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The terms freight forwarder and freight broker are often used interchangeably whenever anyone is transporting goods. There are crucial differences between the two services and here we’ll explore what they are and how they differ.

What is a freight broker?

Freight brokers provide a valuable service to transport service providers, shipping companies and customers. They act as an intermediary between the transportation companies and the customer although they don’t provide any carriage or shipping services themselves. Instead, they help the shipping company identify the best freighting company for their needs.

They help the customer identify the best freighting company for their particular commercial needs. Over time, the freight broker will have built up an in-depth understanding of the freight market and will make that knowledge available to the customer. They can advise customers through the process and guide them as to the most efficient or cheapest route for their goods to take.

When you’re exporting goods there are a range of documents and forms to be filled in and submitted before a consignment can be shipped. When you are shipping overseas this is particularly important, especially where errors and omissions can result in goods being held up at customs.

A freight broker will have experience in this field and will keep abreast of any legislative and regulatory changes that can often catch exporters out. The freight broker will advise as to the most appropriate transport mode for a particular shipment. This will usually depend on the kind of consignment that’s being shipped. They will also advise on whether the journey should be undertaken by a single carrier or should be switched between carriers.

They will also advise on other logistical issues such as storage and should have the contacts necessary to arrange the most cost-effective solution. Ultimately, freight brokers should help in cutting overall costs.

So, how do they differ from a freight forwarder?

What is a freight forwarder?

Freight forwarders are often confused with freight brokers but provide a different set of advantages and there are key differences between the two. The most obvious difference is that unlike freight forwarders, brokers will at no point take possession of the goods. They act merely as fixers to help the goods get to their destination. Freight forwarding services, on the other hand, can also take care of some of the documentation, administrative and negotiating tasks involved in shipping goods to their final destination.

Freight forwarders will typically take possession of the goods, consolidate smaller shipments into a single large shipment, then arrange for that shipment to be transported via the most cost-effective means.

A complete freight-forwarding service

SSO Logistics takes the confusion out of exporting goods. Our complete freight-forwarding service can provide you with all the administrative and logistical support you need to get your goods to the end destination as cost-effectively as possible. We will save you time and resources while providing reliable transportation of your goods at a practical price.

Call 01744 416 999 to find out more.

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