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Freight Forwarding 101 - What Is a Freight Forwarder

Freight Forwarding 101 - What Is a Freight Forwarder

At the highest level, a freight forwarder is a company that provides services to facilitate international trade. This could range from simple documentation administration for customs purposes to more complex tasks like organizing buyer's consolidations and contracting with steamship lines for overseas transportation. Freight forwarders specialize in international trade, simplifying the movement of goods across international borders with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safe and timely delivery of cargo at the agreed cost. Although freight forwarders do not own transportation assets, they often fall under the legal category of NVOCC (Non-Vessel Owning Common Carrier). Apart from physically moving shipments, freight forwarders also employ customs brokers and help with shipping documentation and customs entries to regulatory agencies worldwide.


Freight Forwarder, International Trade, Documentation Administration, Buyer's Consolidation, NVOCC, Customs Broker, Shipping Documentation


  1. What services does a freight forwarder provide to facilitate international trade?
  2. What is the ultimate goal of a freight forwarder in handling cargo shipments?
  3. What legal category do many freight forwarders fall under, and what does it entail?
  4. How do freight forwarders assist in customs processes and documentation for international shipments?