Difference between shipping agency and freight forwarding company

Difference between shipping agency and freight forwarding company?

 July 12, 2022, 12:08 p.m.

The shipping agent and the freight forwarder are two important logistics experts, although while having similar titles, they work in different scenarios. Understanding the distinctions between freight forwarders and shipping agents will allow you to make an informed decision about which shipping service would work best for your specific company needs.

What is a shipping agent?

A shipping agent is a person who acts on behalf of a corporation. And, because each ship is a corporation when it docks in a country, you'll need someone who is familiar with local regulations, has a working connection with the authorities, and is familiar with the processes of each port and terminal. This is where the shipping agent's job comes in.

A shipping agent is someone or anything that is in charge of managing and delivering commodities while also looking out for the best interests of the consumers. A shipping agent will be in charge of a number of activities while managing a customer's shipment, including customs clearance, crew transfers, trash declarations, and cargo transportation dispatch.

Read more: List of Shipping Agency in Bangladesh

What is a freight forwarder?

A freight forwarder is a company that assists companies and individuals with the shipping of their goods. A freight forwarder may operate as the freight carrier in some situations, or they may choose to use a third-party carrier. Freight forwarders are the link between the individuals transporting the products and the carriers, thus they can provide consumers unique insights and assistance throughout the process, preventing any logistical complications.

Customers may also be offered extra services such as packing aid, documentation support, insurance coverage choices, and custom clearance services for cross-border shipment by freight forwarders.

Similarities between freight forwarder and shipping agent

The vessel may or may not be owned by both organizations. If it doesn't, they'll rent space from the shipping line, divide it up, and make it available to consumers who need it. Aside from that, they can negotiate with shipping companies on behalf of consumers to secure the most competitive prices and choose the most cost-effective route.

Both companies are frequently prepared to provide both Full Container Putting and Less Container Loading services by assisting in the consolidation of items at a warehouse prior to loading them into a container.

Both organizations are well-versed in international shipping rules and can frequently advise on customs clearance processes, either by establishing an office in the country you want to export to or by communicating with a customs clearance service provider in that country. As a result, your shipment will be delivered without incident.

Differences between freight forwarders and shipping agents

If you're a forwarding expert, you'll be managing some of the responsibilities of a shipping expert, such as assisting with cargo transit. The fundamental distinction between a shipping services provider and a forwarding agency, on the other hand, is:

  • Types of services offered

A freight forwarder, for example, will frequently observe the shipment through the full process, from door to door marine freight services. While a shipping agency may be involved simply from the moment the cargo is consolidated until the time it is deconsolidated.

Freight forwarders utilize their network to provide all of the services required to move products from one location to another within the jurisdiction of their service providers. They are recognized for subcontracting export and import services to other associated firms. As a result, they establish strong business relationships with firms that operate vehicles, custom brokers, warehouses, and other services that shippers may need.

This manner streamlines procedures, particularly when working with freight forwarders because much of the time is spent securing important primary services from several clients. Shipping agents, on the other hand, are unable to provide the aforementioned value-added services. Their vital significance is mostly focused on the movement of containers within a ship. They may occasionally follow goods from one location to another, transporting them from a port to their final destination. They do not provide documents or customs clearance services.

  • Responsibilities 

The main function of a shipping agent is to provide a variety of specialized services to ships and shipping businesses. Freight forwarding, on the other hand, is practically the same as third-party logistics. It is the cargo owner's consignor, not the shipping company's actual carrier, who assists the cargo owner with the interaction and communication of commodities in import and export logistics.

  • Contacts

In general, the shipping agency has fewer contacts. After all, the shipping agency primarily interacts with shipping firms and ports; the freight forwarder, on the other hand, deals with the owner and the carrier, and so has a greater touch with the general public. Compared to freight forwarding, the number of shipping agents is small; nevertheless, the number of freight forwarding is enormous.

  • Service objects

A shipping agent acts as a link between shipping firms or carriers and ports, providing services to them. Freight forwarders, on the other hand, are the link between the shipper and the carrier, serving a large number of overseas commerce, manufacturers, and shipper friends.

  • Mode of transport

Shipping agencies specialize in a single way of transportation, but a forwarding agency may handle a wide range of services. When compared to shipping professionals, you will find that dealing with a forwarding agency provides you with more benefits because they have access to a larger number of freight transport vehicles and storage facilities.

  • Warehouse space

Companies that specialize in freight forwarding are known to have a designated area for cargo and commodities consolidation. This area is frequently referred to as a Container Freight Station and is used to load and unload containers. It is sometimes used in the processing of imported things by ship to distribute and keep export goods from many firms in a single container. Because they do not follow the paradigm above, shipping brokers usually do not have a dedicated location for LCL and FCL shipping.

In a nutshell, the freight forwarder is in charge of assisting customers with space reservations, trucking, customs declarations, towing, and delivering the owner's products to the ship. The term "shipping agency" refers to the shipping company's agency, which is responsible for assisting the shipping firm in accepting and allocating space to each freight forwarder's booking entrustment.

Sea King Marine Services gives you a unique experience while satisfying your demands if you've been seeking for a firm that can supply you with superior freight forwarding and shipping services.

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