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There are a number of different ways that goods can be transported from one place to another. The complexities of the process grow if you’re shipping goods overseas. While both couriers and freight forwarding companies can provide delivery services, the latter can deliver a range of benefits when compared to the former.

While much will depend on the quantity of goods you’re sending and where they are going, how do freight forwarding services and couriers differ from each other?

Why choose a courier service?

Courier services have proliferated over the years, and now provide a door-to-door service, usually within their country of origin. Although some will take parcels overseas, the longer the distance the courier service has to travel, the less cost-effective it will be.

Couriers will tend to focus on speeds, providing door-to-door service, with your item remaining with the courier for the entire length of its transport. They will have their own transportation network with which they’ll deliver packages. They’ll usually offer same-day local delivery and may be able to provide shorter international shipping time of packages that aren’t travelling too far. The further afield a package is going, the less likely couriers are to be able to offer a faster service. Compared to freight services, a dedicated courier service can cost more.

Courier companies may be the most appropriate if, for instance, you’re wishing to ship something with special shipping needs fairly locally, such as medical or health-related products.

Why choose a freight forwarding service?

Freight forwarding companies provide a much more extensive range of services than courier services. They are an important part of the entire global shipping and transportation infrastructure, helping to make international trade possible. They move goods around the world on the behalf of exporters. A freight forwarding company will act as an intermediary or broker between the exporter/importer and the shipping company, rail or road haulage company, and airline.

A freight forwarding company will offer a broader set of services to their clients. This can include the preparation of customs and shipping documents, advice on country’s rules and regulations, negotiating freight charges, packing goods for exports, arranging insurance, and moving dangerous goods.

Freight forwarding companies can handle deliveries of a much greater range of sizes. Their services are more focused on both domestic and international transportation of domestic and commercial goods. If you’re a company that’s engaged in transporting a wide range of products to overseas markets, then a freight forwarding company will be essential.

How do freight forwarding and courier services differ?

The single biggest factor that differentiates a courier service from a freight forwarder is the process through which deliveries are made. While courier services will usually have their own staff, fleet, and equipment to make deliveries in their totality, freight forwarding companies will use an extensive network of transportation and logistics companies.

What this means is that freight forwarding companies may be able to offer a more flexible service, accessing a range of different providers in order to find the best one for transporting your goods from your location to its final destination.

It’s essential for freight forwarding companies to have strong alliances with other transportation companies. For this reason, you can compare freight forwarders by the strength and extent of their network. They form strong partnerships with international companies to help make it easier for their clients to move their goods in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Typically, large companies such as ocean freight lines and airlines rarely deal directly with customers. It wouldn’t be cost-effective or realistic for them to deal with thousands of individual customers instead of a small number of freight forwarding companies.

Freight forwarding companies are the intermediaries that ensure that the entire system operates smoothly and is transparent. It gives both the company/individual shipping goods and the transportation company, a single point of contact if there are any problems or hold-ups. It’s the job of the freight forwarding company to iron out these problems and find the optimal solution as quickly as possible.

The advantages of using a freight forwarding company

Freight forwarding companies can provide you with a more extensive range of services, helping to reduce costs and making your shipments more efficient. They can collect goods, ensure they’re ready to be shipped and then find an effective way to move them to the end destination. Crucially, they take care of important administrative tasks such as billing, customs clearance, documentation, and international import-export legal issues.

They are experts with a unique understanding of logistics and can take care of all of the requirements to ensure hassle-free transportation of your goods across borders no matter how far they’re going. Freight forwarding companies help their clients overcome logistical problems, working in partnership with their clients to enable them to achieve their goals.

A responsive freight forwarding service from SSO Logistics

SSO Logistics has developed a truly responsive service for our clients. We work quickly to get your goods to where they need to be. Whether you’re looking for us to collect and deliver a single pallet, or a truck load, we give everything our complete attention. Our team ensures that your goods are collected, handled, and then delivered with care and attention.

With the depth of our experience, we’ve encountered a huge range of different issues and challenges and know how to overcome them. We understand just how important it is to be adaptable.

If you’re looking for a reliable, cost-effective, and efficient way to ship goods both domestically and internationally, then SSO logistics can help.

Contact us today to find out more.

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