What does it take to be a Freight Forwarder : A Step-by-Step Guide

What does it take to be a Freight Forwarder : A Step-by-Step Guide

A shipper is someone who has been entrusted with the task of transporting goods and other commodities. In the world of shipping, the role of a shipper is vital and should never be neglected.
The presence of an agent for shipping makes the work of a ship's owner easy because the shipper has the responsibility of ensuring that the cargo arrives at its destination without accidents or mishaps. The shipper is also responsible for all documentation required to finish the transportation process to ensure that there are no issues in the process of delivering cargo. One of these documents is the bill of lading.

The shippers in the shipping industry

blue container

Shippers as well as the transport of cargo, also have responsibility for packaging and marking cargo and goods in a timely manner. Like one shipper involved in the packaging and transportation of the goods from one location and another, there is a third shipper who is responsible for the delivery of the cargo when it arrives at its destination.
If the cargo isn't properly labeled or packaged the other shipper is the one to have difficulties understanding what the cargo contains. This could cause problems for a shipping company or even a ship's owner. So, packaging and labeling cargo in a proper manner is an issue that must be handled meticulously.
Shippers, as previously mentioned, are an integral component of the industry of shipping. However, it is important to be noted that they've been essential from the moment the shipping industry first came into existence. Over time as the industry has grown, and with the advancement occurring within the shipping industry their significance and importance have increased exponentially.
Nowadays, there are professional firms that offer the services of shippers to potential clients. The creation of professional shipper businesses is also important for knowing the value and importance of hiring shippers for the cargo transportation business. If a shipping business or ship owner employs experienced shipper help and all the relevant aspects related to the transportation of cargo will be simplified with skilled assistance from a professional.
If you're interested in becoming a freight broker, you should master a few important skills, establish your goals for the future and understand how to handle international and freight contracts.


Essential Skills to Master

To be a shipper you should have record-keeping skills, problem-solving abilities and attention to detail, and interpersonal and communication abilities. Additionally, you must possess a good understanding of geography as well as sensitivity to cultures as well as organizational and planning skills integrity, as well as a willingness to pressure.
Last but not least, freight forwarders must have a deep background in political developments and movements in currencies, banking instruments, export and import regulations, weather conditions, and the global market.

Determine Your Career Path

It is the next thing to think about your future career plans. For instance, you could begin your career as a driver and advance to a position like a foreman, project manager, or purchasing manager. Or, you could start as a material handler, and then progress to becoming an engineer or production supervisor and finally, warehouse manager.

Other jobs in international forwarding jobs include:

  • Manager of Operations
  • Air/sea freight operator
  • Freight forwarding pricing coordinator
  • Cartage/export/import operations coordinator
  • Export/import Officer

If you are considering an employee working in the field of freight forwarding you could apply for a position with manufacturing companies or retail or wholesale establishments, and various other commercial and industrial companies

Core Responsibilities as a Freight Forwarder

As an individual shipper, you have to understand the fundamental obligations, including handling permits and documentation for freight forwarding in addition to planning and organizing shipping with different methods of transportation, and coordinating risks from insurance, liability, and contracts in both a global and domestic setting.

As an individual who ships, you have to know how to track the shipping, and acceptance, and monitor the movement of equipment, stock materials, supplies, and even parts. You'll be offering many different services that require good skills in, for example:

  • Compliance with Customs
  • Consolidation and deconsolidation
  • Storage and storage and
  • Air freight, Inland, along with ocean freight transport

DocShipper Advice :  If your goods contain a large enough volume, we advise you to take a sea freight because  it is ideal for your shippingDocshipper is a specialist in the freight forwarding , we provide air, sea , rail  and road freight plus  shipping services , and we can facilitate your decision making process while advising you to pick the best solutions depending on your needs. 
If you want more information  , contact our expert to get the  help you need .


You'll also be calculating costs, volumes, and weight of the products, arranging for insurance and negotiating rates, booking cargo space, and arranging the schedule and route. You'll be in contact with customers to provide invoices and quotations as well as make contracts, and offer guidance on the most effective way to deliver, the delivery method, and the arrangements you have to make.

Container loaded

As the shipper, you'll be examining the cargo against shipping documents and invoices, removing damaged goods, and recording any shortages. You must be able to operate equipment like hand trucks and forklifts to load and unload or ship cargo. It is also necessary to build containers and crates, wrap the items to be shipped and write shipping instructions and specific information.

There is also a certain set of skills required to advance a career in the shipping industry. Let's take a closer look at them.

DocShipper Alert :In order to properly predict handling needs, terms and conditions are very important and must be respected. Docshipper has its own terms and rules that will lead you to respect the counted dates and delivery deadlines depending on the products and the destination cities. Whether for sea, air, rail, road or express transport, a quote is mandatory for the rest of the process. For more information and explanations, contact us.


