A freight forwarder refers to a firm that is involved in arranging commercial transportation when it comes to the cargo of other companies. Freight forwarders are responsible for consignments till they arrive at their destinations, which depends on the type of trade and the agreed transport terms like the Incoterms from the International Chamber of Commerce. Read on to learn some crucial things to know when working with freight forwarders, such as those providing shipping services in California.
- The most basic definition of a freight forwarder
A freight forwarder is defined in the most basic way as a “travel agent for freight.” Those agents that ship cargo or offer freight services to other countries are known as international freight forwarders. These agents are expected to be very familiar with all the rules and regulations of other countries, export regulations of the U.S., various shipping methods, and needed documents. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides a license to freight forwarders to deal with air freight, and the Federal Maritime Commission issues a license for forwarders to handle ocean freight.
- Assistance in preparing price quotations
Freight forwarders can assist exporters in price quotation preparation by advising on the costs of freights, port fees, consular charges, documentation costs, insurance charges, and the handling charges of the freight forwarder. They can suggest packing and crating methods that will safeguard the merchandise during the transport or may arrange to pack the goods at the port or put the merchandise in containers. Freight forwarders reserve the needed space on a ship, aircraft, truck, or train.
- Review of shipping documents
After all the merchandise is ready for transport, the shipping documents should be reviewed by freight forwarders to make sure that all are in order. This review is of particular significance with letter-of-credit payment conditions. Freight forwarders can prepare the bill of lading and all needed documents, including the electronic filing in the Automated Export System or AES. It’s also possible for freight forwarders to route the documentation to the seller, the buyer, or the paying bank. An international freight forwarder may make arrangements with overseas customs brokers to ensure the merchandise conforms to the foreign import documentation rules.
- Role of customs brokers
A customs broker is a person or firm licensed to do customs business in lieu of others. Customs business is restricted activities that involve transactions associated with the entry and the admissibility of goods, its classification as well as valuation, duties payment, taxes, and other assessed or collected fees, as well as the refund, discount, or drawback of those fees.
At American Worldwide Freight Services, we provide excellent freight forwarding services for both domestic and international destinations. Feel free to contact us about our freight forwarder in Los Angeles, California.