With the advent of globalization and digital transformation, the import and export of goods and services have become a common practice around the globe and this has led to the foundation of an interdependent world. The international shipping industry has also evolved to a different level due to the popularity of e-commerce across the globe.

The international shipping container market was valued at USD 6.41 billion in 2020, and Statista estimates that it will grow at a CAGR of 12.0% from 2020 to 2028. The industry is quickly growing as a result of a rise in trade agreements between nations and increased maritime shipping, along with the presence of shipping aggregators who are gradually penetrating the global shipping market.

Freight forwarding is a highway-coordinated process, which acts as a backbone of foreign trade and facilitates the movement of goods easily across the globe. This blog will walk you through the various aspects of freight forwarding, and its significance in international trade.

What is Freight Forwarding?

The coordination and transportation of goods between two locations using one or more carriers through air, ship, rail, or land are referred to as Freight Forwarding.

With the founding of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association in 1948, Canada acknowledged the significance of freight forwarding for international trade (CIFFA). To ensure that commodities move across borders, over water, and around the world in a timely and effective manner, CIFFA recognised that freight forwarding, whether by land, marine, rail, or air, required coordination, regulation, and established best practices.

The Fundamentals of Freight Forwarding

The foundation of freight forwarding is the effective and economical movement of commodities that are kept in good condition during their journeys. Freight forwarders are trained professionals in handling the logistics required to guarantee that items arrive on schedule and in a good condition. Having the appropriate instruments at your fingertips is essential for successful trading and transportation in growing international markets.

Freight forwarders use the most recent developments in information technology to manage the risks and benefits of shipping both domestically and internationally by negotiating tariffs, and customs laws, and being competent in the requirements of shipping by land, sea, rail, and air.

7 Steps Involved in Freight Forwarding

Below are the points which explain the stepwise process of international shipping:

  • Export haulage

Export haulage generally refers to the transport of goods from one country to another. This can be done via various means of transportation, including air, land, and sea. Export haulage is a critical component of international trade, as it allows businesses to move their products to markets around the world.

  • Origin handling 

Origin handling includes the handling of cargo from the time it is received at the warehouse until it is loaded onto a ship or aircraft. There are numerous parties engaged in this process, but the freight forwarder must coordinate these actions to ensure a smooth transition until the ship is loaded.

  • Export custom clearance

The importance of export customs clearance cannot be overstated. To ensure the smooth and legal flow of goods across international borders, all shipments must be properly cleared by customs. This process can be complex and time-consuming, but it is essential to ensuring compliance with regulations and avoiding penalties.

  • Transportation 

Transportation plays a vital role in international shipping. It is responsible for moving goods from one country to another and for facilitating trade between nations. Without efficient transportation, international trade would be greatly hindered.

  • Import custom clearance

Import custom clearance is a crucial step in the shipping procedure since you need to make sure your cargo complies with the regulations of the nation you are entering customs.

  • Destination handling 

All cargo handling tasks carried out in the destination warehouse are referred to as destination handling. Additionally, it entails cargo unloading and preparation for consignee collection. The staff of the destination port will take the cargo during this operation.

  • Import Haulage

The final stage of international shipping is import haulage. The delivery agent will now deliver the cargo to the specified address. Usually, the shipper or the receiver will make arrangements with a nearby transportation business to finish this task.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders offer support at every stage of the shipping process, from packing and storing goods to dealing with the complex customs process. Despite not moving the items themselves, forwarders are experts in the logistics of transporting the products from point A to point B, recognising and avoiding any unwanted hazards along the road.

The following are some of the main advantages provided by a skilled freight forwarder:

  1. A strong network of business contacts will be provided by successful, experienced freight forwarding companies. This can help you get the cheapest prices for your specific shipping project and guarantee that your items arrive on schedule and in good condition.
  2. Freight forwarders uphold a professional standard of interpersonal communication and customer service; they not only desire your business to grow but also intend to keep the professional bond over the long run. Your forwarder is in charge of handling your priceless goods, so be careful to pick a business you can rely on, ideally one with excellent customer service and an established name in the business.
  3. Freight forwarders offer more than just shipping; they can also help with inventory management, import/export paperwork, packing, storage, insurance, and other aspects of the operation.


As international e-commerce embarks on the journey of further market expansion, the role of freight forwarding will continue to rise, with a high demand for highly skilled and experienced shipping professionals in the business.

Freight forwarding is a crucial business tool that encourages profitability and provides secured shipping procedures. The key to successful shipment is developing a connection with a freight forwarding company that not only meets turnaround requirements but also understands your organization’s specific demands and expectations.

Given the present trends, several numbers of e-commerce firms that are willing to outgrow their global reach would look for a reliable freight forwarding company or a shipping aggregator, such as NimbusPost. It is dedicated to serving AI-powered logistics solutions to SMEs, D2C sector, and large-scale online businesses across India and worldwide.

By addison