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What are the duties and responsibilities of a freight forwarder?

If you are considering shipping products overseas or looking for a new career in the shipping industry, you may have wondered what a freight forwarder does. The duties of a forwarder are quite complex and require plenty of training and licensing. Knowing their basic duties can help you choose a forwarder or decide whether or not it is the right profession for you.

What is freight forwarding?

A freight forwarding company will get products from one place to another on behalf of a business. They normally take care of the entire shipping process, but in some cases, they will take over for the client at a certain point in the process. For example, a client may get the product to the port, and the shipper may get the product onto the boat and to the buyer.

The freight forwarder has many duties during the exporting process. They will work with manufacturing companies and shippers to work out a schedule for getting the products from one place to another.

How They Get Your Product To Its Destination

A shipper will arrange the cost of transportation with each of the shipping companies that will be used to transport the product. They will also take care of finding the best insurance for a company.

In some cases, a product must be stored at various points along its journey. A freight forwarder will work with the buyer to arrange for this storage.

A significant responsibility of a freight forwarder is to handle the paperwork that is necessary when shipping a product. This is why it is so important to hire a freight forwarding company and not handle things yourself.

Freight forwarders are trained in various shipping software, and they are educated in shipping laws. They will know how to negotiate all the various software needed to transport a product.


As with most professions, freight forwarders will have to have some training in specific job elements. They may start as an apprentice and work their way up, or they may take classes.  It may take a couple of years to gain all the knowledge necessary for their jobs.

A freight forwarder must have a high school diploma. Many freight forwarders have a degree in business management or shipping management.


There are a few different government agencies that provide licensing for freight forwarders. They include the Federal Maritime Commission and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The Federal Maritime Commission license costs $825.00 if you use the paper format. However, If you file it electronically, the application fee is $250.00. The FMCAS requires a $300 fee.

According to Dedola Global Logistics, freight forwarders should also be bonded. It can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 to get a bond. If a person has a felony or bankruptcy, it may prevent them from getting a job.

Why You Should Use a Freight Forwarder

You have enough responsibility when it comes to manufacturing your product and convincing people to buy it.

There are plenty of laws that apply to international shipping, and a freight forwarder can make sure you comply with each of them. A Freight forwarder will already have relationships with Airlines and boating companies. They will be able to get you the best shipping prices, and they will always be able to find space for your product on the aircraft, boat, or truck.

The world deserves to discover your fabulous product. Using a shipper can ensure that your goods get where they are going in one piece.