A freight forwarder is a person or business that is involved in organizing shipments for individuals or for corporations to get goods and ship them from the manufacturer to the final consumer or to store the goods while in transit. A forwarder acts as an expert in the whole logistics process. They do not specialize in the actual movement of goods. The modes of transportation used in freight forwarding include airways, roadways, railways, and waterways.
A point to be noted while talking about freight forwarding is that all companies that provide 3PL services, including us, are always involved with freight forwarders. They act as intermediaries between the manufacturing (parent) company as well as the transportation companies. The need for a professional and efficient freight forwarder is one of the few essentials needed to smoothen the overall supply chain. The importance of an efficient logistics system has been hugely sung about everywhere. The ultimate purpose is that of smoothening the supply chain. Easy transportation of goods from one state to the other, or even internationally from one country to another also smoothens the supply chain.
The strength of any freight forwarding agent or company will be the bundle of knowledge that they have up against their sleeve. They will always be very well versed with the whole process of freight forwarding, which includes their vast knowledge and expertise in clearance procedures as well as other transportation permits etc. They are known to undertake risks involved with any business and turn those risks into profit making avenues. Use of advanced technology is yet another essential that freight forwarders try to accomplish up to their full potential. It also brings improvement in the processes that they are involved in, especially during the transit of goods. Technology in the form of bar codes and scanners etc can help in keeping an eye on the goods by locating them. Information on the loading of goods, dropping off of goods and also on the number of goods will be easily available with technology. This helps the manufacturers to keep their peace of minds while sleeping since they can now track their goods through their mobile phones or computers easily. This means that there will be an automatic improvement in productivity, efficiency, services, and reputation, and also saves time in the overall process of freight forwarding. Any manufacturing company will want to get involved with a forwarding company which has innovation in its priority list and those that have adopted hi-tech solutions in freight forwarding. Upgradation of technology, hence, becomes another important aspect for freight forwarders since this will lead to more efficient control of their working.
In the case of international freight transportation process, freight forwarders assist the exporting companies with their expertise and advisory tactics to keep the forwarding process on the run. They provide efficient and reliable transportation at competitive rates. This will ensure saving time, money and energy of the producing company. An efficient and hard-working freight forwarder will always keep the needs of their customer at the forefront and will try to attend to them on a personal scale. How they perform their duties will reveal the efficiency of supply chain management as a whole.