It’s no surprise that trade among different nations makes the world better off. International trade allows markets to expand their goods and services to a larger client base so that they are more available, making them cost cheaply. They also make certain products available when they otherwise aren’t.
Since the first days that air freight and sea freight traffic have expanded worldwide, the exchange of imports and exports worldwide has led to the booming of cargo transportation services and freight forwarding, where logistics services are offered in order to coordinate with one shipping company or more to ensure the on-time delivery of goods.
For freight forwarding services like freight master from Singapore and businesses in Singapore looking for a reliable one to ensure that their products are shipped on time, it’s especially important to stay up-to-date on the state of both international and regional trade. However, what’s lesser known is the state of the freight market.
What is the freight market? What is the difference between local freight and international freight? Here’s everything you need to know to get you started.
When firms or individuals buy certain goods that are produced abroad, there are two kinds of entities that are responsible for the movement of these goods. These entities are the shipping company and the freight forwarding agency.
The shipping company, on the one hand, is the entity responsible for the actual transportation of the goods, as they have the capacity to operate carrier transports (i.e. rail, air freight, or sea freight) that can hold the goods as they move from one part of the globe to another.
The freight forwarding agency, on the other hand, is the one that’s responsible for coordinating the shipments. They liaise closely with clients to advise them on the costs as well as the necessary arrangements, and then work these arrangements with the shipping companies and the different customs authorities to provide the necessary documents for clearance, arrange the payments, and ensure that the shipment is delivered on time and in peak condition.
Who are the Freight Forwarders?
Freight forwarding agencies go by many names, such as “non-vessel owning common carrier” (NVOCC), multimodal transport operator, global logistics company, supply chain manager, and even information broker. However, you should know that these are essentially the same, with their names simply the result of more recent marketing efforts.
Freight forwarders like http://www.freightmaster.sg/ in Singapore are generally classified into three groups:
• Local companies – These are single-office enterprises that deal with the local customer base in Singapore and specialize in local freight operations and logistics services. They typically operate at a seaport or airport area where they can best specialize on different types of traffic.
• National companies – Many freight forwarding services have offices in different ports and airports as well as in large industrial cities, and often have their own handling depots or warehouses where they can operate their own services, such as consolidating customers’ shipments.
• International companies – An international logistics company would be easy to identify as international companies have their own offices overseas, which gives them more coverage as well as a wider range of services to offer.
Size should not be the criteria to look at when considering a forwarding agency, as different criterion that come into mind when choosing a service tend to overlap. You should also keep in mind that the industry is made up of different firms that have their own specializations.
Over the years, freight forwarding companies have become more sophisticated in order to better cater to present and future client bases. They have also become more available at all levels of the supply chain, in turn becoming a crucial service to companies both big and small.
What Services do they Offer?
As mentioned before, forwarding agencies are basically in charge of coordinating the movement of goods to ensure that they arrive on time and in peak condition. Forwarders are usually appointed either by importers or exporters to pick up the goods at a specific address and generally act on their behalf.
Freight and Transportation
The two biggest means of transporting goods are air freight and sea freight, right next to transportation by means of land (via trucks) and rail (train). Because forwarders are the link between the seller and buyer, they will book space on either mode/s of transport after advising the customer on the best route available.
Their key function is to arrange for space on the transport and to take careful documentation not just on the nature and quantity of the shipment, but also on the transport’s route and destination. Once the goods arrive, the forwarders then forward the goods, collect them, and coordinate the delivery to the buyer.
Air vs. Sea
The main difference between air freight and sea freight is simply that the latter is meant for heavier shipments, while the former is for lighter ones. This explains why there are more terms that you should know relating to transporting goods by sea rather than by air.
While ships are good for transporting heavier goods, they do have their drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that they take longer to reach their destination. They are also more likely, in some instances, to be handled poorly unless registered under high priority.
Transporting by airplane, on the other hand, limits the quantity of goods that you can move in one shipment, and having all your goods moved by plane may require multiple flights.