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Important Terms in Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding is an essential part of the logistics involved with contemporary international trade, but it's not an area the average citizen knows much about. If you're attempting to employ a freight forwarding service, many companies offer free rate quotes on their websites, but first you should familiarize yourself with the terms and concepts used in the industry. What follows is a list of the most commonly used terms that might trip up the casual reader.

  • Freight Forwarder - An individual or company responsible for arranging shipments of containers from one party to another, domestically or internationally. A forwarder handles all logistics issues and ensures compliance with the law. They may or may not also act as a carrier.
  • Carrier - A company responsible for dispatching vehicles to transport cargo from one location to the other. This can be accomplished by sea, land, air, or any combination of these.
  • Customs Broker - An agent in the U.S., licensed by the Department of Treasury experienced in all aspects of customs clearance issues, including import and export licenses.
  • Customs Bond - Required by the U.S. Customs Service to ensure payment from importers. Also called surety bonds, these come in two types, single entry and continuous. The relatively cheap single entry bond covers a single transaction; the quite costly continuous bond covers all transactions by an importer at all U.S. ports during a one-year period.
  • Customs Entry - A form required for all containers entering the U.S., describing all incoming goods and all fees associated with it.
  • Cartage - The act of hauling goods from one location to another. This can encompass every method from trucking cargo on land to transporting via airplane.
  • Liner - A type of ship employed to transport large amounts of cargo across the ocean.
    Wrapit Express Crate and Ship
    Our full service shipping company deals with all aspects of logistics, including freight forwarding in the local Poland area. Making sure your freight gets where it needs to go with our forwarding service.
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    Big Dog Transportation
    1131 Pequawket Trail, Steep Falls, ME 04085
    We are a full service provider for all your national and global transportation needs. We ship single pallets of freight and multiple truckload shipments. We have flatbeds, vans, refers, step decks, and other specialized equipment.
    (312) 420-1489
    Parcel Room-Mail Room
    1465 Woodbury Ave Ste 16, Portsmouth, NH 03801
    Professional packaging and shipping company offering mailing thru a variety of postal service providers. We package and ship large items with our freight service. Crating & custom boxes made on site. Mailbox rental available.
    (603) 431-0085
    Spc Transport
    224 W Hardscrabble Rd, Auburn, ME 04210
    (207) 783-4200
    Maine Expedited-United Freight
    15 Saunders Way Ste 500f, Westbrook, ME 04092
    (207) 857-9400
    Harborside Logistics
    94 Commercial St Ste 201, Portland, ME 04101
    (207) 774-3800
    Mh Transport
    421 Sturtevant Hill Rd, Readfield, ME 04355
    (207) 685-9014
    Boat Shipping International
    36 Pleasant Cove Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537
    (207) 633-3160
    Nh Atlantic International
    125 Aviation Ave Ste 5, Portsmouth, NH 03801
    (603) 436-8550
    Kwiki Express
    251 Calef Hwy, Lee, NH 03861
    (603) 659-6600
    William H Beckett M ESQ
    111 Maplewood Ave, Portsmouth, NH 03801
    (603) 766-4444
    Universal Forwarding
    140 Epping Rd Ste 3, Exeter, NH 03833
    (603) 772-7466
    The UPS Store
    380 Lafayette Rd Unit 11, Seabrook, NH 03874
    (603) 474-2420
    Seacoast Logistics Inc
    2 Marshall Rd Ste 1d, Kingston, NH 03848
    (603) 347-1638
    The Ups Store
    100 Macy St Unit F, Amesbury, MA 01913
    (978) 388-9144
    Airborne Express
    800 Holt Ave, Manchester, NH 03109
    (800) 247-2676

    Freight forwarders do not actually move freight. Rather, they act as an agent and intermediary, assisting companies in finding the right shipping service for their needs. Using a freight forwarder simplifies logistics. The company will handle arrangements with all of the required transport companies for any trip. They have arrangements with trucking companies and air cargo businesses alike. Freight forwarders may also help with import and export regulations and clearing customs. They may also offer advice on logistics and help determine the best route and whether goods should be moved by air or sea. They are often particularly important when it comes to ocean shipping. Although their services are not cheap, they ensure that the client gets a good deal from all of the carriers and does not have to worry about the costs associated with handling their own shipping. Costs such as vehicle maintenance and container rentals can all be handled by the forwarding company and the carriers it works with. Freight forwarders may have standard rates, but often offer services on a competitive quote basis. They often develop long term relationships with specific carriers and airlines. These relationships can allow them to get cheaper service, although they do take their own markup. Using a freight forwarder to handle cargo shipping, however, is worth it for many companies in terms of the time saved. They also often deal with insurance, warehousing and risk assessment. They are particularly useful when a business lacks the in-house resources to understand the varying regulations that affect long distance and international freight.
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