Future Internet PPP Use Case Project

Future Internet PPP

FInest Domain Dictionary

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Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders are transport intermediaries that offer a wide range of services to shippers. Freight forwarders typically arrange cargo movement to an international destination. Also referred to as international freight forwarders, they have the expertise that allows them to prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to international shipments. Some of the typical information reviewed by a freight forwarder is the commercial invoice, shipper's export declaration, bill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import, or transshipment.

Freight forwarders can be generalists or specialize in a particular niche of transport or on particular types of products. Global forwarders have built up international networks of company owned branches while local players collaborate with partners who operate at the destination of the goods being shipped.

A special legal classification has been developed for certain types of freight forwards. This classification, NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier), allows a freight forwarder that does not own its own transport vehicles to act as if it did. The NVOCC forwarder can issue bills of lading in the name of its virtual shipping company, assign space on “virtual” transport vessels and perform other activities as if it truly owned transport vessels. This classification has allowed freight forwarders to compete more evenly with steam ship companies for customers while providing customers with a more complete end-to-end shipping service than a traditional steamship company can provide.

The liability of a freight forwarder for the goods they are responsible for shipping is very limited. Standard terms and conditions have been developed that cover most freight forwarding activities. These terms and conditions are assumed to apply to any contract the forwarder signs unless other contractual terms are mutually agreed upon. The terms and conditions of freight forwarders are usually embodied in national rules in regulations. In Germany, for instance, freight forwarding terms and conditions are regulated and established by the Allgemeine Deutsche Spediteurbedingungen (ADSp). Because of the limited liabilities embedded in national regulations such as the ADSp most freight forwarders offer insurance to cover the risks associated with the international shipment of goods. In some countries this additional insurance is mandatory and shippers must insure their shipments.

See Stakeholder

Last change: 2011-11-17

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