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Shipping Freight 101

13 Oct 2014

Shipping freight might sound like it is a relatively simple thing. Someone has something that needs to be transported and they find someone with a means to transport it. Not much to it, right? Wrong! Shipping freight is much more complicated than that.

First, a shipper, someone with a product that needs to be transported, needs to find an appropriate trucking firm. A load of steel requires a different kind of truck than a load of frozen pizzas. A load of new cars needs a much different truck than a shipment of cows. And this is the easy part. A shipper needs to keep costs in mind. They need to coordinate the pick-up and delivery requirements they have with a trucking firm. They need to know which routes will get the shipment where it needs to be quickly and as cost effectively as possible. Many shippers will use the services of a freight broker agent. An agent is a third party that brings shippers and appropriate trucking firms together. The agent is familiar with many trucking firms and can match up a shipper and a trucking firm for a satisfactory end result.

Freight broker agents operate nationally. What would a shipper do if the load needed to be transported internationally? In this case, the shipper would contact a freight forwarding firm. Like freight broker agents, freight forwarding firms do not directly ship cargo. They are the intermediary between shippers and means of transport. Freight forwarding firms deal with exports that are international and multi-national. These firms are essential when shipping products from one country to another. Many times there are multiple carriers involved as well as special requirements and legalities. Freight forwarding firms have the knowledge and experience to make the international shipping experience go smoothly. Freight forwarding firms do not only deal with trucking firms, but many other means of transportation. They utilize air carriers, trains and ocean transport in addition to trucking companies. Many times one shipment may require several different means of transport. The shipment might start out on a truck, be transferred to a ship and finish the journey by train. Freight forwarding firms are experts at coordinating these types of shipments.

There is so much more to know to consider yourself really knowledgeable in shipping. As you can see, the process can be made so much easier by using a freight broker agent or a freight forwarding firm. When requiring a way for shipping freight, make sure you explore all your options.