What is Freight Forwarding?

Organizing shipping is necessary for business owners, as it allows them to grow their customer base across large distances. Unfortunately, the complications that come with it can make it a stressful process. If you’re looking for the most hassle-free way to ship freight from one place to another, freight forwarding might be the best option for you.

Freight Forwarding Explained

What is freight forwarding? Let us explain. Freight forwarding is when a third party, usually a forwarding company, organizes the shipping of goods from one destination to another. Essentially, these shipping forwarders will coordinate the entire process for you, utilizing a range of freight carriers across air, ocean, road, and railway routes.

To put it simply, a freight forwarding company will make it easier for you to coordinate the shipment of goods to your customer base.

How does Freight Forwarding Work?

The process of forwarding freight is simple. Freight forwarding companies will negotiate with shipping providers to get the best possible price for the company making the shipment. They do this by comparing all the established commercial shipping routes and identifying the option that provides the most efficient service in terms of speed, cost, and reliability.

There are six steps in the freight forwarding process:

  • Export haulage: The freight forwarder transfers goods from your location to their warehouse.
  • Items checkpoint: The freight forwarder inspects the goods to ensure they were not damaged or lost during the export haulage phase.
  • Export customs clearance: The freight forwarder obtains clearance for the transport of goods from the country of origin.
  • Import customs clearance: Authorities in the destination country inspect the goods.
  • Destination arrival and handling: The freight forwarder ensures all documents have been received and checks that all information is correct, then inspects and sorts the cargo.

Steps three and four are only necessary in the event of international freight forwarding.

Freight Forwarding Services

So, what is a freight forwarder, and what services do they provide? Freight forwarders offer a range of services, all with a focus on ensuring your goods are delivered hassle-free to your customers. Some of the services that freight forwarding companies provide include:

  • Customs clearance
  • International export and import documentation
  • Shipping insurance
  • Packing
  • Storage
  • Management of inventory

Most freight forwarding companies also offer additional resources on top of their regular services. For example, if required, many companies will help with delivery tracking and handling of dangerous goods.

They’ll also provide you with all the necessary documents and paperwork to ensure that your deliveries are shipped without incident. These include commercial invoices, bill of lading contracts, certificate of origin statements, inspection certificates, export licenses, export packing lists, and shipper’s export declaration statements.

One thing to keep in mind is that freight forwarding companies will help you with your paperwork; however, it is up to you to ensure that it is all up to date. If it isn’t, your items may not be released from customs, and your shipment may be delayed.

Benefits of Using a Freight Forwarder

Using freight forwarding services can be a very cost-effective choice for a business. If you are consistently shipping high volumes of products, the freight forwarding process will help lower the price of shipping by merging shipments across a whole range of different businesses. 

Letting a freight forwarding company take care of your shipments will also result in a more flexible shipping process. This is because they have the experience and resources to plan for any unexpected changes of plan. For example, it is common for deliveries to be delayed or rerouted. In these cases, your freight forwarder will have planned accordingly and will have protocols in place to rectify the issue.

Customers expect their goods to be delivered on time, every time. If they’re not, it could cause customer satisfaction to plummet. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of any customer-facing business. More satisfied customers mean positive word-of-mouth recommendations, which in turn results in an exponential increase in business. Using a freight forwarding company will allow you to sit back and relax, knowing that your delivery is in safe, reliable hands.

Contact CSA Transportation

If you’re still wondering ‘what is freight forwarding’ or what are its benefits, CSA Transportation can help. With over 35 years of experience in the transport industry and over 250 shipping professionals with regional expertise, CSA Transportation can offer a comprehensive, reliable freight forwarding service.

We can also help you navigate shipping from Canada to the US, as well as freight shipments that originate from the U.S. and need to be delivered to Canada. CSA Transportation has distribution centers near most major border crossing sites, which streamlines the shipping process. In addition, we have customs coordinators on staff that can communicate directly with your customs broker. 


Contact CSA Transportation to discover all that we can do for you! 

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