Freight Forwarding Companies: What They Do in a Nutshell

Freight Forwarding Companies and Freights

Freight forwarding companies are intermediaries. This means they arrange for freight to get transported.

They’re not the person who:

  • Ships the freight
  • Owns the freight
  • Receives the freight

Instead, freight forwarding companies are helping the freight move from one place to another. Sometimes they’re not even touching the freight at all.

For example, they can arrange for a truck or another independent contractor to pick up and deliver the freight.

Sometimes they have warehouses. In those cases, intermediaries who transport freight do what’s called cross-docking. This is when a shipment that comes in is unloaded into a warehouse. Then it’s redistributed so that it gets delivered to another warehouse or consumer.

What DO they do?

So, the way freight forwarding companies work is there’s an intermediary. They don’t own the freight, they aren’t the shipper, and they aren’t the consumer on the other end. They’re arranging for freight to move from one place to the other.

They also don’t own trucks or assets to move the freight. They work with independent trucking companies and contractors. This allows freight forwarding companies to arrange the freight to get moved.

Sometimes they’ll have a warehouse of their own where they’ll cross-dock. Here, they will:

  • Have a truck full of freight come into their warehouse
  • Remove the freight from the truck
  • Rearrange the freight in their warehouse and send it on different trucks to the final destination

freight forwarding companies

A freight forwarding company’s agent is a representative that:

  • Works for a freight forwarder or an independent contractor of one
  • Arranges for freight to move from point A to point B
  • Doesn’t own trucks or any of the assets used to move freight

Then they arrange for it to move. And they do so by utilizing their relationships with trucking companies. This gets your freight from point A to point B.


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