A cargo freight forwarder acts as the intermediary acting on behalf of exporters, importers or persons, ensuring that goods are transported safely, efficiently and cost-effectively. Based on these factors, the type of items to be shipped and the requirements of the customers, cargo freight forwarders arrange the best means of transporting goods through any possible means such as by air, road, rail or by water. Some companies act as their own forwarding service.
Nature of Work
Taking into consideration the nature of the shipment to be made, cost, security requirements and time in transit, cargo freight forwarders research and plan the best route to take and if necessary coordinate with third party providers to move the goods. They also arrange for the appropriate material to be used for packing them, based on the weight, nature of the items, terrain over which they will travel, prevailing climate, and budget. The also need to arrange for delivery and once they reached their destination, the warehouse or facilities where they will be stored. Cargo freight forwarders are in charge of negotiating contracts and handling costs, payment of freight charges and other dues. Including in their work are the checking and preparation of pertinent documents in order to meet the requirements of insurance companies and customs duties both locally and overseas, as applicable. Some employers require their cargo freight forwarder to use or design software, IT solutions, Internet technology and even satellites for real time tracking of goods in transit. In some instances, delicate goods are needed to be transported such as medical supplies, food, livestock and other fragile items. For this purpose, cargo freight forwarders need to make special arrangements for their shipment and if needed, use courier or special hand-carry services.
Cargo freight forwarders have to know how to work and interact closely with customers and colleagues as well as third party companies to make sure that operations run smoothly and deadlines are never missed. They should know how to maintain control, able to track shipments as they go through all the phases of transit. They also need to know how to produce reports, and unit cost and statistical analysis. They should also have current knowledge of pertinent and applicable laws, even the prevailing political climate (especially overseas) and other factors that could influence the transportation of the goods. Senior level cargo freight forwarders may be involved in managing and overseeing departmental activities or specializing in either sea freight only or air freight only.