Difference between Shipping Agent vs. Freight Forwarder


For shipping domestic or commercial goods, you may either use a shipping line or a freight forwarder. Both shipping lines and freight forwarders have unique responsibilities that can be confusing should there be issues at the time of transit. For your better understanding, below is a detailed explanation of each along with their key differences.

Basics of Shipping Line and Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder provides services essential to export and import goods via co-operation with truck companies, shipping lines, etc. On the other hand, a shipping line is a company that operates a cargo vessel which delivers from load ports to destination ports. A freight forwarder does not own such cargo ships, instead works with a shipping line for transporting the items of their clients. For the best freight forwarder and shipping, lines contact Starconcord – Shipping Agent.

Shipping Agent Vs. Freight Forwarder

Take a look at the different roles and responsibilities of a shipping agent and freight forwarder,

On the one hand, a freight forwarder helps arrange the services you require to ship goods overseas. It means that the other service providers, including shipping lines, help finish the movement of goods to the destination. Take into consideration the overseas shipping method right from the commencement until the end, comprising the packaging of goods until delivery to the destination country. The freight forwarder remains all through the entire process, arranges every service which ties together seamlessly.

Besides, they also arrange the transportation of products to the port, packaging items carefully, and delivery & shipment overseas. It comprises smooth customs clearance and much-complicated paperwork. A shipping line is accountable once the products are delivered at the dock till it arrives at the port.

Marine insurance will cover your items if they are lost or damaged in transit. Thus it is a great idea to have adequate insurance cover. A freight forwarder provides various forms of transport through land, air, or sea. A shipping line, on the other hand, specializes in one of the areas. The freight forwarder can choose the best route to make sure that your goods arrive quickly.

Reasons to Choose a Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder helps to make shipping easy and also takes complete control of the method. They plan everything carefully to find the best means to drop the cargo at the destination. These forwarders have special agreements, especially with the shipping line, for negotiating competitive prices. They combine cargo from different customers to lower costs, appropriate for those shipped in a small quantity.

With their careful planning and expertise, these forwarders aim to get products cheaply and quickly to their destination. They offer a single point of contact. Shipping lines may fail to provide transport services both to & from the port. Thus it is essential to arrange them separately.

The bottom line is both shipping lines and freight forwarders have their respective roles. Each plays a vital role, so choose one as per your needs.