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Differences Between Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents

Category: Freight Brokers
Differences between freight forwarders and shipping agents

Getting to know the differences between freight forwarders and shipping agents will help you make an informed decision about which shipping provider will work best for your particular business requirements. At C&D Logistics, we understand how important it is to choose the right shipping provider to work with. That is why we provide a wide range of freight shipping services that are perfect for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

 

What is a Freight Forwarder?

A freight forwarder is an organization that helps businesses and individuals arrange for the shipment of their goods. In some cases, a freight forwarder may act as the freight carrier or they might choose to enlist a third-party carrier. Since freight forwarders are the link between the people shipping the goods and the carriers, they are able to provide customers with unique insights and help throughout the entire process, preventing any logistical issues from arising.

Freight forwarders may also offer additional services to customers such as packing advice, paperwork assistance, insurance coverage options, and custom clearing services for cross-border shipping.

What is a Shipping Agent?

A shipping agent is an individual or an organization that is responsible for handling and transporting goods, while also protecting the customers’ best interests. While handling a customer’s shipment, a shipping agent will oversee a variety of different tasks such as clearing customs, crew transfers, waste declarations, and dispatching cargo transportation.

Freight Forwarders vs Shipping Agents

While all freight forwarders are essentially shipping agents because they provide services that aid in the transportation of cargo, not all shipping agents are freight forwarders because they do not always oversee the entire transportation process. Freight forwarders are also, more often than not, larger organizations that have access to a greater number of resources than most shipping agents will have.

The main differences between freight forwarders and shipping agents are:

  • Services offered—freight forwarders can provide services that are outside of the scope of a shipping agent, such as overseeing the entire shipping process from door to door.
  • Types of transportation—shipping agents will often specialize in one specific mode of transportation, while a freight forwarder can provide multimodal transportation options.
  • Ownership of vehicles and facilities—freight forwarders tend to own warehousing facilities and freight shipping vehicles, which often leads to better pricing for customers.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between freight forwarders and shipping agents, or if you are interested in one of our shipping services, please contact C&D Logistics at 604-881-4440 or by filling out a contact form on our website. You can also stay up to date with the latest news by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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