Business owners are busy and don’t always have time to handle cargo transportation tasks. Meanwhile, supply chain optimisation can significantly impact your company’s profits and guarantee customer satisfaction.
If you’re wondering how to transport goods with maximum efficiency, consider hiring a freight forwarder UK. Logistics companies in the UK are some of the most experienced professionals in the industry and can be of great help to any entrepreneur. This guide will explain what freight forwarders do, why you need one, and how to pick the right company.
Who is a Freight Forwarder and Why You Need One?
The term freight forwarding refers to the organisation of cargo shipment from one place to another. Consequently, a freight forwarder is an individual or company carrying out the task. Freight forwarders have a wider duty list than cargo carriers.
Firstly, freight forwarders research different cargo shipping options to determine the most time and cost-efficient method. One may think that anyone can handle this task with enough time and dedication. However, freight forwarders don’t simply use Google; they find the optimal option by utilising their own contacts and transportation management systems.
Secondly, freight forwarders are responsible for properly executing the transportation plan. This may include goods packing, labelling, and loading, communication with delivery partners, and paperwork. Freight forwarders must arrange customs clearance and ensure the shipment has all the necessary documentation.
Additionally, freight forwarders may offer other cargo services such as supply chain optimisation advice, consolidation and negotiation, warehousing, cargo insurance, and supply chain performance reports.
So, do you need a freight forwarder? The answer largely depends on your cargo type, business industry, country of origin and destination, among other factors. Freight forwarders can be helpful for all businesses, large and small, wishing to optimise their supply chain and ensure compliance with local legislation.
They have the necessary connections and experience to navigate the most complex triangular operations involving multiple parties – for instance, a manufacturer, intermediary, and final customer. Furthermore, freight forwarders can handle large, complex, and high-value cargo deliveries such as factory production equipment, oil or gas, and wind turbine blades.
The advantages of using a freight forwarder include:
- Your communication is limited to one person who’s responsible for everything rather than multiple carrier companies.
- Some freight forwarding projects are too complex and involve plenty of paperwork. A freight forwarder will ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Freight forwarders can quickly find an optimal solution using their worldwide connections.
- Freight forwarders save you time.
- If anything goes wrong, you can fill in an insurance claim.
Types of Freight Forwarding
Freight forwarding is divided into two main categories: domestic and international. The shipment can be carried out using one or multiple carriers, depending on the destination region and cargo complexity. The three types of freight forwarding include air, sea, and land freight.
Air cargo services are executed using passenger or cargo aircraft. The main advantages of air cargo services are the speed high security level. However, air cargo leaves a massive carbon footprint and is the most expensive of all options.
Sea cargo services are performed using container ships. Due to the low costs and small carbon footprint, sea cargo is the most popular freight forwarding method, accounting for nearly 90% of worldwide shipments. The only drawback of sea cargo services is the slow delivery speed.
Land cargo services are typically used to deliver goods within one country or to a neighbouring country. Cargo is delivered using trucks or trains depending on the load size and destination. Land cargo services are cost-efficient, but the delivery times are highly dependent on weather and traffic.
How to Find the Right Freight Forwarder UK
Now that you understand the importance of planning in cargo transportation, you may wonder how to find the right freight forwarder. UK businesses can benefit from hiring freight forwarders who are familiar with local legislation and can handle customs clearance, VAT, insurance, and other documentation.
For instance, GenX Freight is a London-based company with years of experience in arranging sea, air, and land shipments worldwide. Don’t hesitate to contact your local freight forwarding company for a consultation. By trusting your cargo to industry experts, you can gain peace of mind and free up more time to grow your business.