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Questions to Ask a Freight Forwarding Company
A freight forwarding company is employed to handle all the logistics involved in shipping cargo from one location to another. If you’re interested in hiring a freight forwarding company, you should keep a few key considerations in mind.
How much is this going to cost?
Many factors and logistics issues go into determining this. You need to know how much your shipment weighs, its dimensions, the types of containers it will be shipped in, and the destination where it will be sent. Many companies offer free rate quotes on their websites.
Are you properly licensed?
In the U.S., any customs broker, an agent responsible for clearing cargo for import or export, should be licensed by the Department of Treasury. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers accreditation to freight forwarders involved in air cargo, while the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) licenses and regulates companies involved in ocean commerce.
What kind of insurance do I need?
It isn't necessarily cheap, but because shipping cargo is never 100 percent safe, it's best to buy insurance. By law, carriers are generally responsible for the cargo they transport, but in certain cases they might not be held liable for damage to your goods. “All-risk” insurance expands your coverage protections significantly. It is even possible to obtain “war risk” insurance, covering damage sustained during acts of war. You may also wish to become familiar with the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act, which explains the rights and responsibilities of domestic carriers.
What aspects of freight forwarding do you specialize in?
Because of the variety of vehicles used, not all companies perform every aspect of freight forwarding. Some ship cargo by air, some specialize in trucking containers across land, others employ ocean liners to transport cargo across the sea. Also, while many freight forwarding companies act as carriers as well, some do not.
Wrapit Express Crate and Ship
Our reliable company is serving the local Portland area with our freight forwarding services. Let our trusted logistics experts handle the transport or forwarding of your freight.
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FREIGHT-FORWARDING IN/NEAR PORTLAND
Freight forwarding companies are agents. In general, they never physically touch the cargo they are in charge of. Instead, they use their clout to bring together trucking companies, airlines and ocean shipping.
Most long distance goods are moved in containers. Forwarding companies work with each other and the shippers to allow businesses to combine their cargo within the same container. This results in a much cheaper shipping rate for small loads.
Workers, thus, need to understand logistics. They also need to be able to handle import and export regulations. Employees have to be able to ensure goods clear customs properly. They maintain long term relationships with carriers.
Most forwarders charge on a competitive quote basis, and salesmen need to be able to handle this as well as explain how their business works to the client company.
Logistics experts are hired to handle and inform on routing, and to determine the specific needs of a shipment. They need to work out when it is worth paying extra to send goods by air. Keeping their own costs down is important as well as the rate charged to the client. Sending goods by sea is cheaper, but slower. It is often valuable for workers to speak more than one language, with eastern languages being particularly useful.
As forwarders do not physically handle freight, they do not need their own vehicles or warehouses. However, they may broker deals with a warehousing company. They also may handle insuring shipments and other paperwork, such as that required for hazardous goods.
Freight forwarders also hire administrative personnel who handle secretarial tasks.
This is an important industry in the global economy and likely to continue to grow as companies globalize their sales and manufacturing.