What exactly does a global forwarding company do for you?


By Boris Dzhingarov, freelance writer.

A global forwarding company is a firm that specialises in arranging the logistics for international shipments and includes everything from booking cargo space on ships and aeroplanes to preparing the necessary documentation for customs clearance.

Global forwarders can be hired by businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to small-scale producers. In many cases, shippers will use the services of a freight forwarder even if they're not shipping goods internationally. Freight forwarders often have connections and relationships with domestic carriers that allow them to get better rates and services than the shipper could obtain on their own.

What do global forwarding companies do?

But what exactly do these types of companies do? In addition to arranging transportation, global forwarding companies also take care of customs clearance for their clients. They're familiar with the regulations of different countries. They can ensure that all shipments are properly documented and meet all requirements for entry, which can be a complicated process, especially for businesses new to international shipping.

Things to consider when hiring a global forwarding company

When choosing a global forwarding company, you must consider your specific needs and requirements. Some forwarders specialise in certain shipments, such as perishable goods or dangerous materials, and others may have experience shipping to specific countries or regions. Make sure to ask about a forwarder's areas of expertise before deciding.

The cost of hiring a global forwarding company will vary depending on the size and scope of your shipment. Be sure to get quotes from many different companies before deciding. In most cases, it's best to choose the forwarder with the most experience and expertise in shipping to your destination.

Steps to take to hire a global forwarding company

When hiring a global forwarding company, the first step is to provide them with information about the goods that need to be shipped, including the dimensions and weight of the shipment and the origin and destination countries. The forwarder will then use this information to determine the most efficient shipping route and make all necessary arrangements.

After the forwarder has been chosen, the next step is to sign a contract. This document will outline the terms of the agreement, including the services provided and the cost. Always read the shipping contract carefully before signing; if there are any questions or concerns, ask the forwarder for clarification.

Once the contract has been signed, the forwarding company will cover all details. They will book cargo space on ships and planes, prepare documentation, and track shipments to ensure they arrive safely at their destination.

What are the risks of using a global forwarding company, and how to avoid them?

There are a few risks to using a global forwarding company, but you can avoid these by working with a reliable, reputable and experienced firm. One risk is that the forwarder may not have experience shipping to your destination country, leading to delays or problems with customs clearance. To avoid this, ask about the forwarder's experience before hiring them.

Another risk is that the forwarder may not be familiar with the regulations of your destination country, which could cause problems with customs clearance or result in fines for non-compliance. To avoid this, ensure that you provide the forwarder with all relevant information about your shipment, including its value.

In some cases, a global forwarding company may require a deposit before shipping your goods, which is usually a small percentage of the total cost of shipping. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you should ensure that you understand the terms of the agreement before making a deposit.


Choosing a global forwarding company is essential for any business that ships goods internationally. Be sure to take your time to choose and ask lots of questions to ensure you're getting the best possible service.


Boris Dzhingarov is a Digital Nomad traveling the world. He is the founder of ESBO ltd


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