For centuries, the freight forwarder has been the cornerstone of international trade. They were essential in the days when manufacturing was largely localised, and importers would request inventory to be delivered from one country to another. These days, the role of a freight forwarder is more complicated than ever before with an estimated 4 million manufacturers spread around 190 countries worldwide.
The pressure on old ways of supply chain management continues to grow as a result of this new reality, and the utility of a freight forwarder continues to evolve and adapt in order to stay relevant and competitive for modern companies. This article will go over the fundamental role of a freight forwarder, how the role has adapted to the times, and a few reasons they’ll never be without work in an ever-changing landscape.
The first step to understanding the importance of a freight forwarder is to understand that it’s not just about big cargo ships anymore.
As manufacturers continue to spread out across borders, what was once an industry dominated by shipping containers on large vessels has become more nuanced and complex than ever before due to the sheer number of international marketplaces putting pressure on supply chains everywhere.
Although many are starting their businesses with this shift in mind, there are some who recognise the value in traditional practices as well; something which won’t go obsolete any time soon considering how long these companies have been around.
Their key role resides in maintaining good and workable relationships, as they are the middlemen of the supply chain.
The humble freight forwarder has evolved from their original role that was once limited to a few tasks and now encompasses a much more nuanced approach in managing shipments across borders.
In fact, it is not difficult for professionals in this industry to be an expert at every link in the process – from writing shipping contracts with carriers all the way down to providing guidance on how best to sort cargo by international standards.
Finally, they provide invaluable insight into which products will hold up over long journeys as well as whether extra packaging might be needed due purely on where items are being shipped or what kind of product needs packing most securely.
While many new start-ups may find themselves tempted by cheaper rates offered online, the professionals have been around for a long time and will be here to stay. The best way to ease the transition from being an online merchant into e-commerce is by hiring a freight forwarder who can help you take advantage of all that modern supply chain management has to offer.
Their experience in the fundamental practices is one aspect of their appeal over cheaper alternatives, however, one notable benefit of a reliable freight forwarder is in the lucrative relationships they’ve cultivated.
They are likely to have long-term relationships with all the top transportation carriers around the globe, allowing them to negotiate rates for you that will make your business more competitive.
And of course, there’s always their track record in customer service which many freight forwarders still effortlessly manage even as they manage larger supply chains and perhaps hundreds or thousands of customers at once.
Nowadays it is becoming increasingly difficult for a freight forwarder who do not adapt themselves to this modern age where everything involves e-commerce logistics. Be sure to consider these reasons when making your choice between a traditional freight forwarder vs cheaper alternatives. Oftentimes, experience in the field, regardless of technology yields a much better result for you and your business.