What Is A Sea Freight Forwarder?

sea freight forwarder transporting cargo

Sea freight has been and continues to be an integral part of the global supply chain network. According to Statistica.com, an overwhelming 80% of the world’s goods are transported by ships. At the same time, there has been generally a year-on-year expansion of the sea freight industry. While not the quickest, sea freight

Introduction to Sea Freight Forwarding

Sea freight forwarding involves the use of carrier ships to transport goods filled containers around the world. The capacity in terms of both weight and volume allows each carrier ship to transport a yet unmatched amount of goods over long distances. It is due to this characteristic that sea freight is seen to be of continual importance to global logistics.

Full Container Load (FCL)

FCL is an arrangement whereby an individual or organization purchases full container(s) for their goods. This means that any single container purchased is used solely by that party. As one might intuitively expect, this arrangement makes sense when one party has sufficient goods to fill a full container. In return for filling a container completely, your goods are transported without the container ever needing to be opened along the way. Similarly, no goods will be mixed with yours, ensuring that their integrity is kept at its highest.

crane loading sea freight onto ship

Less than Container Load (LCL)

In direct contrast to FCL arrangements, LCL indicates that your goods share a container with other parties. Once the container reaches a destination, its contents are divided for the next stage of the transportation. Since you share a container with others, there is the possibility of requiring intermediate stops where the container is opened to have some goods extracted.

Role of a Sea Freight Forwarder

Sea freight forwarding companies help you to navigate the complex sea freight world. From booking of transport onboard carrier ships to clearing customs, as well as helping your goods to get through both domestic and international regulations.

When to Choose Sea Freight

You are looking for a cost friendly option

In most cases, sea freight offers you a highly cost-effective option. As covered earlier, carrier ships are each able to hold huge amounts of cargo, this allows for the average cost per unit to drop. In essence, a sea freight forwarder helps all clients achieve economies of scale by consolidating all their goods.

You are not in a rush

By having all paperwork, timing and route arrangements done, your goods will travel by sea and reach their destination as soon as possible. Nonetheless, your goods will typically still require longer transport time as compared to air freight. In contrast to air transportation which operates on tight schedules, freight ships might easily fall behind schedule. As such, if speed is a priority, companies or individuals typically opt for air freight arrangements.

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