This podcast is on the role of Freight Forwarders.
Let us try to understand the role of freight forwarders through an analogy. Assume that I would like to travel from Chennai to Gaborone the capital city of Botswana in the southern part of Africa for a business trip. Since I have never been to this city, I am approaching a travel agent in Chennai who specialises in arranging these trips. As there is no direct flight from Chennai to Gaborone, the travel agent helps me to find the best dates and best route that will be cost effective. Also he helps me in my safe transit from Chennai to Gaborone such as arranging visa, local transport in Chennai as well as in Gaborone. This is something like an end-to-end support by this travel agency.
As travel agencies does this support for passengers, freight forwarder offer similar support for goods. Freight forwarders support their clients end-to-end with the following activities:
-Provide advice on the best route and transportation mode for a given cargo
-Pickup goods from their warehouse
-Help in specialised packaging especially for ocean transport
-Assists in clearing of goods in customs stations through a CHA
-Prepare export/import documentation in collaboration with CHA
-Find appropriate carrier at the best possible price
-Loading and securing of goods in the carrier
-Ties up with a forwarder on the destination side to provide a door-to-door hassle free transportation experience, and
-Assist clients in pricing their exports by providing inputs on the supply chain cost