Freight forwarding is utilized to transport cargo by land, sea, and air around the world. This infographic includes data that shows how transportation modes used in freight forwarding affect international shipping.  

Freight forwarding is the coordinated shipment of goods from one destination to another via air, land, or ocean by an intermediary. These intermediaries, known as freight forwarders, utilize carrier ships, trucks, railways, and airplanes to transport cargo all over the world. Although freight forwarding companies do not carry out the shipments, they do plan the logistics and execution of the entire shipping process. They manage cargo transportation, scheduling, and documentation. Acting as the go-between for shippers and transporters, freight forwarders are responsible for negotiating prices, securing the best transportation routes, and tracking container shipments.  

Freight forwarding companies are important to shippers because of the specialized services that they provide. More than 100,000 freight forwarding companies operate as shipping experts and utilize an extensive network of highways, railroads, waterways, pipelines, and airways to transport goods. Their collaborative relationships help to optimize cargo transportation for cost effective and speedy shipping.  

They also help to facilitate necessary shipping elements such as customs brokerage and freight warehousing. The partnerships that freight forwarders have with shipping carriers, air transport specialists, trucking companies, and transoceanic lines lower shipping costs. Because freight forwarders seek the best routes, they can use traditional commercial routes or can contract transportation service to optimize for cost effective and speedy shipping.  

Freight forwarders usually manage multiple modes of transport for shippers needs. They can facilitate the shipment of products via air or ocean to be transferred and delivered by truck or postal carrier to final destinations. Many freight forwarding companies also provide freight consolidation services to transport less than container loads. This service combines freight shipments from different companies onto the same container.  


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