International freight forwarders are tasked with arranging the intermodal transportation and customs clearance of goods on behalf of shippers. Without forwarders, shippers would be faced with a massive logistical burden that would be detrimental to the global market's overall productivity.
Freight forwarding is when one company takes responsibility for most or all the shipping-related steps in the logistics process on behalf of a client. This process can include order fulfillment, consolidating items, managing customs brokerage, handling documentation following shipping regulations, and more.
Freight forwarders are sometimes loosely referred to within the industry as "travel agents for cargo," or “architects of transport.” For pocket-sized phrases, these are pretty accurate descriptions. Like a travel agent, a forwarder schedules and coordinates trips for cargo, and draws up all necessary documentation to ensure the trip proceeds smoothly. As architects, they are tasked with plotting and constructing connections between points on their 'blueprints,' which for freight forwarders, are maps of product and information flows within complex supply chains. In short, freight forwarding entails the scheduling, coordination, and documentation of intermodal transportation for cargo on behalf of shippers.