Freight forwarders, also known as export, import or shipping clerks, deal with arranging the movement of goods. It is their job to find the most appropriate and cost-effective way of moving goods between countries, and co-ordinate the arrangements.
Freight forwarders speak with carriers, such as road, rail, air and sea companies, and confirm transport arrangements. They also liaise with clients, advising them on the costs of transporting goods and the arrangements that have been made.
When working on behalf of an importer, it may be necessary to clear goods through customs, arrange the payment of duties and taxes, and organise the delivery of goods to the importer’s premises.
Other duties include:
Freight forwarders normally work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday, and may have to work Saturdays on a rota. Some companies operate shift patterns and out-of-hours work.
Freight forwarders usually work in offices but some travel may be necessary.
To be a freight forwarder, you should:
More than 2,000 companies operate as freight forwarders in the UK. These include local, national and international freight forwarding companies, as well as major retail companies, manufacturers, warehousing and distribution firms, and the armed forces.
There may be opportunities for experienced staff to work overseas on a temporary or permanent basis.
It is possible, with training and experience, to advance to a supervisory or management job.
If you would like to know anything about Freight Forwarder that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Careers in Logistics
British International Freight Association (BIFA)
Education and Training Services
Tel: 020 8844 2266
Institute of Export
Minerva Business Park
Tel: 01733 404400
Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK)
Logistics and Transport Centre
Tel: 01536 740100