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What Is A Freight Forwarder & Why It Is Important?

Logistics planning and management for the overseas shipment of cargo on a client’s behalf are what freight forwarders do. A freight forwarder’s duties include, among other things, haggling for lower shipping costs, monitoring shipments in transit through containers, completing necessary paperwork for customs, and consolidating shipments.

Profitable possibilities arise for companies with the resources to implement comprehensive logistics strategies when importing and exporting goods. However, international shipping logistics are challenging. Keep reading to know more about what is freight forwarder and why it is crucial. 

Definition of a Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder is an intermediary who facilitates cargo transport on behalf of the owner of the said cargo. Some exporters favor freight forwarding businesses, while others prefer to engage a separate clearing agency to handle compliance with regulations. 

Freight forwarding agents’ functions may range from very minor to critically important, depending on the nature of the business. However, even freight forwarding entails several critical tasks.

Freight Forwarding: What Is It?

Freight forwarding is the service of moving goods from one country to another. Additional tasks include warehouse preparation, cargo insurance, and customs brokerage.

Freight forwarding is the service of facilitating the international shipment of goods on behalf of their owners. A freight forwarder’s duties will include but are not limited to negotiating shipping rates, monitoring shipments, completing necessary documentation for customs, and consolidating shipments.

Importing and exporting may be a successful business venture for corporations with the means to deploy efficient logistical strategies. In contrast, managing the logistics of an overseas cargo is, to put it bluntly, no easy feat.

  • Familiarity with customs regulations and procedures, which vary not just across countries but also between ports
  • It is important to be able to think on your feet and quickly come up with solutions when the elements, technology, or people get in the way of your well-planned travel schedule
  • In many respects, the vitality of a supply chain is proportional to the vitality of the parties pushing it. Therefore an innate knack for network expansion is essential

Freight Forwarder Functions Defined

What follows is a condensed version of a forwarder’s typical workday:

Brokering of Customs Transactions

This essential forwarding component calls for specialized training and certification: a customs brokerage license. Only registered brokers are authorized to handle and submit the copious paperwork required to finalize international trade.


While some forwarders may store goods in their warehouses, the more common option is to arrange storage in a warehouse owned and managed by an affiliate at a convenient location.


Finding affordable shipping rates via negotiations with carriers is a challenging process. Negotiating with carriers is an art that requires weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a variety of factors. 

Logistics Space Planning

One of the most tangible aspects of a forwarder’s expertise is their ability to coordinate and schedule cargo space efficiently. For those that have hired a freight forwarder to handle logistics, this is their chance to shine. 

Consolidating shipments, booking convenient sailings, and assessing the viability of alternative modes of transport all require careful planning. Shipping containers are the “logistics” of “logistics.”

Cargo Insurance Provision

Obtaining cargo insurance, also known as freight insurance, is something that forwarders may help you with. 

Remember that when you go with a large freight forwarder, you select a reputable company like Alibaba that may be an integral component of your business. Consequently, choosing a reliable freight forwarder is essential to ensure a smooth supply chain, reduced costs, timely deliveries, and satisfied customers.

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