Gift Icon
Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
Auto Transport Truck on Highway
4.7 Star Rating4.7 (67,926 reviews)
96.3% positive
No Surprises, Just Savings: Verified Carriers, Instant Quotes, and Best Price Guarantee!
You save 20% compared to other companies
Get quotes from trusted carriers, thoroughly vetted and fully insured. Enjoy trackable deliveries, fair pricing, and hassle-free transport from start to finish. Transport any type of vehicle and drive away worry-free.
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week
Scratch-Free Guarantee
Vetted Carriers
Transparent Costs
Customer Ratings By Feature
Value for Money ★★★★★ 4.9
Vehicle Care ★★★★★ 4.9
Fast Delivery ★★★★★ 4.9
Friendly Staff ★★★★★ 4.9
Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
Dave loved the fast delivery
My relocation to Chicago was fast, smooth and without any delay thanks to A1 Auto.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidanceCourtney J.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidance
Just what you need when trusting someone with your wheels! Kudos to this company!
Jeff enjoyed the fair priceJeff D.
Jeff enjoyed the fair price
Moved my ride hassle-free with these folks.Fair pricing, no surprises. Definitely recommend them!
Maria enjoyed the special care and safetyMaria L.
Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
Huge thanks to the movers – they were meticulous with my car. Love these guys.
Recently featured on USA Today

“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

Understanding the Freight Forwarding Process

Published by Tamar Hela.

Understanding the Freight Forwarding Process

Freight forwarding is the simple process of sending your package or cargo from one location to another. The term refers to the goods being shipped, and "forwarding" means delivering them to their final destination.

Various companies or individuals can do it, but it usually involves using an international freight forwarder specializing in the shipping process.

When you ship something with a freight forwarder, they handle all the details of getting your shipment from point A to B. In addition, they will arrange to transport your cargo and coordinate customs clearance at both ends.

Freight forwarders play an important role in global supply chains. They ensure that everything arrives safely and can even help you find someone to pick up the package when it gets there. This tutorial has been specially created to help you comprehend freight forwarding logistics.


Types of Freight Forwarding

These are some of the types of freight forwarding:

Land freight

Land freight or land transportation is the transportation of cargo by road, usually by truck. Most land freight is transported by trucks, though railroads and barges also play essential roles.

Land freight costs depend upon several factors, including distance, weight, container load volume, and the number of stops. Goods shipped by land often incur higher prices than those sent by sea because of the longer distances involved.

New Deals are now available for shipping all types vehicles using our vetted reliable shippers. Compare price estimates & Unlock up 25% off.

Ocean freight

As the name suggests, ocean freight is used to transport goods by sea, usually large shipments over 100 pounds. It includes cargo and passenger ships, container shipping, bulk carriers, tankers, LNG carriers, and other specialized vessels.

Shipments made by ocean freighters are typically carried out by ocean carriers, which provide ocean freight services to customers around the world.

Carriers may specialize in particular types of cargo, such as dry bulk commodities, liquid chemicals, petroleum products, steel, grain, or automobiles.

In addition, some carriers offer a full range of services, including logistics management, vessel chartering, and insurance.

Air freight

Air freight is the shipment of goods by air, either as a single package or in bulk. Airfreight can be carried out using aircraft (aircraft-cargo), ships, or trains.

The term "air cargo" may also refer to transporting goods via an aircraft. It is one of two significant modes of transportation for international trade, the other being sea transport.

In addition to carrying goods, air cargo provides many benefits to consumers and businesses. These include lower costs, greater speed, and minor damage to goods during transit.


Domestic freight

Domestic freight is a term used to describe the transportation of goods and services within the country. It includes shipments from one state or region to another and between businesses in different locations. For example, if you move your goods from New York City to Boston, then you would use domestic freight.

Domestic shipments are not subject to federal regulations, although some states have adopted laws governing hazardous handling materials. For example, California requires shippers to obtain permits before transporting dangerous goods through the state.

International freight

International freight shipping is usually used for international shipments; transportation of goods from one country to another. International freight transport can be by sea, air, or land. It includes all modes of international transport: ocean-going vessels (ships), aircraft, and railroads.

The most common type of international freight shipping is containerized shipping. These ships are designed to carry large quantities of cargo in standardized shipping containers. Each container has a door and can be piled on top of one another like crates.

The Freight Forwarding Process

The freight forwarding process is a series of activities performed by an agent or broker to facilitate the shipment of goods from one location to another.

The term "freight forwarder" refers to any person, business, entity, or organization that performs these services for others.

Freight forwarders include shippers, carriers, and brokers.

These are the basic steps in the freight forwarding process and how they are applied in exports.

Stage 1: Shipment planning

Freight forwarders' primary purpose is to help you plan for shipments and reduce the cost of transportation. This involves determining which carrier(s) to use, which service should be used, when the shipment should leave, and where it should arrive.

Stage 2: Documentary requirements

Documentary requirements refer to documents that need to accompany the shipment. These documents include bills of lading, customs forms, and airway bills.

Bills of lading

Bills of lading are contracts signed between shippers and carriers describing the goods being shipped. The carrier ensures that each party keeps half of the arrangement with the agreement.

Customs documentation

Customs documentation helps customs officials determine whether the shipment should be released or detained. Detention occurs when the government does not release the shipment until they receive information regarding its origin, destination, and contents.

Airway bill

An airway bill is an agreement between airlines and shipping companies. For example, an airline agrees to carry a certain amount of weight on a route, and shipping companies agree to pay the airline for transporting the load.

