What Is a Shipping and Forwarding Agency?

If you have started out your own business, it is very likely that you must have come across the terms shipping and freight forwarding agency. So, if you are a novice, without any knowledge of these terms, then this blog will give you an insight.

A forwarding agency is basically an agency that takes the role of importers and exporters and tries to ensure the safe and seamless transportation of products and goods. Basically, forwarding agencies are experts at your service to ensure that the goods reach their destination in the best possible manner.    

Shipping agents are also similar, but they are slightly restrictive when it comes to transportation, services provided, and facilities. Shipping agencies are responsible for managing and handling the cargo and shipments.

You can always contact a China forwarding service agent that can get you in touch with reliable shipping and forwarding agencies.



Freight Forwarding Agent Meaning


Source: Freepik

A freight forwarding agent is someone who takes care of the transportation of goods or people from one point to another. It is important to note that the freight forwarding agent is only responsible to arrange for the transportation of goods. The agent arranges the services for movement but does not actually move the goods.

A forwarding agent is also a part of the Technology Sales Leads (TSL) industry and provides a great variety of services.

It is solely the responsibility of the freight forwarding agent to make sure that not just the transportation, but packaging which includes special accommodation for delicate products is done appropriately. 



Services Provided By A Freight Forwarding Agent


Source: Freepik

There are a number of services provided by a freight forwarding agent. As mentioned above, transportation is not the only duty that comes under forwarding agent services. It ranges from packaging to insurance.


1. Planning

First and foremost, planning. This will definitely need to be up to the mark.

This will be followed by packaging, proper storage along with special arrangements for products that can be damaged when exposed to the environment.    


2. Warehousing

Warehousing is extremely significant, for that matter. Proper warehouse of their own or making the requisite arrangements for the same also comes under the set of duties of freight forwarders. 


3. Labeling

Freight forwarding agents ensure that the labeling is done flawlessly. This step is crucial so that the information about weight and other details are clearly visible. This will be a great help in the organization and there will be minimal to zero chances of any mistake in delivery.

Also, freight forwarding agents ensure that the goods are handled with extreme care to avoid any damage.


4. Paperwork

Freight forwarding agents have to deal with paperwork. Properly handling the paperwork will ensure that the documentation is completed in a jiffy.

Freight forwarding agents, being experts in their jobs, know the dos and don’ts of shipment, and can help one fetch the best insurance. Looking after the cargo insurance/filing insurance is the main task for the freight forwarding agents. 


5. Source of Transportation

For freight forwarding agencies, if there is distant transportation, choosing the best-fitted source is one of the topmost priorities. Making the bookings of the cargo space at the earliest, finding the cheapest yet a good source, has to be done very attentively because if the transportation is not arranged properly, there is no point.


6. Freight Consolidation

Freight consolidation is another errand for the agents. Their proficiency in this regard will lead to a significant cost advantage.



Clearing and Forwarding Process


Source: Freepik

It is important to understand the concept of clearing and forwarding if you are in the field of business.

The clearing and forwarding process basically ensures the trouble-free shipment of goods to their destination. Both clearing and forwarding agents have to work at different stages of the process to accomplish their duties. It is very rare that both of them are the same person.

Let’s take a look at these processes quickly.


Clearing Process

The clearing process is the one where clearing agents look after smooth shipment of the goods in regards to legal matters. Negotiating with local authorities and custom inspection work smoothly under clearing agents. Clearing agents are also called custom brokers and custom house agents. 

Evidently, the role of the clearing agent is very crucial in exporting goods. They are supposed to have all the knowledge about custom facilities and local laws. 

Dealing within the custom authorities requires a good level of organization and communication skills, clearing agent suffices the role.

Adding to that, clearing agents also help in avoiding demurrage charges. When shipment overstays their welcome on the terminal, they are required to pay a large amount of demurrage charge. Clearing agents can become a savior then and can circumvent it.


Forwarding Process

The forwarding processor freight forwarding process is the one where freight forwarder agents guarantee the smooth shipment of the goods from the manufacturer to the warehouse. 

Freight forwarders take over the job of shipping the goods from the manufacturer itself. 

Apart from that, they look after packaging, documentation, insurance, transportation methods and routes, warehouse, leveling, booking cargo, and freight consolidation.

Freight forwarding agents are basically the guardians of the goods till it reaches the warehouse, and clearing agents come into play when the shipments go for inspection during the final minutes of export.



Freight Forwarding Companies in China

Companies and processes

Source: Freepik

Below are a few of the reputed freight forwarding companies in China.


1. Yamathok: Located in Hong Kong, with over 38 years of experience, this company has made its mark by providing quality and efficient service.

2. Guangzhou Trinity Marine International Freight Services Ltd: Headquarters at Guangzhou, and founded in the year 2006. Guangzhou shipping also provides project management, local logistic services, etc.

3. Shanghai Hada International Freight Forwarding Co. Ltd: Established with the approval of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, it is one of the reliable forwarding companies in China

4. Kerry Logistics: This company has good networking in Asia and can provide cost-efficient service.

5. CTSI Logistics: Provides one of the most efficient services with safe transportation.

6. Yusen Logistics: Founded in 1989 and located in Canada. This company believes in staying in the good books of its customers. 

7. Honstrans International: Located in Beijing. This company offers other services as well which include international engineering logistics.

8. Worldcargo Logistic: This company tries its best to bring out the best service for its customers.




All in all, hiring a freight forwarding agent or agency might not be necessary at some places but they definitely make the work more manageable and easier.

They make sure your goods are shipped to their destination in the best possible manner without any damage and also lessens a great part of the owners’ burdens. A lot of companies today offer this service and hence choosing the best-fitted one for one’s service can turn out to be very helpful. 

If you are in a dilemma about which shipping and forwarding agency to choose, you can contact a reliable Guangzhou sourcing agent like MatchSourcing. MatchSourcing can help you connect with the best shipping and forwarding agencies.



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