Freight forwarding is hugely important in the modern-day transport of goods. Without it, the transfer network would be limited, and businesses with customers around the world would have no way of reaching them.
If you’re starting a business that involves shipping products from point A to point B, you may be interested to learn more about freight forwarding services. This article explains what freight forwarders do and what popular services they offer.
What Does a Freight Forwarder UK Do?
In the simplest terms, freight forwarders work as intermediaries between a company that makes shipments and the product’s final destination. The freight forwarder doesn’t carry out the shipment by themselves. Instead, they organise an array of transport methods and routes to get the job done efficiently.
In contrast to a carrier, a freight forwarder doesn’t own the transport vehicles but uses the services provided by different carriers. These companies work with people of trust in a range of transport industries to offer the best price to their clients.
Freight forwarders work both inside and outside the borders of a country. They often ship packages overseas to locations that are tens of thousands of miles away.
Below you’ll find more details about each of the services these companies offer.
Freight Forwarder UK Services
1. Road Freight
Road freight, or “road transport”, road haulage is a freight type that refers to transferring goods by road. Freight forwarding companies often rely on this freight method as most UK transport is done via the road. This is an efficient and less expensive model than air freight, especially for domestic transfer.
For businesses that serve customers in remote and rural areas, there’s no better way to send goods than by road freight. No other transport type has more reach, which means every village in the UK can be accessed with ease. For example, it is easier to send your car to a new location by road freight.
Different logistic companies use different cargo transport options depending on the nature of the project and local infrastructure. Sometimes, vans or pickup trucks can be used for shorter distances, while trucks are used for large shipments.
2. Air Freight
The air freight allows shipments to be transferred via an air carrier. The carriers can be commercial or charter and can move goods to virtually any place in the world where aeroplanes can land. This is the fastest freight type and one of the most valuable options when delivery time is an issue.
Mid-size and large companies mainly use this type of shipment to facilitate efficient international trade. However, businesses that operate in large countries often use air freight services for domestic goods transport.
3. Sea Freight
Sea freight refers to transporting large parcels of goods via carrier ships. This method involves packing shipments in huge containers loaded onto a vessel. Most cargo ships fit around 18,000 containers, making this one of the most cost-efficient methods of shipping large quantities over large distances.
Sea freight can be transported as FCL, LCL, RORO, or dry bulk, depending on the cargo type and quantity. FCL (Full Container Load) involves businesses purchasing a full container for their products, while LCL (Less Than Container Load) refers to sharing containers with other shipments.
With the RORO (Roll On Roll Off) method, the vehicle that carries the shipments (van, truck, etc.) is loaded onto the ship, carried across the sea, and it then travels on to the final destination.
Finally, dry bulk shipping refers to depositing items into the hold of the ship instead of storing them in a container.
The main downside of sea freight is the long turnover time – cargo can often travel for weeks. Also, it isn’t an effective option for smaller shipments.
4. Project Cargo
Project cargo refers to transporting complex, large, and high-value equipment pieces, including fragile bulk shipments moved by land, air, or sea. The process can involve one or multiple shipments using cranes, rail, trucks, ships, or planes, and it’s one of the most complex projects in the logistics industry.
5. Supply Chain Logistics
Freight forwarders often provide more than simple freight services. They can organise and manage a business’s supply chain logistics to make sure it keeps up with all the technological innovations. This production and distribution system between the business and its suppliers helps manage important networks for streamlining supply and maximising the production value.
Revealing the Typical Freight Forwarder UK Services
Freight forwarder UK companies are crucial for ensuring, that the shipments get from the seller to the customer on time. Depending on the size, type, and destination of the goods, various freight services can be used. This article explained what they are to help you better understand how these companies operate and potentially choose the best option for your business.