Have you just made your first international sale and wonder how you should go about shipping your goods overseas? Or are you considering exporting, but not sure of how best to deliver your goods to a foreign country? Consider the benefits of a freight forwarder, described by expert Jeff Coppersmith and Export.gov as “your international transportation department.”
A freight forwarder is a licensed company that can help you make the necessary arrangements to get your product from your door to your buyer’s door. Often, the logistics of transporting your product is up to you as a seller – but a freight forwarder can provide help ensure that you export economically, safely and in compliance with U.S. and foreign government laws.
Freight forwarders aren’t required to get your product transported, but they can provide a lot of assistance throughout the entire process. A freight forwarder can also come in handy if you need to consider the following characteristics – is your product:
Another consideration is how much room your goods will take up – a full container or a few boxes or pallets? Not sure? A freight forwarder will help make the determination. And if you can consolidate your items with another shipper, a freight forwarder can work toward those arrangements to save on cost.
A freight forwarder will arrange for your product’s pickup; deliver it to the ship or airplane; and file and process certain necessary documentation. Once your goods are shipped, the freight forwarder will process additional documents if needed, including a certificate of origin, insurance certificate and notarization – all in compliance with the terms of your letter of credit – and present it to the bank.
Bottom line: a freight forwarder will help you figure out what’s best – and most cost-effective – for your business and your product’s voyage to its destination. You’ll get the help you need with required documentation and the peace of mind knowing that licensed experts are helping handle the process.
According to Export.gov, freight forwarders can be found in most metropolitan areas. Local business telephone listings often feature a freight forwarder or transportation heading. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America also provides exporters with information on their members. Additionally, you can check out trade associations and local Chambers of Commerce.
Want to learn more about how freight forwarders can help you export your product? Visit Export.gov for informational videos, resource links and more.