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What is a freight forwarder and what are the advantages of working with a freight forwarder?

Freight forwarders act as an intermediary between the company who makes the shipment and the final destination for the goods. Although they do not carry out the shipments themselves, they offer different transport modes such as sea/ocean freight, rail freight, road transport and air freight shipment.

Freight forwarders use their trusted contacts with carriers and partners from air transport specialists and trucking companies to transoceanic lines in order to negotiate the best possible price.  This may be using established commercial routes with regular frequent departures, or by charter, valuing different offers and choosing the better route that optimizes speed, costs and reliability, considering all the variables necessary for the analysis of each case.

Normally a freight forwarder handles a large volume of shipments, even from one international destination to another, so they are a key part in triangular operations. At least three companies are involved in triangular operations (manufacturer, intermediary and final customer), each located in different countries, although there is a single delivery of goods and a single transport. This operation is complex from the point of view of the documentation and, above all, tributary with VAT settlement.

Most freight forwarders are Authorized Economic Operators, which enables them to take advantage of simplified customs clearance, especially deferred payment of import duties and charges which might otherwise need to be paid before goods are released. What is an AEO? 

Value added services

  • Advice on optimising transport costs: freight charges, special documentation costs, customs clearance expenses, customs duty
  • Cargo insurance: advantageous conditions at competitive premiums
  • Advice for proper packaging, labeling, loading and stowage of merchandise
  • Reports, custom performance reports and carbon footprint KPIs
  • Tailored solutions for each project
  • Supply chain optimisation advice on the best means of transport and the best route for a shipment according to origin, nature of the merchandise, destination, seasonality, danger and urgency of the merchandise (air, sea, rail or road)
  • Customs advice, from the appropriate tariff item for your merchandise to the necessary documents for customs clearance, dedicated storage and logistics services.

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