The world has become a much smaller place as goods that are made in any part of the world can be shipped to any other distant place, however far it is, through the use of international freight forwarding services. These providers of service may not have any vessels of their own but are specialized in organizing shipments for corporations or even individuals that can send the goods from a manufacturer to its final point of distribution.
These carriers, or NVOCC as they are called, are experts in the network of logistics that such movement of goods requires. They can use road, air or sea even for single shipments, and are experts in the preparing of the needed documents, including customs, that this shipping procedure requires. International freight forwarders arrange the complete process for the organization requiring to ship their products to various destinations anywhere in the world. They can, if necessary, also arrange to store the goods till they are required to be transported, whether it be by truck, a ship or plane, and even if reaching the final destination requires a combination of various modes of transport.
Freight forwarders act as intermediaries between the shippers and transportation service providers and will negotiate and liaise with each of them for the price so that the goods are sent onwards on a route that is the fastest, reliable and the most economical. This supply chain requires knowledge of things right from the packing and warehousing, besides knowing the various rules and regulations that govern all such shipping when it is done internationally.
An international freight forwarder will ensure that the goods go through customs clearance, any needed export and import documentation, adequate insurance, packing as per the standards required by the transporters, and can also help in the storage of the product before shipping and any inventory management. Shipping delays can often occur due to bad weather, equipment breakdowns or other reasons, which these freight forwarders cannot anticipate. An efficient service provider will tie-up with transporters who are reliable and can anticipate problems so that the goods are transported in the best possible time.
The international freight forwarder that you choose must be aware of the regulations that govern air and sea freight, and the restrictions that are there on many of them. This can apply in the case of dangerous goods, like toxic items and those that are flammable, alcohol, drugs, batteries, perishable items and sharp or odd-shaped items. They will advise the shipper of the steps to be taken to ensure that the regulations in this regard are scrupulously followed.