There is a lot that goes into arranging your international shipping. While the freight forwarder handles the details of your international shipping, it is important to know what a freight forwarder does not do in order to understand you will provide what service by freight forwarder.
A freight forwarder does not actually transport your freight itself. The freight forwarder acts as an intermediary between a shipper and various transportation services such as sea shipping on cargo ships, trucking, expedited shipping by air freight, and moving goods by rail.
A freight forwarding service utilizes established relationships with carriers, from air freighters and trucking companies, to rail freighters and ocean liners, in order to negotiate the best possible price to move shippers’ goods along the most economical route by working out various bids and choosing the one that best balances speed, cost, and reliability.
Freight forwarder handle the considerable logistics of shipping goods from one international destination to another, a task that would otherwise be a formidable burden for their client.
Export.gov puts it this way:
To comply with export documentation and shipping requirements, many exporters utilize a freight forwarder to act as their shipping agent. The forwarder advises and assists clients on how to move goods most efficiently from one destination to another. A forwarder’s extensive knowledge of documentation requirements, regulations, transportation costs and banking practices can ease the exporting process for many companies.