Why Should I Hire A Freight Forwarder for My Cargo?
Singapore is one of the biggest commerce and logistics hubs in Asia and in the world, so it’s no surprise that so many shipments pass through on their way to different destinations overseas.
Aside from the shipping companies that do the actual heavy lifting when transporting cargo, you also have the agencies that make sure to coordinate carriers, documents, and even keep track of your shipment to make sure it arrives on time.
They do this through “freight forwarding”, a complex logistical process that involves going back and forth through different people, from customs officials to shipping companies.
But how does freight forwarding really work?
How Does Freight Forwarding Work?
The process of forwarding cargo involves many steps to ensure that shipments arrive at their destination quickly and in peak condition:
- Step 1. Export haulage - This first step is when the cargo leaves from the shipper into the forwarding agency’s warehouse.
- Step 2. Export customs clearance - Before any cargo leaves its country of origin, it first needs to be checked and cleared by licensed customs brokers in charge of submitting and processing the documents that describe the exact nature of the said cargo.
- Step 3. Origin handling - Once the cargo is received and loaded into the vessel, a cargo receipt is issued after validating. This is done by comparing both the supporting documents and the booking details to see if they match.
- Step 4. Freight - Forwarding agencies keep in touch with a wide network of shipping companies and carriers, so it’s easy to keep track of which ship is going in a particular route. They also interact with the companies and carriers on behalf of the consignee.
- Step 5. Import customs clearance - Import custom clearance is needed whenever a particular shipment or cargo enters a country, and only those with a valid license can provide the needed paperwork and conduct the checks.
- Step 6. Destination handling - Destination handling involves receiving the necessary cargo documents from the point of origin. This is also handled by the forwarding agent as long as he/she has a license.
- Step 7. Import haulage - Once the cargo reaches the country of destination, the shipping company can either take it to the forwarder’s warehouse in the said country or take it directly to its final destination.
Keep in mind that freight forwarders are what you’d call the middlemen between you and the entire shipping industry. Also called NVOCC, or “non-vehicle-owning common carrier”, forwarders don’t own the actual means of transporting goods themselves.
However, forwarders play a vital role not just in finding the right ship agency for your goods, but also in logistics management. They coordinate with difference and monitor the shipments to make sure they arrive in the least possible time and in the best possible condition.
Freight forwarding can be complex especially if you’re not familiar with it. But with a professional forwarding company offering the right agency services you need, your goods are sure to arrive at their destinations quickly and safely.
The Best Cargo Consolitation
Consolidating cargo is fairly simple: smaller packages from one or multiple shippers are grouped together into one container and shipped, which is a great option for those who only have a few pallets or are only shipping small parcels – you get to pay less while shipping more.
It also has other benefits aside from the discount: not only does consolidating your goods provide you with a lot of flexibility, but it also allows you to order from different suppliers and manufacturers and have your orders shipped at the same time.
Additionally, cargo consolidation not only lets you order minimum quantities from certain suppliers internationally, but also protect your supplier or manufacturer’s identity, and by extension, your assets.
Get to Know the Different Types of Shipping
Of course, shipping doesn’t happen without the most important thing, which is the actual transport itself. The good news is there’s more than one mode of transportation when it comes to shipping cargo:
- Air - One of the more commonly used cargo courier options, air transportation is usually the fastest way to get your goods to their destination. If you’re only shipping a few pallets or smaller parcels of goods that spoil easily, then express shipping via air freight is the ideal option.
- Sea - Shipping goods in bulk by sea freight is much cheaper than shipping by air. However, the downside to it is that it takes more time, and is more prone to loss and damage in transit.
- Truck - Land transportation is crucial to get large shipments across long distances, or to and from specific warehouses, ports, or if the package is small enough, even directly to your office.
- Train - When it comes to getting large freight shipment containers over land quickly, rail freight is your best bet, but they are usually limited to moving large containers between warehouses and ports.
Fixing Common Problems with Shipping Cargo
Shipping goods overseas is really tricky, and this means you’re likely to encounter different problems with shipping goods on your own or with less reliable carriers. Here are some of the most common:
- Delayed Shipping - While goods can take a while to reach their destination, delays can happen because of either external (i.e. bad weather, heavy traffic, etc.) or internal factors (i.e. incorrect classification).
- Lost or Damaged Cargo -Lost or damaged cargo is particularly common with sea freight, whether it’s because of incorrect storage or bad weather, which makes cargo insurance really important when getting in touch with ship owners.
- Missing Documents - Everything from the bill of lading to the commercial invoice is crucial for the transportation of goods, and not having the right documents for any pallet of goods can result in the shipment itself being held by port authorities, which can cause a significant delay.
What's the Best Storage Solution for My Goods?
Cargo type and quantity not only determines the best shipping method for it, but also if, how, and where it should be stored. While this isn’t usually too much of a concern for most container cargo shipped by seas, it is a huge concern for certain perishables, like food and medicine.
Short transit time is crucial when it comes to the latter, as well as handling expertise, equipment, and integrated inspections, and even smart apps that help decrease storage time in-warehouse or in-port, making things like door to door collection and delivery much easier.
This is best given by a professional forwarding company with several years of experience in the field, who can not only coordinate and determine the best and cheapest route to get goods of all types from one place to another, but do so with the best safety and storage while keeping an eye on them.
How to Keep Track of Your Shipment
Once your goods have been transported, the next step before they reach their destination is to keep your eye on them to make sure they do get there as quickly and safely as possible.
By yourself, this can be quite hard especially for sea freight. Almost anything can happen while at sea, and as a result shipment schedules tend to have one or two weeks’ worth of allowance in case of any delays.
It’s because of this that many forwarding companies make sure to include tracking cargo as an added service. Aside from spreadsheets of schedules of expected arrivals and departures of all kinds of vessels in different international ports, they even offer features like satellite tracking and GPS location.
Ship Your Goods with FreightMaster Today!
Sending goods across countries, whether it’s by air or sea, can be a huge risk. To sure the its safe arrival to its destination, you need a professional who can handle your shipment and make sure it gets to its destination in one piece and on time – and that’s where FreightMaster comes in.
FreightMaster is one of the leading freight forwarding and logistics services in Singapore, with several years of relevant experience and a wide network of various shipping companies in the industry.
With FreightMaster, you not only get efficient tracking and shipping with a wide selection of transportation options at your disposal, but you also get expert goods packing and reliable delivery estimates for your shipments from the first mile all the way to the last mile.
We also make sure to stay up-to-date in the latest technologies in the field to allow us to come up with more effective solutions for not just transporting, but also tracking cargo to ensure your products’ safe arrival.
And the best part? Our prices won’t break your bank.
So what are you waiting for? Ship your goods with FreightMaster today!