An international freight forwarder is an agent for the exporter and can move cargo from “dock-to-door,” providing several significant services such as:
- Advising on exporting costs including freight costs, port charges, consular fees, costs of special documentation, insurance costs and freight handling fees;
- Preparing and filing required export documentation such as the bill of lading and routing appropriate documents to the seller, the buyer or a paying bank;
- Advising on the most appropriate mode of cargo transport and making arrangements to pack and load the cargo;
- Reserving the necessary cargo space on a vessel, aircraft, train, or truck.
- Making arrangements with overseas customs brokers to ensure that the goods and documents comply with customs regulations.
Export freight forwarders are licensed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to handle airfreight and the Federal Maritime Commission to handle ocean freight.