International Freight Forwarding Vs. Shipping: What’s The Difference?

Jan 25 2016

International freight forwarding as well as shipping are frequently and often interchangeably used terms in the corporate setting. Though both of them share some basic commonalities, such as transportation of goods and collaboration with different carriers for dispatching goods, there are certain differences in the functioning of each.

What Is International Freight Forwarding?

International freight forwarding involves moving the goods from the manufacturer to the consumers, retailers or another destination from where it can be further distributed. A freight forwarder bears the responsibility of collaborating with different carriers to transport the goods in the safest, shortest and the most economical possible way. He constantly tracks the movement of the goods and make sure they the reach the destination within the stipulated time.

International freight may be dispatched either through ocean or air routes. At times, the freight forwarders may consolidate multiple small shipments to reduce costs and transit times. They also have expertise in handling the documentation required for the clearance of the consignment from the destination port.

What Is Shipping?

Shipping is generally referred to moving goods through sea, however, it may also involve transportation through rail, road or airways. It usually involves transporting small amounts of goods. Therefore, shipping is a preferred mode of transportation by small to medium business owners.   

Difference Between The Two

  • Freight forwarding companies do not transport the goods on the own. Instead, they contact different carriers to find the most suitable shipper for your consignment.
  • Freight forwarding is usually done for commercial purposes. On the other hand, shipping can be chosen for either commercial or personal goods.
  • Shipping is more expensive as it allows smaller quantities of goods. Freight forwarding allows transporting bulk amounts or consolidating smaller goods to save costs.   
We, at Santos International, offer complete freight forwarding services to the businesses in Laredo, TX. We will ensure safe transportation of your goods, right from initial loading till they reach the final destination. Our real time tracking of goods, competitive pricing and personalized services allow you to conveniently transport goods across the globe. For more information about our freight forwarding services, feel free to call at (956) 717 – 9707 or visit our office at 419 Grand Central Boulevard, Laredo, Texas 78041.