What is a forwarding agent and what benefits does it provide?
International dispatch operations by land, air or sea are essential for our day to day and also present a degree of complexity, due to the need to organise transport, select the most efficient route in order to save time and reduce costs, take out insurance, choose the proper packaging depending on the shipment in question, organise the storage and/or distribution of freight, etc., as well as many other aspects.
All of these activities must also be performed under guarantee conditions that, apart from ensuring the arrival of the freight to its intended destination in acceptable conditions, must also ensure that no damage takes place to any of the parts involved in the shipment, while also guaranteeing efficiency and profitability throughout the entire process.
This is the function of forwarding agents (freight forwarders), namely, anyone acting on behalf of importers, exporters and other companies in order to organise the transport of international freight in a secure, efficient and profitable manner in any type of means of transport.
This could be referred to as a type of intermediary between the exporter or importer and transport companies that play a similar role to a traditional transport agency, despite the fact that the latter is involved in domestic shipments while the forwarding agent is designated for international shipments, as set out in legislation regulating this activity .
Benefits of using a forwarding agent
Therefore, the role of the forwarding agents is to facilitate shipments for importers and exporters, while also acting as a guarantor to ensure that commercial operations take place under the agreed conditions. However, what are the specific benefits offered by a forwarding agent?
- Recommendation and advice in all costs in order to provide an alternative that is more profitable and efficient. This includes freight costs, port and customs expenses, consular fees, special documentation costs, insurance costs and freight management costs.
- Preparation and presentation of the documentation required for the exportation of the freight, such as a bill of lading and the proper documents for the seller, the buyer or any third party involved in the process.
- Advice on the most suitable mode of freight transport and performance of the procedures for packaging, stowage and loading of the freight. And here is one of the most distinctive features of a forwarding agent, due to the fact that in the event that the cargo does not fill the means of transport (trailer, container TEU, etc.), this agent will be responsible for creating a full consolidated load with other shipments in order to lower the transport costs.
- Reservation of the cargo space required on a ship, airplane, train or truck, in addition to taking care of the storage and/or distribution of the freight, and sometimes even using the door-to-door method.
- It also takes care of the paperwork with customs agents in other countries to ensure that the items and documents comply with customs regulations
- This simplifies the process and administrative procedures. Due to the fact that the forwarding agent takes care of everything involved in an international shipment, it is accountable for any cases involving setbacks or problems that may arise.
As we have seen above, the forwarding agent offers efficiency, security, cost-effectiveness and simplicity when it comes to international shipments, something included in the wide range of services provided by Bilogistik in order to offer a comprehensive package, including chartering, storage, customs paperwork, any means of transport, etc., thanks to the fact that we are specialists in freight forwarding for transport and the handling of all types of goods.
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