What is a Freight Forwarder and what do they do? | Whale Logistics Blog

What is a Freight Forwarder and what do they do? | Whale Logistics Blog

In this series, we will be looking at the basics of freight forwarding and how it might help with your business. Firstly, this blog post will expore what a freight forwarder is and what they do.

A freight forwarder is someone that provides support services to the freight transport industries. A freight forwarder may be involved in forwarding freight from origin to destination, customs and freight brokerance, stock consolidation, and handle goods and cargo

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A freight forwarder does not provide maintenance and repair services, such as services to passenger transport, tourism activities, courier services, or transport insurance.

How is freight forwarding different from transportation?

  • Transportation is the movement of goods between point A and B- some of the modes include truck, rail, etc.
  • Freight forwarding is the optimization of that movement, usually applied to businesses that need to move freight across borders, and involve added value services such as custom clearance, package consolidation, using multiple modes of transport, according to client budget and preferences. 

What is involved in each of these services?

If you're a business, you probably want to know what these services entails. What part of the supply chain management do freight forwarders take a part in?

Transporting & Forwarding Freight

Freight forwarders such as Whale will primarily contract the transport of goods for other enterprises, using a combination of road, air and sea freight transport organisations to complete these contracted services. In these cases, the forwarding unit takes on prime responsibility for the entire transport operation specified in each contract for a charge that covers the total operation, and in turn pays the carriers for transport services rendered.

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Customs Clearance & Brokerage

These services provided by freight forwarders are those such as documentation preparation for imports and exports, such as air cargo reporting, export clearance, and sea cargo reporting, but exclude freight forwarding, border control and surveillance. Having a good customs broker will allow you to save time and resolve problems quickly should they arise.

So in summary, here's how what freight forwarders can help with your business:

  • Obtain the best routes for your cargo / shipments, including transit time, etc.
  • Obtain competitive rates options for transporting your cargo
  • Arrange best transport modes (air, road, ocean, rail)
  • Comply with regulations and customs
  • Arrange destination clearance and delivery

Ready to learn more? Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will go into all about How to Choose a Freight Forwarder. In the mean time, subscribe to our blog for other news and updates!


Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative freight forwarding solutions, please click the link below to contact a Whale Logistics Freight Specialist today for a free consultation. 

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