What Is A Freight Forwarder?

What Is A Freight Forwarder?

What is a freight forwarder? Freight forwarder meaning is that of a person or company that organises shipments to get from the origin (the manufacturer) to a final point of destination. Basically, a freight forwarder will provide support services to the transport industries, stock consolidation, customs and freight brokerage, and goods and cargo handling.


Freight forwarding is the optimisation of the transportation of goods using multiple modes to get your goods delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner. Services such as maintenance and repair, passenger transport, and tourism activities don’t come under the responsibility of a freight forwarder.


Read on to find out more…


What does a freight forwarder do?

The role of the freight forwarder is to act as an agent on your behalf – negotiating the best deals for moving your goods. Your freight forwarder will have an entire wealth of contacts in the transportation industry to arrange the most suitable air, sea, or road freight solutions. Rates and prices will therefore be extremely competitive.


A freight forwarder will specialise in organising storage and shipping of your goods and providing you with an entire range of services including:


  • Acting as an intermediary between you and various transportation services
  • Handling the logistics of shipping goods from one destination to another
  • Arranging door to door services as necessary

International freight forwarder

An international freight forwarder will typically handle international shipments and have skills and knowledge to deal with additional factors such as preparing and processing customs documentation for both imports and exports. This is particularly helpful when you are unsure about regulations and customs laws in different countries.


There are many advantages in using a freight forwarder for international transportation of goods and these cover:


Customs clearance – complex import and export paperwork completed accurately will ensure compliant shipping documentation. Bills of lading and letters of credit will be automatically dealt with. This will allow goods to be moved through customs efficiently without any delays.


Insurance – as your goods are being transported there is always a potential risk of damage or loss. Freight insurance offers assurances that even oversized and heavy cargoes are fully covered against partial or complete loss or damage.


Packing services – the consequences of inadequate packing can be severe resulting in the loss of sales or even clients. Many freight forwarders will offer the preparation and packing of goods ready for transportation to minimise potential risks.


A reasonable cost – by consolidating transport links and using a vast network of contacts your transport costs can be cut significantly.


Personal communication – a comprehensive service will be provided by a trusted freight forwarder with easy communication links for discussions.


Types of transport arranged by your freight forwarder

Most general freight forwarders will offer these transportation options:




When goods need to get to a destination quickly air freight is the fastest shipping method. It’s extremely reliable with a high level of security and therefore a reduced risk of theft or damage. There’s less packaging required and is an easy solution for transporting costly and light goods.


The disadvantages are high costs and often limited carrying capacity, so your freight forwarder will make a judgement on whether this mode is suitable for your specific products.


Sea freight


This is a very economical choice, especially over long distances, and is also environmentally friendly. No matter the size of your shipment sea freight can generally accommodate your needs. Smaller shipments can be grouped together to fill a container, whilst larger cargo can be allocated its own container.


Ships are designed to carry hazardous and dangerous cargo safely and have regulations in place to ensure this safety. Your freight forwarder will help make the right shipping decision for you with regards to your cargo requirements. Bear in mind that this shipping option can be slower, and bad weather may delay the journey.


Road haulage


This may be chosen by your freight forwarder as a faster and less expensive way of transporting goods over short distances. The main advantage here is the door-to-door delivery of goods and materials. This flexible option also has a lesser risk of damage in transit.


This mode of transport is generally unsuitable for bulky goods travelling long distances, and journeys may be delayed by accidents and poor roadways. However, your freight forwarder may use multimodal transportation which involves air, sea, rail, and trucks to deliver your freight to its destination.


Freight companies in Australia

MBE is a professional freight forwarder in Australia. This hassle-free freight forwarder Australia service will help you find the best single or multiple carriers available to ensure your goods get to the right international market on time and within your budget. Every shipment is covered by full insurance and there are no restrictions on size or weight. You’ll be able to get a quote online for this service that’s available to and from almost anywhere in the world!