Keep on Truckin’: The Ultimate Guide to the Truck Freight Forwarding Process

Did you know that United States business logistics costs reached $1.6 trillion in 2018? Thanks to recent economic developments, there has been a boom in the shipping world in recent years.

Shipping over land is an integral part of the logistics industry. In recent years, businesses have taken advantage of an expanding number of shipping options. Freight forwarding companies can use these options to ensure the efficient shipping of goods. 

What is involved in the Freight Forwarding Process? How can it benefit you and your business? Check out our in-depth guide below. 

What is Freight Forwarding?

A freight forwarder is an agency that moves materials from its production point to its final distributor. This could be internationally or within a country. 

This itself is a very encompassing service. However, the real benefit of a freight forwarding service is in the services they offer.  They leverage their experience to provide shipping services that make the process as painless as possible. 

They have experience in complying with local and national laws. They may even have contacts or offices in multiple countries. This can help them to expedite international shipping arrangements. 

A freight forwarding company does not usually own its own shipping vehicles. They simply act as intermediaries between the customer and the shipping companies. 

Often “middlemen” companies are not popular. Middlemen companies are seen as adding complexity to a process. Not so with freight forwarding companies. They greatly simplify the shipping process for manufacturers and distributors.

They keep up with world events and international shipping arrangements. This means that they can use real-time data to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your shipments. 

What can Freight Forwarding do for You?

Freight forwarding companies are able to find the most efficient delivery method for your goods. In some cases, a manufacturer may want the most economical form of delivery. In this case, the freight forwarding company may arrange for a slower but cheaper option.

In other cases, the speed of delivery may be crucial. In this situation, the freight forwarder can arrange for fast direct truck shipping. Often they can offer so-called Hot Shot deliveries for the fastest delivery legally possible. 

A company may handle explosive, poisonous or otherwise hazardous materials. The freight forwarding company will provide specialized shipping arrangements for these goods. 

Hazardous material deliveries (Hazmat) require specific vehicles or signage for delivery. This is to comply with local law. Your company will not need to research this if it is handled by a freight forwarding company. 

Freight forwarding companies can save you money and give you peace of mind. They utilize their experience and a broad range of contacts to research the best shipping deals for you. This means that you do not have to maintain in-house staff to do this work.

They give you peace of mind as you know that a professional, experienced and insured company is caring for your shipping needs.  

How Will A Freight Forwarding Service Ship Your Goods?

Wha are the steps involved in forwarding your freight? We here break this down into seven simple steps. You can think of this as a freight forwarding process flowchart. 

1. Export Haulage

The first step is to pick up your goods and move them to a central distribution point. Freight forwarders can save on shipping costs by “bundling” your goods.

This means that they transport them together with other shipments that will travel to the same destination. They can perform the bundling at this location.

2. Items Checkpoint

The organization of your goods and the tracking of them through the shipping process is crucial. The freight forwarding company will care for the itemizing and labeling of your goods in this stage. 

Legally required paperwork regarding the goods and their travel may also be finalized at this stage. This freight forwarding company will arrange for the preparation of this paperwork. This will require only minimal input from the manufacturer. 

3. Export Customs Clearance

Next, the freight forwarding company will arrange for permission for the goods to leave their country of origin if necessary. This is necessary whether the goods wi travel with air freight or sea freight.

Requirements for export clearance will change according to current law and trade agreements. The freight forwarding company will be well aware of these factors and make arrangements accordingly. 

4. Origin Handling

During this stage inspections of the goods and their certification may take place. The handlers may literally open, inspect, and confirm the contents of the shipment. Following this, they will reseal it and confirm its approval for transport.

5. Import Customs Clearance

If shipped internationally, the goods will be in the country of distribution. The shipping agent will next care for the import customs clearance of the goods. Local customs agents will again perform inspections of the goods and their documentation. 

After customs approve the goods, the freight forwarding company will arrange for their removal from the port. They will be taken to regional distribution sites by truck delivery.

6. Destination Arrival and Handling

The freight forwarding company can now separate the bundled goods into individual shipments. They can then arrange for their transportation to distributors. 

During this phase, the distributors and manufacturers receive finalized documentation. This could include carrier bills and transportation invoices. 

7. Import Haulage

During the final phase, the items are taken to the end-point recipient. Smaller vehicles will likely perform this last leg of the trip if necessary. After this delivery is made and confirmed, the freight shipment is considered officially finished. 

Everything you want to know about the Freight Forwarding Process and Much More

If you are looking for logistical and freight forwarding solutions for your company we are here to help. We leverage our years of experience in the shipping industry to offer efficient and cost-effective services and guidance. 

You might have other questions about the Freight Forwarding process or improving your supply chain efficiency. Follow our blog or contact us to see how we can help you today.