SEZ’s (special economic/trade zones with relaxed customs regulations and taxes). This is especially for trans-shipment purposes; cargo at free ports is accepted for handling, processing and reshipment without the imposition of tariffs and taxes
  • Insurance, Risk management and cargo loss prevention

Services related to export/import:

  • Freight Quotations
  • Import/export Licensing
  • Transportation services
  • Container management; FCL (full cargo containers)/LCL (less than container load)
  • Documentation Support: Freight Forwarders provide support to their clients for all manners of shipping documentation including; Letters of credit (analysis and negotiations), bill of lading, commercial invoice, certificate of origin, insurance certificate, packing list, or other documents required to clear home-port or destination-port customs, such as an Inspection certificate
  • Warehouse to Warehouse insurance/ all risk insurance
  • End-to-end delivery coordination
  • Customs clearanceCustoms bondsCustoms brokerage
  • Entry processing




Originally posted on June 5, 2015 @ 9:20 am


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