Freight Forwarders vs. Couriers - What's the Difference?

The most single biggest factor that differentiates a Freight Forwarder from a Courier Service Provider is the process of executing the delivery of shipments. Freight Forwarders generally work with many other transportation companies to actually move items, while courier services generally use their own staff and equipment to make deliveries. Freight Forwarder's services are more focused on domestic and international transportation of both domestic and commercial goods. The service is mandatory for the companies, which are engaged in transporting a wide range of products to overseas market.

Since Freight Forwarders don't transport goods using their own trucks and drvivers, it is essential for them to have strong alliances with other transportation companies, who specialize in transportation of goods by truck, air and ocean. It's for this reason that the quality of a Freight Forwarder can't only be judged on its infrastructure, but also depends on the companies it has partnerships with. Freight Forwarders bridge the gap between their clients and multi-national companies. Apart from Air and Sea, they also use LTL, FTL and Intermodal (rail) to move freight.

Why can't you contact a large cargo company directly rather than asking a Freight Forwarder to ship your freight?

Typically, these large companies like airlines and ocean freight lines don't deal with customers directly. Interacting with thousands of individual customers instead of a small number of freight forwarders or brokers would quickly drain resources and create complications for the carriers. Freight Forwarders function as the intermediary and make the entire system smooth and transparent.

In addition, there are various other tasks such billing, customs clearance, documentation, and international import-export legal issues, which are handled by companies like Global Forwarding. They have experts on staff who take care of all the requirements and logistics of ensuring hassle free transportation of your goods across borders.