When It's Better to Ship with Freight Forwarders and How to Find the Best Ones

Nov 18, 2023 Bohdan Borsh Bohdan Borsh

The global marketplace offers exciting opportunities, but it also presents logistical challenges that can confuse even the most experienced shippers. This article discusses when to apply for a freight forwarder, a logistics partner who can help you navigate the complexities of international shipping.

Understanding the Basics: What is a Freight Forwarder?

Before considering when to use the services of a freight forwarder, it's important to understand the fundamental role of these international logistics agents.

A freight forwarder, often called a freight agent, is a company that arranges the shipping of goods. These companies have a large network of logistics providers worldwide, and they negotiate deals with operators. However, they do not own trucks, vessels, or air transport but ensure the safety of transportation.

Freight forwarders serve as intermediaries between importers and the most suitable transportation options. They guarantee the smooth and safe transfer of goods with a pre-agreed freight rate while also ensuring commercial viability. These experts are skilled at handling the complexities of transportation, making sure that goods reach their destination on time and at a reasonable cost.

When to Consider Freight Forwarding Services

The decision to work with a freight forwarder is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a strategic choice that depends on various factors. Below are key indicators that businesses should consider when contemplating the enlistment of a freight forwarding company:

  • Global Expansion: If your business is expanding its reach across borders, an international freight forwarder can streamline the logistics process by managing the intricacies of international shipping regulations and customs procedures.
  • Complex Documentation: International shipping requires a lot of paperwork, such as customs declarations and shipping manifests. The skillful handling and preparation of these documents by a freight forwarder can save businesses valuable time and prevent expensive mistakes.
  • Customs Compliance: Navigating customs regulations can be overwhelming. A qualified freight forwarder knows these rules inside out, guaranteeing that shipments follow all necessary guidelines.
  • Transportation Modes: If your business utilizes multiple transportation modes, such as air, sea, and land, coordinating these logistics can be challenging. A freight forwarder can optimize the supply chain by selecting the most efficient and cost-effective modes of transportation.
  • Risk Mitigation: Global logistics comes with inherent risks, including delays, damages, or unforeseen obstacles. Freight forwarders are equipped to proactively manage and mitigate these risks, providing businesses with peace of mind.
  • Cost Efficiency: While some businesses may initially view freight forwarding services as an additional cost, in reality, the expertise of a freight forwarder often leads to cost savings through optimized routing, carrier selection, and negotiation of favorable terms.

Finding Trusted Freight Forwarders

Selecting the perfect freight forwarder for your business shouldn't be a daunting task. Although there are hundreds of offers on the logistics market, we recommend entrusting your cargo only to reliable partners. This process will be as seamless as possible when using the Logistics Explorer tool from SeaRates. Providing a range of competitive rates from verified freight forwarders, this platform ensures you're getting the best offer possible. With the ability to compare quotes from multiple carriers, you can make an easy and cost-effective choice for your global shipping needs.

If you don't find any suitable options for your route, be sure that the Request a Quote form will be helpful. Your request will be processed by the SeaRates team, after which we will select and offer you the best option. 


In the dynamic landscape of global trade, businesses must strategically assess when to enlist the services of a freight forwarder. Whether it's navigating customs complexities, optimizing transportation routes, or ensuring compliance with international regulations, the expertise of a freight forwarding company can be the key to unlocking seamless and efficient global logistics.

To sum up, you should only use freight forwarding services if they meet the specific requirements of your business in the global market. This will help your company confidently and efficiently navigate the complexities of international shipping.

Reach out to us at logistics@searates.com for assistance in achieving flexibility and sustainability in your business processes.

Bohdan Borsh is a Content Manager with an IT background, currently living in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. Likes to explain complex things with simple words and examples. Getting inspired by mountain hiking and his two cats.