What are freight forwarders or forwarders and how do they help your company in Paraguay?
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Whether within Paraguay or anywhere in the world, the cargo agent facilitates each stage of logistics and solves the problems that arise.
One of its tasks is to assist the client in relation to the contracting of the transport of the merchandise, in whatever modality is required.
It also intervenes in the preparation of tax and customs formalities and insurance. As well as supporting the process of collecting and storing the merchandise, if necessary.
A feature of the freight forwarder is that it offers solutions to the customer regardless of what type of product will be transported. Where the cargo is geographically located and what its weight and size are.
What are your roles as freight forwarders regarding preparing a shipment?
Basically, cargo agents fulfill two functions directly related to the preparation of cargo before and after international transport:
- Cargo consolidation: The cargo agent is involved in the preparation of LCL or consolidated cargoes. Collect goods from different clients to transport them in the same container and reduce the cost of transport for each one.
The freight forwarder also performs this task with air cargo, the cost of which will be shared between the owners of the different consolidated goods.
- Deconsolidation of cargo: When the container or plane reaches its destination, the “forwarder” is in charge of deconsolidating or separating the merchandise from each of the clients.
Why use a freight forwarder when importing and exporting in Paraguay?
There are many advantages to working with a freight forwarder when you want to import or export from Paraguay.
We will detail the main ones:
- Cost reduction: The freight forwarder helps to achieve the best air, sea or land transport agreements for each type of merchandise, which helps to reduce mobilization costs of the same.
- Time savings: By delegating transport logistics to a freight forwarder, the customer saves a lot of time searching for carriers to move their goods.
This allows the client to focus on the operations of their business and on the improvement of their products and services.
- Greater flexibility and scalability: The freight forwarder provides a great help to the client when it comes to adjusting an import and export project at times of high or low in the international transport market .
This also includes finding solutions when weather conditions affect transportation in a certain area of the world or costs fluctuate due to bureaucratic decisions in some countries.
- Technological access: Large cargo agents have their own technological platforms that allow the client to consult the location, status and other details of their cargo at each stage of international logistics.
How to select a freight forwarder?
There are many freight forwarder directories where these people offer their services.
But before selecting a particular freight forwarder, it is wise to carefully review their history and ask for references from other customers and carriers they have worked with.
Although in Paraguay there are many responsible and serious agents, in other countries there is no clear regulation that regulates this activity, so it is possible to encounter problems if someone from outside is hired.
For example, Mexico does not regulate the cargo broker trade, so anyone can offer this service without having more than a phone and internet access.
By contrast,The United States has very strict federal rules and only grants a customs agent license to those who post a bond or have a reserve bank account of US $ 75,000.
As a recommendation, it is preferable to work with two or more cargo agents , to prevent any eventuality.
In addition, it is convenient to implement a system to monitor the work of the contracted cargo agents, in order to gradually create a database with which they do the best work.
How to protect myself when choosing a freight forwarder?
There are several points to consider when choosing a freight forwarder to carry out an international logistics project.
The first is the financial strength of the freight forwarder , since it is important to verify that he has sufficient financial capacity to respond to any eventuality.
One way to do this verification is to ask the agent for your financial statements s , review your business relationships, and look for references from other importers or exporters who have worked with him.
In addition, you must have good contacts with the transport companies and demonstrate that you have the ability to get good prices for freight and transport.
You must also have financial solvency to cover the freight and insurance costs required for the goods.
A very common situation when working with agents who do not have financial solvency is that they file for bankruptcy. They can also choose to close their doors in the middle of an operation.
The most common is that the carrier ends up pressing the payment to the sender or recipient of the cargo.
Lastly, it is important that the freight forwarder have technological resources to track the merchandise and give the customer information on its location and status at any time that requests it.
The technology will also help to detect any delays in time and respond immediately to resolve problems that arise.
Difference between customs agents and cargo agents
It is common to hear the terms “customs broker” and “freight forwarder” when working in international logistics.
However, these are two very different functions.
The freight forwarders work directly with the client to prepare the entire process of transporting the goods.
This includes reviewing and completing the documentation, defining the fastest and cheapest route and negotiating with the transport companies.
In a way, cargo agents are very similar to travel agents that help a tourist find the best flight, hotel and services for an ideal trip.
For their part, customs agents or customs agents have a more specific role.
They are at the port of arrival of the merchandise to receive it , check that everything is in order and prepare it for the next stage of your trip.
Their role is important insofar as they work to remove cargo from warehouses as quickly as possible and avoid delays.
They also provide assistance to the client in tax and customs matters, insurance and collection of merchandise.
Consult with the best to export from Paraguay
If you are an importer or exporter, your cargo is your most valuable asset and you must put it in responsible hands so that it reaches its destination without setbacks.
If you want to carry out an import or export project from Paraguay, you must have the support and advice of an expert company in the field.
Alfa Trading S.Ais a Paraguayan company with more than 26 years of experience in the area of international logistics.
Our experts have extensive knowledge of international freight; customs formalities and everything related to import and export to and from anywhere in the world.
We also offer you global coverage since we have cargo agents in all ports and airports in the world, ready to assist you throughout the logistics process.
For this reason, we are the ideal company to support you and guide you in all the procedures and options available for the success of your operation.
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