If you have goods (also called cargo or freight) you want to transport from one location to another within and outside of Australia, then there are three ways you can do this. Firstly you could carry the goods yourself to your desired destination. Secondly you could employ some people or some companies to do this for you; such as freight companies. Australia is base to some of the biggest international forwarders. Or thirdly ask some people or some companies to arrange the transporting of these goods to your desired destination; these companies are called freight brokers.
It would be so simple if we were talking about one item or one package; no need to involve anybody else. But when extensive volumes of goods or cargoes are involved, there is a need to engage established groups or firms with experience and with facilities for handling transport as a service.
Freight companies are organised firms that do the specialised work of moving or forwarding freight or cargo as a business. Some are national or domestic; some are international.
The moving methods or modes are also varied as by road, air, sea or rail, with the decision as to which transport mode to use resting in the hands of the owner of the goods. Such a decision is usually guided by the factors of cost, time, and characteristics of the goods. Given the variety of considerations in choosing the right cargo handler, the decision is thus entrusted to a freight broker who has the expertise and the knowledge of the ins and outs of freight forwarding.
The Freight Broker
A freight broker is your shipment’s third party arranger whose job it is to see to it that your cargo is transported in the best way possible to where you want it delivered at the least cost to you. Hiring a freight broker saves you the trouble and time involved in determining the best transport mode and identifying the most qualified freight company, Australia or elsewhere, to handle the transport job according to your time and financial allocations.
A good freight broker knows the workings of the transport industry, employs the necessary technology to do what the owner wants, and knows by his experience which transport company can best perform the work you want done. Because the broker knows and you don’t, by engaging a broker, you save a lot of money scouting for the mover, and you are not even sure you would make the right choice.
If you are doing international forwarding, you may have to deal with a whole lot of interstate regulations which require personal attention and time. And certainly, even if you were the one directly handling your goods transport, you cannot be sure about unforeseen possibilities which may upset your intentions. Such risks are covered by your agreement with your broker. Your broker is experienced in these things and can easily deal with such eventualities irrespective of the kind and size of your shipment.
Choosing your Freight Broker
Thus, the burden of integrity is passed on to you in the selection of your broker. Not to worry, for you have some built in premises that can help you make the right choice.
- A good freight broker has a licence and is duly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). It must also abide by a mandatory federal requirement of registering with the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) programme.
- A good freight broker is properly and adequately insured. It must be able to show evidence of this insurance coverage. This will be your protection against the risks that may befall your goods.
- A good freight broker is bonded, a requirement for licensing by the FMSCA. The surety bond is a sort of guarantee that the broker will abide by the terms of its agreement with other parties.
There are other qualities that a broker must exhibit to indicate how he may behave in an agreement. His integrity and reputation, for example, must precede his name. It is important that you trust your broker because you will rely on his words that he will take care of your goods.
Get the Experts
Of course, you can be your own broker as you can be your own forwarder. But since you are in another business and not in forwarding, it is as much logical as it is practical to leave forwarding in the hands of the professionals. The price you pay for the services of these experts cannot equate to the peace of mind and convenience you derive from the engagement, knowing that some responsible people are keeping close tab on your merchandise.
National Freight Management (http://www.nationalfreightmanagement.com.au/)
National Freight Management is an international freight brokerage with more than 30 years of experience in freight forwarding.Through us, at no extra cost, you have access to every kind of freight forwarder, freight carrier and freight related service, plus expert advice and a complete freight shipping solution.
With more than 20 transport companies in our network, we help you get the best option for your requirements – to get your goods to where you want them to go, at the most cost-effective rate.
Call us for a free quote: (03) 9800-1444 or Toll Free 1300 21 12 12.