Global freight forwarding by ocean, air, trucking, and rail.


What Is Freight Forwarding?


No doubt, you’ve heard the term freight forwarding before, but what is it exactly?


Freight forwarders organize and manage the logistics and transportation of goods from origin to destination both domestically and internationally for businesses or individuals without taking physical custody of the freight.


A freight forwarder is a company that works with other transportation companies to get your products to their final destination. This includes airlines, trucking companies, rail lines, and ocean liners.


While there are many freight forwarders out there, it’s important to work with one that has proven successful in the industry.


Shipments traveling from different parts of the world often go by more than one mode of transportation. Hiccups can happen along the way for a variety of reasons. These can end up costing you valuable time and money if you aren’t well-versed in international shipping.


This is where freight forwarders shine.


Forwarders are experts in both international shipping and domestic inland transportation and can assist you in all aspects of the shipping process from route planning, rate negotiation, and documentation, to Customs brokerage, warehousing, and distribution.


A good freight forwarder can be an essential component to the success of your business when it comes to global freight shipping.


They use their agent network and expertise in different transport methods to get your goods where they need to go in the fastest and most cost-effective way.


In this way, a forwarder makes sure that your freight gets processed through a country’s borders without hassle or delay – which means more time spent working instead of waiting around!


Read on to learn more about the different services that forwarding companies offer. 

What Services Do Freight Forwarders Provide?

While a freight forwarder’s specific logistics services can vary, here is a list of the most common ones.


  • Manage the transportation process for goods by working with carriers in air, ocean, road, and rail transport.
  • Negotiate rates with carriers, handlers, and any other businesses involved in the process.
  • Help with the documentation for your cargo, as well as other regulatory requirements like licensing and fees. We’ll also help you prepare for any necessary inspections.
  • Provide or liaise with companies that provide storage, warehousing, and distribution.
  • Provide information about secure, climate-and-product-specific packaging and clear, efficient labeling.
  • Offer cargo insurance. This may include filing and following up on claims, if necessary.


Forwarders also provide all of the shipping documents needed to ensure that freight shipments move smoothly from origin to destination.


  • Customs clearance
  • House Bill of Lading (HBL)
  • Master Bill of Lading (MBL)
  • Certificate of origin
  • Inspection certificate
  • Export license
  • Packing lists
  • Commercial invoice
  • Crating and packaging
  • Labeling
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Cross-docking
  • Cargo insurance

Your forwarder should always furnish you with the most common documents like a House bill of lading (HBL) or an Air Waybill for air freight.


An HBL is the contract of carriage between the actual shipper and that actual consignee.


An Air Waybill is a document used in air freight that provides shipment details and tracking information.

Freight Forwarding Services

How Can Working With an Experienced Forwarder Help Your Company Succeed?

If your company is expanding, working with new suppliers, or sourcing goods from overseas, you will need to create a plan for how you will manage the logistics of this expansion.


This may include setting up a new supplier, shipping to and from different countries, or finding new transportation providers.


Whatever the specifics of your latest expansion, if it comes with new means and routes of transport, and you don’t have the internal resources to handle it, you may need a freight forwarding company to help with one or many of the issues that may arise.


First, experienced freight forwarding services like BGI have built and maintained good working relationships with carriers, storage facilities, trade associations, and government bodies. With this, they can negotiate deals to help your company save costs and time on transporting your goods.


Second, experienced forwarders are experts in the tricky legal and logistical terrain of shipping. Mistakes here can be costly, damaging to sales, and time-consuming. A forwarder can take care of the paperwork and planning. They can not only save you a headache but time and money too.


Last, if your goods are hazardous, climate-sensitive, or fragile, a forwarder can help identify and arrange specific packaging, handling, and transportation requirements that may have not even crossed your mind.



Choosing a Freight Forwarder

Remember that you can use freight forwarding services for any aspect of the cargo transportation journey that you need.


If you are considering working with a forwarder you should have some questions prepared when you call so that you can be sure you will be working with one who shares your company values.


If you don’t know what you should be looking for, take a look at our guide to changing forwarders.


Otherwise, give us a chance to show you that not all freight forwarding companies are equal.


Get a Quote

Call us if you have questions or want to find out more about BGI