Freight Forwarders – What do they do?

A Freight Forwarder manages the transportation of products for an agreed fee. Freight forwarders work with trusted connections in the transportation market and they arrange goods to be delivered for a variety of businesses e.g. manufacturers, importers, distributors. They may also work with individuals in the domestic market e.g. for people moving personal effects from one country to another.

In terms of business profile, freight forwarders can be very small companies with a few staff or they can be multi-national, significant corporations. Often the forwarder will have its own fleet of vehicles and its own depots to manage the transportation logistics.

Supply Chain Management Skills

Freight forwarders arrange the best way to move the goods in line with the customer requirements and budget. This can take considerable organisational skills; it may involve the collection of the goods, planning the best route, working out the most cost-effective option, delivering within the required timeframe and ensuring the goods are not damaged during transportation. Typically certain paperwork is also required e.g. to document deliveries and this is handled by the forwarder as part of the service.

In some cases the forwarder will manage the entire cycle e.g. collection from the manufacturer through to the delivery to individual retailers and in others instances they fulfil a limited part of that function e.g. delivery only to a central distribution point. Regardless of the extent of the service offered, the forwarder needs to be extremely experienced in supply chain management. Often a forwarder will specialise in certain modes of transport e.g. a combination of road and shipping or the forwarder may use air transport for certain goods. Rail also continues to be a popular option for the transportation of goods.

What makes a good Freight Forwarder?

For anyone looking to buy freight forwarding services, a “safe pair of hands” is going to be high on the priority list; you need to know your goods will arrive safely. So a long-established, proven supplier is probably the best bet.

Another consideration is the level of customer service and flexibility you are looking for. Unless you need a large global forwarder to manage transportation worldwide with extensive supply chain complexities, then a smaller, local, hands-on freight forwarder is likely to give you a better service and to be more accessible when you need support. They can be agile in a way that a larger business simply can’t.

Obviously cost is another factor to consider, however be aware that this is generally a competitive market anyway and the cheapest option may not offer the best service.

Finally you might want to look for re-assurance in terms of the credibility of the freight forwarders you are considering; do they have satisfied customers and client testimonials and are they members of a relevant trade organisation?

Cargocare Ticks all the Boxes!

Cargocare has been in business for over thirty years, so you can have absolute confidence in our professionalism and proven ability to take care of your transportation needs. We are also a family business, with a number of family members working in the company so our commitment to our customers and the business itself is probably second to none. You don’t have to take our word for it – read our customer testimonials to learn more.

With our own fleet of vehicles, depots in Dublin and London and partner depots in Bristol, Kettering and Glasgow – we are leading freight forwarders in both Ireland and the UK.

Finally we are active members of the Irish Road Haulage Assoc. and have won a number of industry awards over the years.

We would be delighted to talk through your freight forwarding needs and look forward to your call!