The definition of international freight forwarding industry is clearly defined in the regulations of the People's Republic of China on the management of international freight forwarding industry, namely, the industry that accepts the entrustment of import and export cargo consignors and consignors and conducts international freight forwarding and related business and receives service remuneration for them in the name of the principal or in its own name.
From the basic nature of the international freight forwarder, the freight forwarder mainly accepts the entrustment of the principal on matters relating to the transport, transshipment, warehousing, loading and unloading of goods. On the one hand, it concludes a contract of carriage with the shipper of goods, and on the other hand, it concludes a contract with the transport department. To the shipper of goods, he is also the carrier of goods. A considerable number of cargo agents control various means of transport and warehouses where cargo is stored, and handle cargo transportation, including sea, land and air, while operating their business. The main business of international freight forwarding is to serve the shipper.
The freight forwarder undertakes any formalities in the transportation of different goods instead of the consignor:
1. Arrange the appropriate packaging of goods and choose the transportation route of goods by the fastest and most economical mode of transportation.
2. Recommend warehousing and distribution to customers.
3. Select reliable and efficient carriers and be responsible for concluding the contract of carriage.
4. Arrange the weighing and measurement of the goods.
5. Cargo insurance.
6. Assembly of goods.
Railway transportation mode
7. Store the goods in warehouse before shipment or before distribution at destination.
8. Arrange the transportation of goods to the port, go through the formalities of customs and related documents, and deliver the goods to the carrier.
9. Obligate freight and tariff on behalf of shipper/importer.
10. Handle any foreign exchange transactions related to the transportation of goods.
11. Obtain all kinds of signed bills of lading from the carrier and deliver them to the shipper.
12. Supervise the process of cargo transportation and let shipper know where the cargo is going by contacting the carrier's agent abroad.
When a freight forwarder acts as a customs agent to handle customs formalities concerning import and export commodities, he represents not only his customers, but also the customs authorities. In fact, in many countries, he has obtained permission from these authorities to go through customs formalities and is responsible to the customs. He is responsible for declaring the exact amount, quantity and name of the goods in the early-issued documents so that the government will not suffer losses in these areas.
Serving the carrier
The freight forwarder makes timely booking with the carrier, agrees on fair and reasonable charges for both the shipper and the carrier, arranges appropriate time for delivery, and resolves in the name of the shipper and the freight account of the shipper.
Freight Forwarders act as agents of airlines in the air transport industry. It is designated as the IATA agent in the rules formulated for the purpose of air cargo transport at the IATA Conference. In this relationship, it uses the airline's freight means to serve the cargo owner, and the airline pays the commission. At the same time, as a freight forwarder, it continues to serve shippers or consignees by providing services suitable for air transport.
Serve liner companies
The relationship between freight forwarders and liner companies varies with their business. The container consolidation service provided by freight forwarders, i.e. the container consolidation service, has established a close relationship between them and liner companies and other carriers, such as railways. However, some countries refuse to pay commissions to freight forwarders, so they strive for Commission requirements worldwide.
Providing LCL Service
Air transport mode
With the growth of intermediate loading and transportation in international trade, the freight forwarder plays the role of principal in the service of collecting and consolidating boxes. The basic meaning of collecting and consolidating boxes is to gather small pieces of goods sent by several consignors from one place of shipment to several consignees from another place of destination, as a freight forwarder for the whole shipment to the destination, and to deliver the single goods to the consignees through it. A forwarder issues a bill of lading, i.e. a sub-bill of lading or other similar receipt to the consignor of each invoice; an agent at the port of destination of the forwarder delivers the original bill of lading to the consignee. For the carrier, the forwarder is the consignor, while the forwarder's agent at the port of destination is the consignee. Therefore, the carrier issues the whole bill of lading or freight bill to the forwarder. If the consignor or consignee has special requirements, the forwarder can also provide door-to-door services for picking up and delivering goods at the place of shipment and destination.
Multimodal transport services
In the role of freight forwarder, a more far-reaching impact of containerization is his involvement in multimodal transport, which is that he acted as the main carrier and undertook to organize door-to-door cargo transport through a variety of modes of transport under a single contract. It can negotiate and sign contracts with other carriers or other service providers as parties. However, these distribution contracts will not affect the execution of multimodal transport contracts, that is, the obligations of the shipper and his liability for damage and loss in multimodal transport.