As we continue with unprecedented online sales and long waits for shipping, the spotlight is on how to move products and supplies affordably and efficiently. Shipments arrive at our ports and need to be moved to their final destination. Someone needs to get the cargo from the port to a truck or train. Often, that someone is a freight forwarder.
What are Freight Forwarding Companies?
A freight forwarder or forwarding agent is a company that organizes shipments for institutions and individuals. It’s their job to get products from the manufacturer to the distribution warehouse. They don’t physically move these goods, though. Instead, they’re an intermediary between shippers and transportation services. They handle a good portion of international shipping logistics and help shippers comply with export documentation and international shipping rules. The forwarder serves as an expert, advising on everything from costs to regulations.
Why Freight Forwarding Services are Necessary
You may have an individual in-house at your company to handle freight forwarding, but going it in this manner may cost you. Hiring a freight forwarder service can save you time and money. They’ll handle insurance and customs documentation. They’ll also take care of bills of lading, warehousing, methods for international payment, and more. Their knowledge and expertise are essential to ensure you follow all rules and regulations. They’ll also make sure your cargo gets from the port to your door.
Port to Door Logistics
As you probably know, shipping isn’t one seamless process where a product or good comes from overseas and appears magically at its destination. There are often several modes of transportation and many people involved in getting your shipments to where they need to go. It will need to go through customs and be put on a truck within the required timeframe. Paperwork will need to be filed, and you’ll need to meet all of the requirements based on what the product is. Once a shipment arrives in the U.S., it will need to be taken from the port to its final destination. This short distance haul generally requires a drayage service.
That’s a lot to know and juggle while running a business! That’s where drayage services come in.
Where Drayage Comes In
Drayage is the process of picking up your ocean container from the port or inland rail ramp and getting it to your door (or warehouse). Whether you are importing or exporting goods via an ocean container, drayage is the first mile (or final mile) in how it’ll get there. It sounds insignificant, but without this step, your goods will be left at the port and you’ll be left with fees piling up for keeping it there too long.
If you don’t use a freight forwarding company, you’ll need to arrange the drayage carrier yourself or depend on the steamship to provide that service assuming you have the volume to work directly with the steamship lines. If you don’t already have a particular company you use, you’ll need to find one. That’s likely to involve countless phone calls, researching companies, and asking around to find the best option. Plus, you could damage your profits if you don’t know what a reasonable drayage rate is. There are other concerns you’ll need to consider, as well. Do you know the insurance and bonding requirements? Is the product oversized and will require permits? What’s a decent delivery timeline?
Why 80% of the Top 25 Freight Forwarders Use FMI for Drayage
Drayage can be chaotic when you don’t have a tried and true system to handle all of the moving parts. Freight Management Inc’s Draydex® system improves booking speed, assists in monitoring carrier compliance, and offers historical lane search. It also instantly provides the most accurate spot market index in the industry. Not only that, but there are also instant benchmarking and instant alternate route pricing features. All of these tools keep freight forwarders efficient and productive.
That’s the reason why FMI handles tens of thousands of drayage moves for over 80% of the top 25 forwarders every year!