The process of moving goods and services from one location usually from one country to another, helping consignors and consignees to achieve their objective is called Freight Forwarding. This practice has different branches which come together to define it. This article focuses on helping you define what you want to do in freight forwarding before we come back to further explain in subsequent articles.
Shipper: A shipper’s responsibility is to get goods from one country and deliver them to the other.
Carrier: A carrier provides transportation for goods and services assembled by the shipper.
Freight Broker: A freight broker mediates between the shipper and the carrier.
Freight Forwarder: Bringing goods and services together from different locations to a particular destination is the job of a freight forwarder.
Agents: Agents serve in each of the above fields as contractors, consolidating facilities to enable each client to achieve his objective.
From these different careers in one field, you can choose what is good for you. However, many factors contribute to career success in any of these field, whichever you choose, don’t ignore the basic rules. For instance, if you choose to be a shipper, you must follow the rules of shipment and maintain cordial relationship with forwarders, etc.
Being A Shipper
The job of a shipper requires good relationship with people who forward and receive commodities. As a beginner, the challenge lies on getting people to reckon with you as someone who is reliable enough to move their goods and services to its destination. You can achieve that in these three steps-
Tell your friends and family about your new business
Make use of agents
Being A Carrier
There are three major means of carrier services:
You should start with one of the above choices. However, your finances should determine the means of transportation you will use. There are so many well established cargo carriers, but that should not be a discouragement. The good news is: locals businesses rely on less established carriers (which primarily operate on land) using low cost as an excuse. Therefore, being a carrier is better started with Land, although it depends on the destination. The cost of vehicles cannot be compared to airline or ship.
Being A Freight Broker
When your responsibility is to mediate between shippers and carriers; you’ve got to devise means to get them the best deal. Your job is to look for carrier services that will suit the demand of shippers. A major issue with carriers which kills shippers business is delay. The best solution to such a problem is to get carriers with low patronage, it saves time and cost.
Being A Freight Forwarder
Your job as a freight forwarder is to transport accumulated commodities to their various destination, using every suitable means. It could be Air, Land, or Sea. Sometimes, to enable fast delivery, you have to gather little quantities of commodities to consolidate a trip worthy shipment. Then you will find freight forwarding business very rewarding.
Being An Agent
Being an agent is the most versatile practice in the field of freight. You being a contractor to a whole lot of mandates, owing people the obligation to get the task done. It could be in any of the Freight segments. Some agents operate in the field clearing, their job then is to help people clear commodities that have arrived at its destination. It thus requires a lot of trust to establish oneself or a corporate organization in the aspect.
This basic step should be with people you know- friends, families etc. Word of mouth is a powerful tool that helps businesses to reach a great height.
The secret of success in your freight forwarding business lies in knowing it very well. Therefore, the best way to get around it is to get the basic knowledge through internship. Whatever aspect of freight you choose should be pursued based on the knowledge you acquired through practice. So, get around those active in the field and learn your way around it.
It will also help you to know a lot of people who may become your clients in future, when you must have started your own. They would not see you as a stranger, but judge you based on your relationship with them when you were interned.
Another vital step you must not fail to take is acquisition of operating license and certificates. Every country’s custom service has criteria for license issuance, find out what it takes and fulfill it. The importance of license is that it makes your activities legal and unquestionable.
Freight business is lucrative, but it takes diligence and honesty.