What is Freight Forwarding?

SHIPPING PROCESS PHASES

Shipper icon
SHIPPER
- EXPORT/IMPORT
CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
Origin Handling Icon
ORIGIN HANDLING
- EXPORT HAULAGE
- ORIGIN WAREHOUSE
Origin Port Icon
ORIGIN PORT
Ocean Freight Icon
OCEAN FREIGHT
Destination Port Icon
DESTINATION PORT
Destination Handling Icon
DESTINATION HANDLING
- IMPORT HAULAGE
- DESTINATION WAREHOUSE
Consignee
CONSIGNEE

A freight forwarder is a key mediator in the international shipment of ocean freight cargo. They act on behalf of the importer and exporter and coordinate with all the players involved in an ocean freight shipment. A freight forwarder’s responsibilities include:

  • Advising the shipper about the most efficient options in terms of cost and time
  • Reserving a spot on the carrier’s vessel and any equipment needed
  • Handling all paperwork, documentation, and custom procedures
  • Organizing land transportation for pick up and/or delivery
  • Helping container tracking at each step of the way

The benefits of a freight forwarder

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Deal only with one representative

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Ship under the best conditions

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Up-to-date

  • As intermediaries, freight forwarding companies handle all the exchanges with the different players involved in the ocean freight process on your behalf, which makes the communication process more efficient.
  • Because freight forwarding companies ship much larger volumes than individual shippers, they are in a better position to negotiate for better routes, rates, etc.
  • International freight forwarders are in direct contact with carriers, ports, and agents, which means they receive first-hand shipping information and are informed when there are changes that could affect your shipment.

OCEAN FREIGHT CALCULATOR

Most common freight forwarding services

The best freight forwarding companies typically cover the entire logistical process of an international ocean freight shipment. This includes the pick up in the country of origin until the drop off in the final destination country.

Depending on the cargo’s pick up and drop off points, freight services include:

  • Cargo pick up
  • Customs clearance at origin
  • Terminal charges at origin
  • Ocean/air freight charges
  • Terminal charges at destination
  • Customs clearance at destination
  • Cargo drop off

What is a digital freight forwarder?

An online freight forwarder or online cargo agent is an international ocean freight company that accelerates the process of booking and managing your ocean freight shipment with technology.

The online process is entirely customized to your needs and for transportation services required. Get a quote for your international shipment in seconds (not days) and manage all documentation and tracking online — whenever, wherever. Our logistics specialists are also available to assist you.

CONTACT A FREIGHT ADVISOR

What makes a good freight forwarder

With so many players involved in such an intricate and convoluted manner, ocean freight shipping is certainly complex. That’s why it’s important to work with a competent shipping company that can cover all your business needs.

Before deciding on a freight forwarder to work with on your international shipping, there are certain key aspects to consider:

  • Do they have an extensive network of agents?
  • Can they assist with customs clearance, cargo insurance or bill of lading?
  • Can they provide you with an ocean freight quote quickly and, if possible, online?
  • Do they provide a clear and transparent breakdown of their shipping rates?
  • Are they clear about what services they offer and do not offer?
  • Can they provide you with the assistance you need throughout the entire process?

Quoting and booking your shipment with a digital freight forwarder

FCL

Digital FCL freight forwarder

 YOUR SHIPMENT

LCL

Digital LCL freight forwarder

  OTHER IMPORTER'S SHIPMENTS

Regardless of whether you’re shipping FCL or LCL, you can obtain an instant shipping quote with our ocean freight calculator

With our comprehensive database of 74,000 ports and postal codes across the world offering 250,000 rates and 40,000 routes, you can select the ocean freight rate that best suits your needs.

Once you have the quote you’re happy with, complete the reservation and manage all your documentation and track your container with our online platform.

Wherever, whenever.

iContainers: global freight forwarder in the USA

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iContainers is a global freight forwarder with offices in the world’s main logistics hubs such as Miami, Barcelona, and the Dominican Republic.

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Importing From Asia In 2022

Discover how to import or export from/to China, India or Vietnam and avoid delays on your cargo. Includes Incoterms and documents.

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Klaus Lydsal

"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"

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