Tactical Reasoning

The ability to make tactical decisions plays a vital role in the maritime sector. It is the basis of a company's strategy which allows companies to stand out when providing services and commodities to the public.

To develop a strategy for your company you require tactical thinking for conducting studies, risk analysis, and comparison analysis. This is essential in order to allocate resources to the business. As a logistics professional If you are able to perform a thorough analysis it will be possible to decide which of the services of the company's logistics department could be outsourced. This is true for all employees of the business, regardless of whether they're dealing with international shipping or working at a UPS Post Office.

This is how tactical thinking increases the quality of your thinking, allowing you to generate the needed results for your business. Soft skills like these are necessary for any top level logistician.

Problem-Solving Skills

If you're an expert within the shipping industry, you'll find yourself called upon to address the issues that arise. There'll be plenty of issues, and a significant portion of them are beyond your control. Therefore, it is essential to be able to solve problems effectively and be able to make quick decisions.

Skills for problem-solving extend beyond the search for rapid solutions to emergency situations. It is essential to be able to see the whole industry to identify issues in the supply chain and stay ahead of the latest trends by categorizing trends in the industry and applying these trends, and using technology's power to overcome industry specific obstacles.

As an expert in logistics, you need to be able to store and analyze data in order to make intelligent business decisions and communicate with other logisticians to develop solutions. If you're trying to solve an issue with your supply chain you may need to modify your framework for logistics.

If you're considering making this change you'll require confidence and courage that you're making the right decision. In this way, you'll be able to overcome stress and keep calm in difficult circumstances.

Understanding and Conversing in Foreign Languages

One of the most important abilities that logisticians from the industry have in their arsenal is the ability to hold conversations. The best method to talk with a variety of people during work is to be able to speak various languages.

You'll frequently have to interact with suppliers from no english speaking countries. There's also the possibility of having to deal with documents written in a different language.

This is the reason why the ability to learn a new language is highly beneficial when you are trying to advance as a logistician. It is possible to begin by learning to communicate in spanish because the language is extensively used within the industry of shipping in addition to English. You don't have to study the language thoroughly, just knowing the most popular Spanish phrases will help you engage with vendors from spanish-speaking countries.

If you look at foreign language abilities as a whole they offer a lot more benefits than just beginning conversations. As you learn about the language, you'll be less susceptible to cultural shocks. In this way, you will be able to know where the people from the local area are and develop open-midness .

DocShipper info:Docshipper is a freight forwarder based in Bangkok, Thailand and several countries in the world. Our professional and multilingual team (Thai, French, English and German) is ready to welcome you and advise you in all your needs. We will find an optimal logistics solution and offer a tailored and competitive solution to all your needs. Don't hesitate to contact us and to talk about your needs and hopefully initiate a future collaboration.


Organizational Skills

It's hard to imagine someone who is a professional in the shipping field with a lack of organizational ability. The loss of evensingle document that is delivered to the wrong place or is lost in transit could be a disaster for a company. The business could suffer from a loss of image, and its business could shift to rivals.

Negociation process

You shouldn't be merely acquiring these abilities just to get work done. These skills must become part of your personality. The future success of the company you work for depends on how good your organizational abilities are.

Another soft skill professionals in the field of shipping need to master is the art of negotiation. As you work, you'll be required to get together with a variety of important officials from different companies and negotiate terms for various agreements.

Furthermore, the ability to bargain with different firms can be a useful source of information for your study. It helps you understand the challenges that face shipping. The information you learn can aid you in creating value as you interact with shipping firms. It's not everyone's ability to be patient, emotionally intelligent, and have soft skills, which is why they can be difficult to deal with. If this happens you'll require excellent negotiation skills to help them look at things from a different perspective.

As a logistician, it is essential to learn negotiation skills, such as listening to others, writing communications, managing conflicts, and establishing a clear, logical conversation. Like organizational skills, negotiation skills have to be integrated into your daily routine.

Final Thoughts

Even though newcomers to the shipping industry may find it amazing that they need soft skills to advance one's careers in the field and are extremely important. As logisticians, you have to be organized, have negotiation abilities, be a problem solver, and know the most commonly used languages that are used in the maritime sector.

Although these skills may seem overwhelming, professional logisticians were not born with these skills. Through training and experience, the skills were developed. But the sooner you are able to develop these abilities more effectively.



DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


SIAM Shipping | Procurement - Quality control - Logistics


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Author Bio

An ambitious researcher and talented writer, Rachel found an immense amount of joy in sharing her skills and knowledge with others. Her job as a departmental assistant allows her to stay in touch with students, always ready to lend a hand or give an ear. Now Rachel is one of the writers on Study Crumb, willing to branch out and give advice to a much bigger audience online.


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