Freight forwarders are responsible for the transport of goods from one point to another. They will determine the best method and mode of transport, whether by road, rail, air and sea. Freight forwarders also decide on the most appropriate route of transport, ensuring it safely reaches its destination in as little time as possible. These professionals determine the most affordable rates when moving volumes of freight.
Duties and responsibilities
- Determine weight and volume of goods to be transported
- Calculate costs and timeframes for goods to be moved
- Evaluate best mode and method of freight transportation
- Determine route of freight transportation
- Communicate shipping options, timelines, prices and regulations of freight movement
- Prepare shipping documentations and keep record of goods imported and exported
- Notify of shipping status to exporters, consignees or insurers
- Ensure the accurate packaging and labelling of shipped goods
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally
Freight forwarders generally work in offices of transport centres such as ports, airports and rail terminals. They spend a great deal of time communicating with shippers and transport companies through email and telephone.
The working environment of a freight forwarder can be stressful, especially when dealing with tight deadlines for cargo delivery.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed to land the role as freight forwarder. However, it will be deemed beneficial by hiring managers if you also have a degree in logistics, supply chain management, transport planning, business management, economics or another related topic.
Training is provided on the job, while some positions require licensing, such as those obtained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Freight forwarders have the prospect of advancing to higher positions such as senior freight forwarder, senior export administrator, export office manager or shipping manager. They might even be interested in pursuing a work as a freelance freight forwarder. Those working in large organisations have the opportunity to expand their career by working overseas.