Stage 3: Customs clearance

Customs clearance is necessary when importing and exporting goods from country to country. You must obtain customs clearance before your shipment leaves the United States. To clear the cargo, you must provide the following information:

  • Your company's import permit number
  • The country of origin
  • The port of entry in the destination country
  • The specific item(s) being imported
  • The quantity of each item
  • The value of each item

This is some of the necessary information you will need to provide.

These items may occasionally be subject to duties you are responsible for paying. Always feel free to ask your freight forwarder questions when you are confused.

Stage 4: Insurance

Insurance protects against loss during transportation. Cargo insurance and liability insurance are the two types of insurance. Cargo insurance covers the cost of damage to the shipment itself. Liability insurance covers the cost of injury or death caused by negligence.

Cargo insurance is usually purchased through a third-party company. Liability insurance is generally purchased directly from the insurer.

Liability insurance is mandatory for all shipments over $500.00. For shipments below $500.00, you may purchase either type of insurance.

The insurance you pay depends on a few things: cargo, destination, and shipment type.


Stage 5: Shipment preparation

After the paperwork is completed, the next step is preparing the shipment. Preparing the shipment involves making sure everything is packed correctly and securely.

Boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts are examples of packaging materials. Boxes are bound together using tape. Fragile objects are cushioned with bubble wrap. Sometimes packing peanuts can fill empty spaces.

It is critical to adequately pack the package so that nothing falls out or damages the contents. Some things that are often damaged include clothing, electronics, jewelry, and books.

Stage 6: Loading and unloading

Loading and unloading or export haulage refers to moving the items into the truck, then removing them from the vehicle at the following location.

This part of the process includes loading and unloading at the port of entry. Again, the driver in charge of delivery handles this entire stage.

Stage 7: Transportation

Transportation refers to getting the shipment from where it was loaded to where it will arrive.

Transportation can take many different routes, depending on distance and cargo type. One standard method is called sea freight, the cheapest form of transportation because it uses ocean liners (large ships that travel along the coast).

Stage 8: Post-movement documentation

Post-movement documentation refers to any paperwork that follows the movement of the shipment.

After the shipment has arrived, the driver sends invoices to the customer. Invoices document the costs associated with transporting the shipment.

Invoices also show how much money the customer owes the company, helping to ensure the customer pays for all of his shipments.

Once the invoice has been sent, the driver ensures that the customer receives the shipment.

Stage 9: Delivery

Before the shipment is delivered, they go through a process known as import haulage, where cargo is transferred from the destination port into a transit vehicle.

Once the load has been secured, it is transported to the final location, where the recipient signs for it.

In some cases, the recipient must sign for the delivery. In other instances, the recipient must permit someone else to take the package. For example, if you are sending a gift to your friend's house, you might want to have them sign for it.

Benefits of Using a Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarding service providers are very beneficial for both exporters and importers; as they help reduce the risks involved during transportation.

The use of freight forwarders has many benefits. For instance, it ensures that your shipments arrive at their destination on time.

Some advantages of employing a freight forwarding business include the ones listed below.

You will save money

You must pay for the shipping charges when you ship your goods. However, you only pay for the services a freight forwarder provides when hiring them, saving you a lot of money.

Your goods will arrive safely

If you send your goods through a freight forwarder, you don't need to worry about how safe the journey will be. They take care of everything and ensure that you still get your goods delivered, even if something goes wrong.

You will receive prompt assistance

A good freight forwarder will always give you prompt assistance whenever you need it. For example, they will accommodate you immediately if you want to change the shipment date.

They will also help you to understand all the export and import regulations.

You will enjoy better customer service

The best part about using a freight forwarder is that they offer excellent customer service. They will respond to your questions and concerns about your shipping, meaning you will never feel alone while dealing with them. They also help you with additional services like your export documentation.

You will enjoy more flexibility

As mentioned earlier, when you ship your products, you usually have to wait until you receive confirmation from the shipper before you can start packing the goods. But when you hire someone else to handle the logistics, you can focus on other things.

You will enjoy peace of mind

You have to deal with different issues when you ship your goods independently. However, with a professional company, you get the ease of delivery. Therefore, you will not have to deal with problems like the cost of fuel or the type of equipment.


You will enjoy a faster delivery time

When you ship your stuff on your own, you may have to wait for several days before you receive an update about the status of your shipment. But when you hire professionals, they will deliver your goods within a few hours—no need to worry about shipping delays.

Choosing a Freight Forwarder

The freight forwarding industry continues to grow, leading to competitive freight rates among every company. Some freight forwarders specialize in international shipping, whereas others focus solely on domestic transportation.

Thus, when choosing a freight forwarder, you first need to know what you want to accomplish with your shipment. For example, do you want to ship an item yourself? Or do you want to outsource the entire process?

Most freight forwarders provide packing services that help you pack your items properly, making them safe during transit. You may also want to ask whether they can handle customs paperwork.

In addition, ensure that your goods don't fall under their shipping restrictions.

A-1 Auto Transport is a shipping company that can help you with all your local and international exports. We ship almost everything, from cars and heavy equipment to containers of goods.

When you trust us with your shipping needs, we'll handle everything. You can rest easy knowing your shipment is in capable hands.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you want to ship anything at all – we look forward to hearing from you.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
Copy link

Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Email Me

Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us:

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week
Scratch-Free Guarantee
Vetted Carriers
Transparent Costs

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
Copyright © 1988-2024, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.