What Are The Benefits Of Using A Freight Forwarder?

This great big world we live in has become increasingly intertwined across borders and continents. In this global economy, global logistics plays a critical role in international trade. However, the logistics involved and the challenges that they present can make that a difficult task. Fortunately, this is what freight forwarders specialize in—creating a link between shippers and carriers. However, that would be all too mundane if that’s all that freight forwarders did. They also offer a full range of services that make the flow of goods simple and efficient. If you’re new to international trade there’s a lot to be learned to be successful. One of those things it’s just how advantageous a freight forwarder can be to your business. First, to appreciate what freight forwarders do you have to understand what freight forwarding is and a little bit of how it works.

Understanding Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding is a comprehensive term that references the organization and management of moving goods from one destination to another. Often, this involves multiple forms of transport such as trucks, trains, ships, and cargo planes. In fact, one shipment can actually be completed using several forms of transportation not just one. What freight forwarders do is serve as intermediaries making sure that goods are delivered efficiently. They also take care of multiple aspects of the process such as documentation clearing customs insurance and storage. Good freight forwarders have extensive knowledge of the transportation industry as well as the nuances and regulations of international trade.

Responsibilities Of A Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders take on quite a bit of responsibility, it’s one of the reasons they are so invaluable. Rather than you having to shoulder the burden of all the paperwork and other tasks you can focus on what you specialize in. Your logistics partner can focus on tasks that they specialize in such as:

Documentation and Customs Paperwork

Along with international shipments comes a lot of paperwork. Freight forwarders prep and manage these documents for you. This includes bills of lading, packing lists, commercial invoices, and most importantly, customs declarations. Freight forwarders are well-versed in all of the intricate details that make up customs regulations. It can be a very complicated task to handle on your own. There are many rules and detailed regulations that can cause huge delays if you’re not in compliance. Additionally, there can be some pretty hefty fines or penalties involved.

Coordinating Transportation

Freight forwarders rely on their large network of carriers such as airlines, trucking companies, rail lines, and ship lines. They map out the logistics of getting your product from origination to the final destination in the most efficient way possible. They may use one or a combination of carriers to accomplish their goals. This simplifies the shipping process for you because all you do is talk to one person and then they handle the rest.

Consolidating Freight

For businesses that are small or medium-sized, there is a service that freight forwarders offer called freight consolidation. This is where multiple businesses have their shipments in the same container. It’s especially effective when you don’t have a large enough shipment to fill a full container. Splitting the cost with other businesses, allows you to benefit through economies of scale. Rather than paying for an entire container you’re only paying for the space that you need. A freight forwarder is responsible for consolidating shipments from each client. Everything goes into one container and when it reaches their warehouse, it’s broken down and organized accordingly. This is known as less-than-container load or “LCL shipping.”

Insurance and Risk Management

Freight forwarders also protect your goods while in transit by determining the value of your cargo. They then negotiate the best insurance options for the client. Before obtaining coverage, they inform you of your choices. If there is loss, damage, or theft, they work with the insurance provider on your behalf. This expedites the claim process without you having to take the time to do it.

Warehousing and Distribution

Many freight forwarders including Hawthorne, offer storage and distribution sources. We have a sprawling warehouse and terminal with over 20 docks. This helps to move your goods more efficiently and streamline distribution. This full integration approach allows us to provide you with a point-to-point logistics solution.

Advantages of Using Hawthorne For Freight Forwarding

We know there are many options to choose from when it comes to logistics providers. Hawthorne however, is an all-in-one solution for your logistics needs. As far as freight forwarding—we set the standard for many reasons.

Expertise and Industry Knowledge

With over 60 years of experience, we have seen everything you can imagine in the logistics industry. We have deep knowledge of international trade conditions and nuances. When new regulations come down the pipe from U.S. Customs, we’ve already been aware of them for months. That knowledge extends to trade agreements, tariffs, and other ins and outs. We leverage our expertise and knowledge to mitigate delays and risks and get your good moving more efficiently.

We Save You Time And Money

A freight forwarder is convenient and can handle various time-consuming tasks, such as documentation, customs clearance, and transportation coordination. By outsourcing these responsibilities, businesses can focus on their core competencies, resulting in improved productivity and reduced operational costs. Freight forwarders’ established relationships with carriers also enable them to negotiate competitive rates on behalf of their clients.

We Have Connections Worldwide

When you are in this business for over six decades, you make build strong relationships along the way. We have an extensive worldwide network of contacts to benefit from. They include customs authorities, carriers, and other industry power players. This allows us to secure efficient routes for your cargo, command competitive rates, and handle the unexpected. We make your import/export process seamless and worry-free.

Risk Mitigation

When dealing with international shipping, there is always the chance of risks such as damage, delays, or loss of cargo. We are experts at assessing the value of goods and securing proper insurance from A+ rated carriers. We handle the claims for you so that you can continue with business as usual and not stress about it. Of course, we also employ sophisticated technology to track and monitor your shipments. So, we know when something is off the moment it deviates.

Regulatory Compliance

This is where we can really offer you complete peace of mind. Trying to remain in compliance with customs regulations that constantly change is a full-time job. Not only is it complex and full of red tape, but it’s very fluid. We have been doing this long enough to know that regulations can change like the weather. What was one way 12 months ago, could be the complete opposite today. We stay ahead of the curve with the latest legal requirements, regulatory procedures, and documentation. This avoids hefty fines and penalties. You don’t have to lift a finger when you trust Hawthorne—this is our business since 1959.

We Are The Freight Forwarder That Offers You More

If you want to rest assured that your cargo is in good hands—we’re ready to work for you. We take the pressure off of you and handle all the complexities international trade brings. In short, we make it easy for you. Contact us today!  

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