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What Is a Freight Forwarder? 

Importing and exporting are critical components for many lucrative businesses. International shipping offers numerous opportunities for different companies to expand. However, the complexities of international shipping might hold your company back from expanding globally. Working with a freight forwarder can make international shipping easier for you.

They will take on many of the burdens involved in shipping your goods worldwide, including tracking, sorting our documentation and more. Partnering with an international air freight forwarder will create new opportunities for your business without investing significant time and resources into understanding the global logistics industry.

This guide will take you through what a freight forwarder does and the benefits of working with one.

In a globalized market, freight forwarding entails the logistical arrangement, organization and monitoring of transported goods from a supplier and/or manufacturer to intended recipients, internationally. This includes:

  • Tracking Shipments

  • Filing Documents for Customs Clearance

  • Warehousing

  • Negotiating Freight Rates

  • Scheduling Cargo Space

  • Consolidating Freight

  • Supplying Cargo Insurance

What Do Freight Forwarders Do?

Forwarders perform all duties necessary for the intermodal transport of commodities across international borders, on behalf of shippers.

Shippers often outsource supply chain coordination to freight forwarders.

In short, freight forwarders arrange the importing and exporting of goods, but do not actually move the goods themselves

Movemex Freight Forwarding Processes

The Purchase


  • Find a suitable international supplier.

  • Negotiate transaction/payment terms (Letter of Credit or others).

  • Buyer and seller agree upon terms of sale.

  • Order Awarded & Initiated

    Buyer issues a purchase order to the supplier.

  • Determine & Agree Upon an Anticipated Date of Completion

  • Goods Are Manufactured

    Supplier drafts a packing list.

  • Shipment Is Prepared for Export

    Supplier creates commercial invoice and prepares export documents required by origin country, including:


    • Export Declaration

    • Commercial Invoice

    • Certificate of Insurance (COI)

    • Permit

  • Vendor Contacts the Buyer Or Freight Forwarder

  • Freight Forwarder Arranges Cargo Transportation with the Carrier(s)

  • Cargo Is Loaded Onto Vessel or Aircraft & Begins Its Journey to Importing Country

  • Customs Broker Submits All Necessary Customs Documents


    • Commercial Invoice

    • Customs Invoice

    • Copy of Carrier Waybill

    • Certificate of Origin

    • Permits

  • Customs Broker Is Notified When the Shipment Arrives at Its Destination Port

    • Receiving Report

    • Inventory Report

    • Payment Issued

    • Entered in the General Ledger

    • Customs Compliance Check Conducted

  • Shipment Is Tendered for Final Delivery

  • Shipment Is Cleared for Import Duties & Taxes Paid

Discover how MOVEMEX incorporates innovative processes and products, while exceeding your expectations. We don’t settle for the easiest answer — our goal is to find a superior solution for your business and give you peace of mind. We invite you to put us to the test.

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