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Career in Clearing and Forwarding

A Career in Clearing and Forwarding

Freight forwarders play a vital role in the movement of goods from one place to another. These guys act as essential go-betweens in the import/export process and provide assistance to individuals, commercial organisations, importers and exporters who need help facilitating their international trading operations.

While the movement of goods for individual customers is usually managed by postal and courier services, ‘freight forwarding’ commonly refers to the bulk movement of goods, also referred to as cargo or freight.

The freight forwarder works out the best method and route for moving large volumes of freight from the point of origin to the destination, utilising several modes of transport (e.g. road, rail, air and sea) and ensuring that the cargo reaches its destination in the least possible amount of time, in an environmentally friendly and safe manner and at the most affordable rate. In a few instances, transport companies themselves provide freight forwarding services, or vice versa.

If you enter this profession, you’ll be conducting research and route planning, taking into consideration the kind of cargo being transported, the distance involved and any specific customer requirements with regards to the final delivery time.

You’ll also be responsible for handling the packing, insurance, customs documentation and other regulatory requirements, especially for freight moving across national borders.

Awesome organisational skills are essential, as you’ll be arranging for the timely pick-up of freight and organising transportation between intermediate destinations, i.e. port facilities, cargo terminals and railway yards, through which a major portion of the freight movement is completed.

You’ll also be responsible for monitoring everything and keeping a keen eye on what’s going on, using software applications and satellite technology to provide real-time tracking of freight movements and ensuring timely delivery. Furthermore, you may be required to make payments and process transactions, like freight charges, on behalf of your customers.

This line of work also involves keeping your clients informed throughout the whole process and reporting back to them at each and every stage. Consequently, you will need to collect data, present it in an accessible form and write detailed reports.

From time to time, you may be required to arrange door-to-door deliveries for fragile or high-importance packages.

However, in the grand scheme of things, freight forwarders generally take up the responsibility of moving cargo from one stage to another, with a different service provider or a subsidiary unit handling local deliveries.

A Clearing and Forwarding agent or Freight Forwarder is an independent company that acts as intermediaries / agent between importers and exporters, they seek out and then coordinate the most cost effective and fitting way to move goods between nations. They coordinate the shipment of the goods from the factory, arrange to have the cargo loaded onto the vessel, and process the documentation on the shipment.

The cargo ‘middle men’, also known as freight clerks or shipping clerks, can be employed as an export freight agent, moving goods out of a country on behalf of exporters or shippers, or an import freight agent, customs clearance agent or custom broker, bringing goods into the country on behalf of importers.

This is an active role, that requires excellent contacts in all the transport modes and a sound understanding of rules and regulations relating to the carriage of goods. These cargo ‘middle men’, also known as freight clerks or shipping clerks, can be employed as a export freight agent, moving goods out of a country on behalf of exporters or shippers, or a import freight agent, customs clearance agent or custom broker, bringing goods into the country on behalf of importers.

In essence the Freight Forwarders role falls into four main areas: the provision of a range of independent services such as packing and warehousing; giving distribution advice; acting as a agent to source transport space; and acting as a principal to move goods across international frontiers.

Freight Forwarders need to liaise closely with clients at all stages to advise them of costs and arrangements. Other duties a Freight Forwarder may be expected to perform include the clearing of goods through customs, arranging the payment of duties and taxes, and organising the delivery of goods to the importer’s premises.

Consider an innovative and rewarding career in the International Clearing and Forwarding business today.

Freight Forwarders have excellent relationships with road, rail, air and shipping companies, allowing them to find and negotiate the best transport arrangements for clients, although in some cases, the freight forwarding company itself provides the service. They will be expected to select safe routes and carriers; negotiate contracts, transportation and handling costs; book the transport cargo space; arrange appropriate packing; deal with transport rates, insurance and schedules; make calculations by weight, volume and cost; prepare quotations and invoices; and prepare contracts.

Freight Forwarders need to liaise closely with clients at all stages to advise them of costs and arrangements. Other duties a Freight Forwarder may be expected to perform include the clearing of goods through customs, arranging the payment of duties and taxes, and organising the delivery of goods to the importer’s premises.

The client or the company can rely on them for timely and safe delivery of the product. The clearing and freight agents have established relationships with sea, air and land transportation systems including rail services, trucking, and ocean liners. He also manages the trucking logistics for airfreight and ocean freight import and export.

Working in international trade and Clearing and Forwarding can be a very rewarding career choice. Without international trade, many of the world's economies would simply collapse. Choosing to bring quality and dedication to this industry can help you to make a real difference in the world.

The Clearing and Forwarding industry offers hundreds of types of jobs. If you choose to make a global impact by being a part of this essential modern industry, there is surely a job that will suit your skills and allow you to excel as you build your career. You could work in ocean freight, warehousing, ocean shipping logistics, trucking, sales, freight forwarding, air freight, railway, or as a terminal operator. There is a need for many types of talents in this industry and there are lots of directions that you could go by gaining experience in any area.

To understand the importance of Clearing and Forwarding in our lives, we only need to look at the diverse types of goods we use every day. From the mouse to the computer screen, the shirt on your back and shoes on your feet to the fuel that powers our vehicles and factories around the world every day, what we now call basic necessities of modern life are brought to us by world trade. 

To start your personal voyage in this wonderful industry, register now for a Diploma in Clearing and Forwarding