Lesson 15 Scope of Freight Forwarding Services
Originally，a freight forwarder was a commission agent performing on behalf of the exporter/importer routine tasks such as loading/unloading of goods，storage of goods，arranging local transport，obtaining payment for his customer，etc..
However，the expansion of international trade and the development of different modes of transport over the years that followed enlarged the scope of his services.Today a freight forwarder plays an important role in international trade and transport.The services that a freight forwarder renders may often range from routine and basic tasks such as the booking of space or customs clearance to a comprehensive package of services covering the total transportation and distribution process.
Unless the consignor，the person sending goods，or the consignee，the person receiving goods，wants to attend to any of the procedural and documentary formalities himself，it is usually the freight forwarder who undertakes on his behalf to process the movement of goods through the various stages involved.The freight forwarder may provide these services directly or through sub-contractors or other agencies employed by him.He is also expected to utilize，in this connection，the services of his overseas agents.Briefly，these services are:
I. On Behalf of the Consignor (Exporter)
The forwarders，on behalf of the consignor(exporter)，would:
●Choose the route，mode of transport and a suitable carrier
●Book space with the selected carrier
●Take delivery of the goods and issue relevant documents such as the Forwarders’ Certificate of Receipt，the Forwarders’ Certificate of Transport，etc.
●Study the provisions of the letter of credit and all Government regulations applicable to the shipment of goods in the country of export，the country of import，as well as any transit country;he would also prepare all the necessary documents.
●Pack the goods，taking into account the route，the mode of transport，the nature of the goods and applicable regulations，if any，in the country of export，transit countries and country of destination
●Arrange warehousing of the goods，if necessary.
●Weigh and measure the goods.
●Draw the consignor’s attention to the need for insurance and arrange for the insurance of goods，if required by the consignor
●Transport the goods to the port，arrange for customs clearance，related documentation formalities and deliver the goods to the carrier.
●Attend to foreign exchange transactions，if any.
●Pay fees and other charges including freight.
●Obtain the signed bills of lading from the carrier and arrange delivery to the consignor
●Arrange for transshipment en route if necessary.
●Monitor the movement of goods all the way to the consignee through contacts with the carrier and the forwarders’ agents abroad.
●Note damages or losses，if any，to the goods.
●Assist the consignor in pursuing claims，if any，against the carrier for loss of the goods or for damage to them.
II. On Behalf of the Consignee (Importer)
The forwarders, on behalf of the consignee (importer), would :
●Monitor the movement of good on behalf of the consignee when the consignee controls freight，that is，the cargo.
●Receive and check all relevant documents relating to the movement of the goods.
●Take delivery of the goods from the carrier and，if necessary，Pay the freight costs.
●Arrange customs clearance and pay duties，fees and other charges to the customs and other public authorities.
●Arrange transit warehousing，if necessary.
●Deliver the cleared goods to the consignee.
●Assist the consignee，if necessary，in pursuing claims，if any，against the carrier for the loss of the goods or any damage to them.
●Assist the consignee，if necessary，in warehousing and distribution.