Many confuse freight brokers and international freight forwarders. Texas International Freight is an international freight forwarding Texas-based company. We are licensed in international freight forwarding by the Federal Maritime Commission. We are not freight brokers. There is a difference between the two.
What is a Freight Broker?
A freight broker is an intermediary that matches a customer’s freight needs with freight services. Mostly, freight brokers work within the U.S. and only with truck freight.
Do Freight Brokers add any costs as intermediaries?
Freight brokers make money as intermediaries, but the buyer should not see any added cost. Ideally, freight brokers leverage their expertise and knowledge of the market to provide pricing and asset availability that the end consumer does not have access to.
What is an International Freight Forwarder?
An international freight forwarding company is an entity that organizes, coordinates, and manages the shipping process to get one company’s goods to market or to its buyers. Often, the shipping process involves two or more modes. Often, it involves crossing national borders. International freight forwarders act on behalf of their customers as asset or resource managers. And they act as shipping managers. A freight forwarder should ensure that the best carriers are contracted and that the shipping breakdowns are minimized.
What is a good International Freight Forwarder?
All engineers know that a machine with more moving parts is more likely to break down. Because freight involves so many moving parts, the process breaks down on occasion. This is the nature of the business. If any freight forwarder claims that they never suffer service interruption, run – don’t walk – away. A freight forwarder’s job is to keep the process moving as well as possible and to rectify service interruptions as quickly as possible.
On the other hand, some international freight forwarders have service interruptions, delays, and break downs in the freight process with shocking regularity. One subcontractor or another is to blame. Warehouses misplace cargo. Employees are poorly trained. Et cetera. Et cetera. But the fact remains that the freight forwarding company’s job is to move and to forward the freight. If your freight forwarder cannot manage the freight process, they are not adding any value and are merely dress up freight brokers.
How to find a good freight forwarder?
If a freight company is promising too much, keep looking. if they tell you they never have issues, keep looking.
If your current freight forwarder has more excuses about why your freight is not moving than your 10-year-old has about not doing his homework, you need another freight forwarder.