Regardless of an exporter’s size or experience, it's important to view the relationship with a freight forwarder as a partnership rather than a hired service provider. They play a critical role for U.S. exporters and are experts in navigating the many details necessary to get it right when exporting. U.S. companies can depend on freight forwarders for the following:
- Securing space with an air or ocean carrier at competitive pricing.
- Providing knowledge of regulatory requirements and preparing documentation to satisfy these requirements (e.g., Bill of Lading, AES, etc.).
- Transmitting shipment data provided by the exporter to the appropriate regulatory agencies.
- Facilitating an exporter's customer's import activities by providing needed documents and information in a timely manner.
While all forwarders can help exporters get their goods to foreign markets with fewer complications, not all are alike. Some forwarders concentrate on a particular global region and their in-country relationships and local market knowledge can be beneficial to an exporter, especially during peak shipping times or selling into a foreign market with a complex import process. Other freight forwarders are generalists and serve broader needs. The International Trade Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, includes links to several freight forwarder directories on its website.
Whether you are new to exporting or have established relationships with freight forwarders and other providers in place, an EXIM trade finance specialist can help you on your exporting journey. Please click here to schedule a free consultation.